Planning a trip to Thailand? If you are visiting Thailand you really must pay a visit Ayutthaya. Like a lot of people, I planned to stop off at Ayutthaya on the way from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Read on for guidance on how to get there, what to see and do on your visit.
How to get there
We had planned to get a bus from Monument Square to Ayutthaya and then take the night train from there to Chiang Mai that evening. We decided to arrive at around 1 pm which would give us plenty of time. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, we woke up with the mother of all hangovers (Cheers Koh San Road) all we wanted to do is stay in bed and feel sorry for ourselves for being so silly. Anyway, we pull ourselves together and pack up. Now if there is one tip I can give anyone when dealing with taxi drivers it’s not to worry about them not putting the meter on
Anyway, we pull ourselves together and pack up. Now if there is one tip I can give anyone when dealing with taxi drivers it’s not to worry about them not putting the meter on (they just won’t fix the price first and you will be fine if you don’t then it’s tough luck) what you should be cautious of is them not knowing where you want to go!
A point about Taxi Drivers
We had is so many times, they say yes yes get in. Then they call their mate, then another mate, then they ask for the hotel number and so on… In Koh Phangan, we got dropped at a beach in the North West of the Island when we wanted to go to the East of the Island. He had left before we realised where we were! Anyway, we wanted to go to Victory Monument to get a bus to Ayutthaya but none of the drivers seemed to know where it was. We asked the hotel and they didn’t know, two drivers and a few phone calls later we are on our way. Then the driver offers to take us to Ayutthaya for 1000
Anyway, we wanted to go to Victory Monument to get a bus to Ayutthaya but none of the drivers seemed to know where it was. We asked the hotel and they didn’t know, two drivers and a few phone calls later we are on our way. Then the driver offers to take us to Ayutthaya for 1000 tbt we look at each other in our drunken states and said yes in a heartbeat…It was 1000 tbt well spent!
What to do with your luggage
On arrival, we asked to be dropped at the station. If you aren’t planning on staying the night there you have two options with your bags
- Leave it at left luggage at the station or
- Hire a room for just the day that way if you are getting the night train you can have a nap and a shower before the train.
It’s pretty cheap to leave your luggage, maybe 10 tbt? And you can get a room for about 250-300 tbt for the night. If you speak to them you may be able to come to a deal if they have a free room.
Booking your night train
If you are planning on getting the night train to Chiang Mai from here then get this booked as soon as you get there as they do fill up quick. We tried to book the day before in Bangkok and they wouldn’t let us and you can only book a train ticket at a train station. It can’t be done online or through an agent. Top bunks are cheaper than bottom bunks (only slightly) as they are bigger. My upper bunk ticket cost about 600 tbt, I think Laura’s bottom bunk was 766 tbt. Once you have ditched your bag and booked your ticket you are ready to explore!
Getting around the Temples
You have a few options of how to view the temples:
- On foot
- Push bike
My dad who came here a few years back actually paid a taxi driver to drive them from Bangkok to Ayutthaya around all the temples and then back again…actually, he paid him to drive them around for 2 days for about 2000 tbt!! That was 10 years ago though so it will most likely cost you a bit more now…
There are tuk-tuks everywhere so you won’t find it difficult to get one. I’m not sure of the cost, though, sorry, we didn’t choose this option. We decided to go by bike which was a lot of fun and kept us cool in the sweltering heat. We hired a bike for 40 tbt, they gave us a map and directed us either to a bridge or on a boat…we went for the boat.
The map was really easy to read and the roads/ paths were fine for cycling so felt very safe. It took us a few hours to see all of the temples in the city area. There were 3 on the map we couldn’t reach easily by bike due to time constraints (and hangovers).
Entry to the Temples
The cost to get in each temple is 50 tbt or you can get a joint ticket for 200 tbt (could be 250 tbt). I didn’t realise this until after I’d visited 2 temples already, so don’t make my mistake get a joint ticket at the first Temple Wat Mahn That. Its not far from each temple and they are easy to find. The first temple has the best facilities so if you want to eat do it there as there are vans/ carts at the others but there isn’t as much on offer.
I loved wandering around the temples and taking pictures, after the first temple which was really busy, there weren’t too many people around so I was able to wander round pretty much on my own with my camera.
So that was Ayutthaya! We had a bit of time before our night train so we just set up camp in one of the cafes close to the train station and had some dinner. Well, I did Laura was still throwing up…