BANGKOK TO CHIANG RAI, THAILAND: WEEKS 14 - 17 DECEMBER/ JANUARY, HOT IN THE SHADE AROUND 29 DEGREES
27.12.2016 - 30.12.2016
Our trip to Ayutthaya was to escape Bangkok after an unsuccessful attempt at booking sleeper train tickets to Chiang Mai up north. Due to the Christmas holiday period, all the trains were booked solid so we jumped on a third class train for the three hours to Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya was once the centre of the universe for the Thai people as it was the home of the King and the Thai capital for 417 years. Some 33 kings of five dynasties have ruled the kingdom from here. It losts its shine after the Burmese sacked the city in 1767, leaving behind the ruins of many wats, palaces and a network of waterways and bridges.
The great thing about Ayutthaya is that the surrounding wats and the Grand Palace compound are all accessible by bike, although following Thomas on his bicycle was fairly hair raising on main roads, junctions and at a roundabout. He managed to veer off and crash on a regular basis, but luckily always into the kerb or off down a bank. Thankfully there were paths to cycle on within the compounds and the odd elephant to overtake!
The only downside to Ayutthaya was the pack of stray dogs roaming around at night. Extremely aggressive, we were always on our guard when the barking started on our way back to our lodge.
After visiting every wat imaginable over two full days of cycling, we had to regroup as all the buses and trains were still full to go further north, so we returned to Bangkok to try and find another way.