The Old Capital of Thailand

Forget Bangkok! I took a trip to the old capital of Thailand: Ayutthaya. OK, there were a lot of tourists and yes it’s a tourist hot-spot. But sometimes there’s a good reason as to why, and a short trip is worth it.

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Getting some air from the train…

I took the train from Bangkok Station with a paper ticket in my hand (rather retro looking too…) and boarded the train for Ayutthaya. For a cross country ticket, it was very cheap (Second class compartment – 65THB / £1.50). The carriage was cramped and it was difficult to find a space to sit. It was warm, but thankfully you could pull the windows down to get some air as the train rocked down the tracks. Seeing the countryside slowly move past the train was a wonderful way to see more of Thailand. There were small towns and villages that we passed by, people on motorbikes on dusty roads, and just fields and trees for miles. I felt calm just staring out the window. At times, someone would come down the carriage selling snacks but I just kept staring… What a beautiful country.

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Ayutthaya Station

After a couple of hours, the train rolled into Ayutthaya Station. A lot of people disembarked the train. As I had only come based on a recommendation from someone I was staying with through Couchsurfing, I hadn’t researched the place before coming. I had no idea that the place would be as big as it was. I did know however that the cheapest way to get there was to cross a river by boat. Many people were waiting at the station trying to get tourists into their taxis by posing as their friend. I had enough of the experience in Bangkok so I rushed away from the station and headed for the river.

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I found the pier… or should I say some wood. A small boat with a motor on it took us across the river. The pier and the boat looked as if it could only hold a few people at a time, or fear a collapse. Thankfully I made it across and walked towards the main attraction. There were plenty of bicycle rental stores but I walked on hoping for a cheaper one closer to the centre.

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Beautiful Buddha

There were many tourists. But eventually, I rented a bicycle and that helped me get away from the bustle. The city is a wonderful place to cycle around and I highly recommend doing so as it would be too big to walk around. There are plenty of statues of Buddha and many temples and buildings that look like they are crumbling to their death. It’s hard to take photos that you haven’t seen from many tourists before you wearing baggy patterned trousers. My advice is to ditch the map, forget the highlights, and just pedal. Pedal away to wherever you can, find a quiet spot (they do exist), and take pictures. Ayutthaya was definitely a highlight of my trip to Thailand only for that particular reason. You can definitely find peace and beauty in these areas only if you just get away from everyone persuading you to buy things or get in a car…

I eventually made it back to the train station via the boat and the unreliable train system played in my favour. A delayed train for around 3hrs pulled up to the station as I arrived. Goodbye Ayutthaya…

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Stunning

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