Dogs, Rats and Ruins…Oh Ayutthaya

Posted: March 13, 2014 in Thailand, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ayutthaya is a must, even if just a day trip from Bangkok or to spend a night or two. It is a city of ruins that seem never ending. It was the second capital of Thailand after Sukothai and at one point had a population pushing 1 million by some accounts. It was one of the highest populated cities on Earth in its heyday. In 1767 the Burmese army sacked and destroyed it leaving it in ruins…of course. Like most places big and small in Thailand there is food and nightlife to be found as well.

I bought a third class train ticket from Bangkok for the two hour or so ride and it was only 15 Baht! The ride was fine, the seats were bench style with a bit of padding, a bathroom on board and food and drinks for purchase, like ever three minutes there was food and drinks for purchase. You could hear the lady yelling from the next car and you knew she was a comin. There’s no fans or A/C with third class but the windows open fully creating a great breeze and awesome views. When I arrived at the station in Ayutthaya I made the short walk to the riverside where 4 Baht gets you on a boat across to the main part of the city. From there I got a tuk-tuk to a guesthouse where I grabbed a room. I stayed at The Sixty At Ayutthaya. I was little wiped after waking up quite early in Bangkok and getting to the train station and making the trip so I unpacked and had some beauty rest. When I woke up I was two things, hungry and thirsty. What better way to fulfill my needs than the night market right? After looking at Google maps and seeing it was only a 20 minute walk I figured why spend money on a ride. Big mistake. I quickly realized that at nights the streets are filled with stray dogs and rats running around. It made walking sketchy and despite being a dog lover I know enough not to get too close packs of strays. Having finally made it to the market it became clear I had missed the action. By 10pm there were hardly any people around and the stalls were beginning to close. No walking home, I was paying for a taxi or tuk-tuk. Wait? I couldn’t find one at the market, fucking great. There was no way I was playing hopscotch over dogs and rats as big my shih-tzu back home. After asking somebody how I could get home, mostly with hand signs, he signaled for me to get on his scooter. So off I went on the back of a scooter with a local, racing in and out side streets and alleyways. It was quite fun really. When I arrived I offered him Baht but he would having nothing of. He was just a good dude being nice. The next day was much more successful, having met two German guys at my guesthouse we decided we would pool some money and rent a tuk-tuk for 3 hours to take us around to the main ruins and temples. Renting a bicycle in Ayutthaya is by far the most popular way to see the city but with temps above 40 with the humidity we decided against it. We spent the better part of the afternoon exploring ruins and temples and seeing a good chunk of the city thanks to having the tuk-tuk. The ruins were certainly a site to see, you try and imagine what they looked when they were still a working city. After a shower and chilling for a bit the two Germans and myself made our way to the night market. Earlier than my previous adventure of course, I sure as hell wasn’t getting stuck for a ride. This time it was bustling and lively. The air was filled with smells of all sorts of food and children ran and played. Two adorable little girls, maybe six years old, ran up to me and yelled ‘farang, farang’. I smiled and reassured them that I was indeed a farang. We left the night market (in a tuk-tuk) and headed to an outdoor bar/restaurant near our guesthouse. We sipped beers and whiskey sours while high school kids drank and celebrated the end of a semester. A musician played and the beers flowed and everything was right with the world after my previous nights issues.

Make your way to this city if possible, do a day trip from Bangkok or stop for a night on the way to Chiangmai, it’s a great spot to break up the long trip or just escape the chaos of the big smoke for a day.

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Comments
  1. crazyguyinthailand says:

    Haha Dofs, Rats and Ruins. I saw the 2 first when I was there 😀

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