AYUTTHAYA and a HAPPY TRAIN
27.06.2009 32 °C
In the morning, we managed to catch the train to Ayutthaya, the city located 2 hours north of Bangkok, well-know for its temples and especially for the Buddha head overgrown by a tree. The journey is one of a kind. I won't lie to you. The seats are not comfortables, you seat among locals, sometimes very weird. White faces are rarely-spotted, so you are in the centre fo interest of everybody. Every five minutes sellers offers all kind of food and drink to the passagers. But hey! This is the beauty of this place, this is what we learnt at school and read in the books. This is what we've seen in the movies and finally what we dreamt of. So sit, relax and enjoy the old, dirty train with all its originality. Put your head through the window and explre the 'rail markets' ( located on real rails), the changing landscapes, immense of Bangkok suburbs, working people, sleeping people, socialising people. Finally, try to memorise all those impressions and visions for all your life.
Ayutthaya is quite a big city, but nothing to compare with Bangkok. There are less vehicules on the roads but still very busy. Our advise: don't believe guidebooks saying that the best way to explore the Historical Park of Ayutthaya (which is immense) is to rent a bike. That was our original plan but after seeing people struggling on really huge distances between sights, we gave up and rent a tuk-tuk. We had a chance to meet Mrs Suleeporn Dontri and her family (three sweet children). She offered us a 3-hours long sightseeing of the most remarkable places. The tour cost us 500 bahts but was worth every penny. They were all extremely helpful and pleasant and therefore we spent a lovely time altogether. For your information, visit: www.theoldtour.com or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your stay in Ayutthaya. We can truely recommend them.
After those three hours, pleasant but very tiring, we headed back to the train station to catch our night train to Chiang Mai. The train was late, which is normal, and packed with mostly backpackers. There were no compartments, just cars full with beds. We met many travellers, we drunk and socialised. We were woke up by the smell of coffee and fried eggs served for breakfast. We arrived to Chaing Mai at around 11 am and found accommodation in the center of the city. We stayed at LIBRA House, the rooms were clean and the place look nicea. Still, the staff is rather unpleasant and definetely not helpful. We found them sometimes rude in relation with other travellers too. They advertise WI-FI but it never works. This is their way to force people to pay for their internet service. We were told, the next guesthouse, S.K I, located just next to, charge less and has swimming pool.
In the evening, we visited one of the most beautiful and full of charm night market (a saterday market). This one is much better than the famous Night Market, which is dedicated only for tourists, much more expensive and full of crap.
Next day - PAI, further more north from Chiang Mai.