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Train trip to Ayutthaya & bad tuk tuk driver

Early start today. Down for brekkie of pineapple, watermelon, toast, banana muffins. Headed off at 7.40 am as we wanted to catch the 8.20 am train to Ayutthaya. We jumped on the Skytrain at Nana and got off at Sukhumvit (the next station) to change to the MRT line (the Underground). Caught that to the end of the line, Hualomphong Station. Ran through the tunnel to come out at the big above-ground station where trains leave to go throughout Thailand. Paid 20 B each for a ticket on the 3rd class non-aircon. train. The trip was for 1-1/2 hours. Just out of the station passed by where people live in shacks by the railway line. Washing hanging out, people cooking by the tracks, people walking all over the tracks. So different from our life. Train was so hot and Ayutthaya even hotter.

Got a tuk tuk to take us to all the sites for 200B an hour ($7). Ayutthaya was the ancient capital until the Burmese breached the walls in 1757 and destroyed temples, burning them and chopping the heads off Buddha. Bangkok eventually became the new capital.

We stopped off at 4 or 5 sites and walked around. The heat and humidity was awful – our hottest day yet. The only respite was the breeze from the short drives in the tuk tuk. Ruins were interesting and we went into one temple where there was this massive gold Buddha and people worshipping everywhere. At 12m high the 15th century old Buddha is the biggest in Thailand. At Wat Maharat there is a stone head of a Buddha enmeshed in the roots of a tree. Wat Rajpura was the most interesting and dates from 1424 and was built in memory of 2 brothers who killed each other in an elephant-backed duel. It has a 50' prang (tower) which contained a royal tomb. We walked up in it and then down these narrow steep steps inside which must have been the tomb. Wat Wang Lulang, the Royal Palace, has 3 giant chedis and you could get an elephant ride around here if you wanted.

We stopped for lunch at a riverside restaurant which was very nice. The driver had said 50 mins and we said only 30 mins. Came out and he wasn’t there. Had planned on catching the 1.10 pm train but missed it. When he arrived told him not happy and went to another site and told him we’d catch the 2.10 pm train. Finished that site and came out and he wasn’t there again. Waited 5 mins and didn’t want to miss the next train so we got another tuk tuk to the station for 70B. Bought our train tickets back for 20B each. Just as the train was pulling in this Thai woman gave me her mobile phone and it was the tuk tuk driver! I couldn’t understand a word he said and gave the phone back to her. She said I owed him money and I said he was a bad driver and was not there when we finished and we’d already missed one train. Gave her 300B and she kept saying more and I said no and got on the train. When we pulled out we saw the tuk tuk driver in the station talking to a policeman! Scary moment till our train pulled out!! This time our train was airconditioned!!

Dozed on and off for the next 1-1/2 hours. When we got to Hualomphong Station we caught the Underground and hanged to the Skytrain line to Staphan Taksin, the last stop by the river. We paid 11B each for a river boat up the Chao Phraya to Tha Tien (Pier 8). We went past all the beautiful expensive hotels like the Oriental, Peninsula and Shangri La. There are lots of boats on the river. Ours is a going up the river and then there are other boats that just cross the river, longtail boats that fang it up the river and are available to rent. There are also lots of barges, all joined together and being pulled by a tug.

Next to nice buildings are shacks over the river. We got off at Pier 8 and caught the cross river ferry to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) for 3B each. We paid 20B to enter. It’s a lovely temple and very different from the usual style and is covered with ceramics glued all over it – there are even whole dinner plates strategically broken. We climbed up as high as allowed for photos and then caught the ferry back across the river. We hung around in a cafe on the river at the pier hoping to get some good photos as the sun went down. It didn’t happen, but it was pleasant sitting by the river, watching the sun set and watching all the action.

As we caught a ferry back to pier 3 it was dark and it was lovely seeing all the lights of the city. We caught a Skytrain back home to Nana Station and went to the cute little restaurant next to Suk II called Galley II. You sit on cushions on a raised platform and have to take off your shoes. There were candles and it was very dark. Nathan had Pad Thai and I had Tofu which was quite spicy. We dropped off washing at a laundry serve, 100 baht per kg. I had 2 kg. We then walked down the road and found a lovely massage place. It cost us 300B each ($11), three times the price of Chiang Mai, but still cheap. Nathan had an hour of head and shoulders and fell asleep. I had feet, arms, hands and shoulders. Always so good. We walked home and it was 10 pm so we were too tired to shower and just jumped into bed. Tomorrow will be a sleep-in day.

Train out of Bangkok

Train out of Bangkok


In the tuk tuk

In the tuk tuk


Info

Info


One of the sites

One of the sites


Overlooking the ancient site

Overlooking the ancient site


White Buddha

White Buddha


Wat Wang Luang

Wat Wang Luang


Wat Wang Luang

Wat Wang Luang


Nath

Nath


Monks

Monks


Through the doorway

Through the doorway


Nath looking hot

Nath looking hot


Lots of stairs to climb

Lots of stairs to climb


Doorways to explore

Doorways to explore


Come on Nath! It was soooo hot

Come on Nath! It was soooo hot


He made it

He made it


Lunchtime

Lunchtime


Bonsai

Bonsai


Sweeping with twig broom

Sweeping with twig broom


Last site

Last site


The 2 of us

The 2 of us


Tuk Tuks

Tuk Tuks


Back to the station

Back to the station


Waiting at the train station

Waiting at the train station


Boats up the  Chao Phraya River in Bangkok

Boats up the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok


Wat Arun over the river

Wat Arun over the river


From the boat

From the boat


Wat Arun

Wat Arun


Sign

Sign


Wat Arun

Wat Arun


China mosaic of temple

China mosaic of temple


Wat Arun

Wat Arun


View over to Grand Palace

View over to Grand Palace


Palace Roof

Palace Roof


Nath

Nath


Sunset

Sunset


Love sunsets

Love sunsets


Nearly over

Nearly over


Dinner next to Suk 11

Dinner next to Suk 11


Sitting on cushions on floor

Sitting on cushions on floor


My yummy dinner

My yummy dinner


Naths yummy dinner

Naths yummy dinner


Our Room

Our Room


Our room

Our room

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Thailand

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