Welcome to Ayutthaya, a fantastic small village 56 miles north of Bangkok, surrounded by water with loads of sites to see. If you’re travelling in by train from Bangkok like we did (15TBH per person), the easiest way to cross the water is by the river ferry for 5TBH per person .. seriously cheap! But watch you don’t fall in the water with your backpack on (watch the video blog to see what I mean).
It was the hottest day of our trip so far, now that we travelled out of Bangkok we even got the delight of the sun being out. We decided the best way to get around was to hire some bicycles, it’s 50TBH for the day (around £1) and it just gives you that freedom to do what you want without tuk tuk drivers hassling you.
I was sceptical at riding a bike at first, I know they say you never forget, but I mean I can’t even remember what day of the week it is or what we plan to do tomorrow let alone riding a bike again. It took about 10 minutes before I found my feet, it didn’t help that I got cut up by a local and nearly watched Georgi get taken out by a car door, but after that I was fine.
We headed down to the first historical ruins, Wat Mara That, you may have seen our selfies on Instagram! It had the steepest steps up to the top, but when you got there it had amazing views. This is where we also found out that if you’re quick enough and look busy, you can just walk on through and not need to buy a ticket #onabudget.
The bikes were a winner but god damn it was so hot today, we drank over 3 litres of water between us in 2 hours! The amount of sweat just got silly. When you hire the bikes you get given a really good map of all the temples and sites to see, even then we still managed to go off piste and ended up in a flooded village.
One negative to our trip today was the elephant place at Khun phaens residence. It was not good to see! All elephants had shackles, they were getting punished when misbehaving and even the baby elephant was having its ears clipped when crying out. We came across it by accident and got out of there as quick as we could. There were no other brits around that we could see, just a lot of Asian tourists riding these elephants around the streets as you can see in our upcoming video.
The best part of our day by far was visiting the temple of Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, you have to cycle over the main road bridge out of the little island to get there. It felt like riding your bike on the M25, it was pure madness, how we survived I don’t know. The temple was incredible and extremely well kept, we managed to get away with not paying to get in, but completely by mistake, the ticket office is very hidden.
Within the grounds there is a long thin river with a bridge going over, we stood for ages and couldn’t work out what was lurking in the brown water. We thought it could be crocodiles but to my surprise it was turtles swimming around and huge (6ft plus) lizards! They were massive and just cooling down in the shade of the bridge, what an absolute highlight of my day.
Talking about highlights, I can’t even describe how good the shower was when we got back, lucky for you we won’t include that in our video……