You want me to do Wat? Oh yes, here’s a good idea lets cycle to EVERY one of Ayuthaya’s Wats… I’m sure it will only take a couple of hours. NOT!!! It’ll take more like 9 very hot and very sore hours of riding in the tropical sun….mind you, we did take a few detours and got a little lost (as in…on the road to Bangkok..oops!). I’m a white girl and the Southeast Asian sun made me feel like I was being fried in a vat of vegetable oil. In hind sight it was still pretty fun….but it’s now three weeks later and today was the first day that I’d even considered putting a bike between my legs.
I liked sweaty Ayuthaya….which when pronounced correctly sounds more like “UTI” but more lilting and not quite as painful (barely). Ayuthaya lacked the throngs of creepy old men, coked out 20 somethings, and the painfully stereotypical tourists that plague Bangkok’s Khao San Road and Royal Palace.
We saw tons of ancient ruins,beautiful wats, and even human remains. And we ate the best Pad Thai we’ve ever had. Our guesthouse was decent enough….our bed was huge, the sheets were pretty clean, the shower was cool and the price was right. And Grandma gave me hug when I wished her a “good morning.”
The details and architecture of the wats was truly impressive and seemed to defy gravity, but obviously time and the asian sun had taken their toll. With well over a hundred pics of wats and ruins it was hard to get the motivation to sift through the pics to pick out the best.
Cycling around turned out to be a great way to see the wats, the Portuguese settlement, and the countryside….We even saw a rice farmer hack up a snake that was slithering across the road….we tried to figure out why, but he didn’t speak any English and we don’t exactly speak Thai.
After too many close calls on our kamakazi bike ride I was ready to toss the bike into the back of a Tuk Tuk and say “F%&k it!!” but I didn’t….and I survived.
BJ’s Guesthouse (200 Baht) was right off of Soi 2 on the island. Upstairs rooms were more atmospheric, but we took the downstairs room for the gigantic bed and the cooler temps.
The train to Ayuthaya from Bangkok was probably 80 Baht, more or less, for second class seats, but it’s even cheaper if you go with the locals.
Bike rentals were 30-40 Baht for the day.
We were given a printed map (free) from one of the TAT offices that showed where all the wats and other sights were located.