After our few days getting things situated in Bangkok, Sandy and I hopped on the Northern line train to begin a long journey up to Chiang Mai; the capital of the old Lanna kingdom and the big destination for anyone going to Northern Thailand. On the way, however, we wanted to break up the crazy long train ride by stopping at some cities and taking in some of the local sights. The first city on our list was Ayutthaya. There are so many ways to spell it it’s stupid, so I’m just going with that one.
Ayutthaya, the old Siamese capital, is only a short ways from Bangkok, so it was a nice way to ease into traveling for a few days. The we got there a little late, so we didn’t end up going to see any attractions that first day, we just stayed in the area around our guesthouse. Actually, I think we only stayed in our guesthouse. Yeah, yeah, I know. We’re super lame travelers.
The next day we took a 4 baht ferry across the river to the island that the main part of town is located on. There, we rented some bicycles for 40 baht (I think). Forty baht works out to just over $1. Not bad! Luckily for me and the pitiful, malnourished thing known as my conditioning, the entire city seemed flat enough to shoot pool on. After trying my hand at bicycling in Pohang and wanting to dive headfirst into traffic after 10 minutes, this was a welcome respite from… strenuous exercise.
Atop our trusty steeds, we proceeded to make a circuit of the city. By ‘our trusty steeds’, I suppose I just mean ‘my trusty steed’. Poor Sandy’s bike seat kept tilting back every few minutes or so. My bike’s brakes didn’t work, but at least it was comfortable. I think my experience biking was a little nicer than Sandy’s. She powered through it, though.
She really was a good sport…
The other busy one was Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. I loved the architecture at this one, and even managed to snag a picture without any annoying tourists in it. Yay!
The other places we went to were smaller and a whole lot less crowded. Most were 50 baht to enter for foreigners, but we still managed to go to quite a few.
Eventually, we got wat-ed out. They’re really cool and all, but the average Joe can only look at old buildings for so long before going a little crazy, ya know? We decided to take a break and grab some lunch, then made our way back across the river to the guesthouse. It was a great day exploring and learning a little bit of the rich history that Thailand possesses. I also feel like I made some progress towards having killer calves. Sweet.
Check back in a bit for a slideshow of all the pictures from this city.