While other interns decided to go south and visit some of the Thai islands for the long weekend, I took a different approach.
Early Saturday morning I took a train at 6.40 a.m. to the historic city of Ayutthaya, which lies only 1.5 hours north of Bangkok. So instead of sunny beaches, I got to take a look at the ruins of what once was the second capital of Thailand.
After an incredibly cheap train ride for which I paid only 20 Baht I reached my destination at 8.30a.m.. I initially didn’t plan on riding a tuk-tuk, but I ended up renting it with a driver for 3 hours. He took me around the town to different temples and waited outside until I was done. When I come to think of this, it was my best choice: I got around Ayutthaya town quickly, didn’t get lost and didn’t have to keep checking information which temples and ruins I should see.
The only downside of renting the tuk-tuk was a little time pressure – after all, I didn’t want to pay the driver to just stand around and see only one temple. Instead, I saw 7 of them, including small and big ones, and was really exhausted afterwards.
When the three hours were over, I spontaneously decided to look for a hostel and book a room for the night, since I enjoyed being in Ayutthaya and wanted to explore more of the city. I quickly found one that wasn’t too expensive, and after a short break I was, once again, ready to go. There was one more temple I wanted to see, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, so I made my way there. I had to admit that the second half of the day was a lot more relaxing and less stressful. As I could take my time, I was able to enjoy Wat Phra Si Sanphet a lot more, since it was once more a ruin covering a bigger area.
During the morning, Wat Chaiwatthanaram really caught my attention, and so I decided to go back and catch the sunset over the temple. Of course, there were a lot more tourists now, but it was still the highlight of the day: Amazing view with a stunning atmosphere due to the light. And it only got better afterdark – spotlights illuminated the temple and made it another world.
It was hard to leave the temple, but I had to. When I returned to the hostel, I met some of my room mates and together. We decided to explore Bang Lan Night Market and have dinner there. After experiencing some of Ayutthaya’s colourful night life, I slept soundly. I took a train back to Bangkok on the next day in the afternoon.
If anyone asks me, I will definitely recommend a trip to Ayutthaya. This ancient city serves as a window to the past and you could easily imagine how marvelous this city was when it ruled the region as a kingdom during its height of civilisation.
by Theresa Grassl