Posted by: James Shannon | December 1, 2010

Pushing North: Onward to Ayutthaya

Starting out slow: only logged 80 KM, stopping in the historic city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Greetings from the old capital of Thailand, the city of Ayutthaya! I’m writing this from my guesthouse room, situated on the Chao Phraya River, roughly 80 km north of Bangkok. It was a slow journey for such a short distance though, as the train I took from BKK took 2 hours to get to my destination.

Why such a plodding pace? It turns out that this train effectively acts as a commuter train for Greater Bangkok … it took more than a hour and 40+ kilometres of unbroken urbanity before the landscape gave way to rice paddies. The city we went through taught a lesson I’m glad I didn’t learn the hard way: keep all limbs and your head inside the train car at all times; trees, the sheet metal roofs of shacks in Klong Toei (they live right to the edge of the railroad!), and other passing trains passed within millimetres of our train. It would take one second to lose your arm, or worse! In addition to the countryside, the train went through Central Thailand’s industrial heartland in the second hour, lots of steel, manufacturing and chemical plants everywhere!

Eventually I reached Ayutthaya station, and within 2 minutes, I was in the back of a tuk tuk driven by Donas, who will be giving me a tour of the ruins around Ayutthaya tomorrow. The place I’m at is quite nice … for 400 baht a night ($13.20 CDN), I get my own room with ensuite bathroom, a/c, cable TV (all Thai channels though 😛 ), and a really nice bed (unlike my last guesthouse bed in Koh Chang, where I could feel the springs through the mattress).

As far as what I did in BKK, I mostly just relaxed. I saw a movie (Skyline, brutal movie, don’t see it … dooonnnn’t!), mall crawled, ate Western food…

Hey, don’t give me that look! You need to give yourself some breathing space every now and again while travelling! For what it’s worth, I saw Lumphini Park yesterday, essentially BKK’s Central Park, but not nearly as big.

Next post should be a photo essay of the Eastern Island of Koh Chang … mostly peaceful, but is starting to become discovered, so come see it while you can!

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Responses

  1. You’re really learning the in and outs of traveling in a nonwestern country. Glad to hear that you are being safety conscious. this most recent hostel must have been really luxourious, because to date it has been the most expensive one. Continue keeping safe. I think of you every day.

    LOVE MOM


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