After our short stint in Phuket, we boarded the overnight train to Bangkok. As far as long distance travelling goes, an overnight train is a decent way to do it. It was almost a twelve hour trip... but I was sleeping for at least 7 of those hours. Apparently, there are two types of sleeper trains - a nice one and a less nice one. Somehow we ended up on the less nice one, though the beds were comfortable enough, I definitely spotted at least three roaches running around. Though the insects were not ideal, it was not a terrible way to traverse a twelve hour distance.
Once we arrived in Bangkok we stopped off in our hostel and then went to do some sightseeing in town. We hired a Tuk-Tuk driver for a three hour time period and he took us to all the sights we requested. Insider Tip: Hire a tuk-tuk that is endorsed by the government (although that may not be an option anymore since the military coup...). However, when we were there the government was still largely in place and by hiring a driver who receives a government subsidy we were able to pay a very low flat fee and not have to deal with haggling. Important note: In order for the driver to get their gas coupon they have to take you to a a few shops - they make money just bringing a tourist who looks around. Now one ever hastled us to buy anything (more than the usual) so we were happy to look around quickly and then continue on our way.
The next day we took the train to Ayutthaya: the old capital of Thailand. The journey took about an hour and a half, and once we were there we again hired a driver. There is really no other way to get around in Ayutthaya, the temples are much too far apart to walk. Also, it's nice to have someone who knows the area and can fill you in on cultural fun facts.
Visiting Ayutthaya was definitely one of my favorite experiences in Thailand - vibrant colors, ancient architecture, and an immutable sense of history were everywhere. Comparatively, America is such a young country and it is so though-provoking to wander among ruins that are hundreds of years old. Stones eroding, structures sagging; yet, still there was beauty everywhere. I would definitely recommend Ayutthaya as a must see stop when visiting Bangkok - it will take most, if not all of your day but it will, unarguably, be a day well spent.
Have any questions about travelling in Thailand? Any adventure suggestions for my next trip? Send me an email or click on the Facebook link above! I would love to hear from you :)
Enjoy the (many, many) beautiful views!