Ayutthaya is a popular day trip from Bangkok. Former capital of Siam, in the 18th century it was the largest city in the world. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, best known for ruins of temples and palaces.
You can easily get there with a minivan from Bangkok (Victory Monument), for just 60 bahts. Once in Ayutthaya, grab a bike. For only 40 baths per day, you can get the rustiest and squeakiest bike you’ve ever seen. You don’t need to honk – everybody knows exactly where you are. You don’t even need brakes – just stop pedalling.
To find a bike rental shop (there are plenty of them), just mime a bike to passers-by. Or better, cross the street from the bus station. At the shop, you can also get a map with temples and other stuff to see and do. The map has around 70 attractions – so at first you might think of ways to see them all. Luckily, the lady at the desk drew us a route with the main attractions.
Then, we went biking around. We saw two, three temples until we got bored (the heat was not on our side).
Yet Ayutthaya is not just about temples. We visited a boat museum. It had a few (smaller) boats and a lot of models. But, more than that, we enjoyed the stories behind the museum. The family that set it up shared with us glimpses from its past.
Traditional to Ayutthaya are boat noodles (notice the boat below?). At a ridiculous 12 bahts per bowl, they were the smallest and cheapest meals we’ve had in Thailand. It appears it’s normal to order more than one.
After a little more wandering around and a couple more meals (Thai food is great!), we returned to the bus station. Check out the craziest bus seen (how does the driver see in front of him?):