Ayudhya: Four Temples in Four Hours
Sometimes I get the travel bug at the weirdest times and so it was after breakfast on one hot Sunday I rode the subway to Hualampong Station and paid 15 baht for a one-way ticket to Ayudhya. I used to go to places like Lopburi and Ayudhya about twice a year; especially when I was doing Thai International's inflight magazine, Sawadee, but that was in the Olde Days. I had not been up there for about two decades. And so I decided on a day trip. Of course I had no hat and paid the price in sweat and heat but did not pay the 300 baht price wanted at the tourist stands in Ayudhya. Tickets to enter temple areas are usually 50 baht for foreigners, less of course for Thais. I tried to bargain in one and the woman in the booth said "Sure, pay me 100 baht." I guess I'll have to work on my negotiating skills. Even the woman in front of the men's room wouldn't budge on coming down from three baht!
Coming back on the train there were no seats until the stop before Don Muang. Believe me, standing on a packed train for an hour is a lot less fun than standing on a packed subway for 20 minutes. Still, no regrets. When I first went to Ayudhya in the 1960's and 70's, there were no ticket booths or tourists busses or souvenir stalls lined this way and that or well developed roads. How things do change. I do wish I still had my slides from the old days for before and after shots but I had to throw boxes of them out. Too expensive to move from New York to Bangkok. Anyway, if you have nothing better to do on a Sunday except read the local papers, take a one-and-a-half hour train trip to Ayudhya, 15 baht each way, lots of trains available. Official motorized tuk tuk guides at the station charge 200 baht for one hour and are well worth it. Bring a hat!
Of course, as you know, Ayudhya was described by foreign travelers from many countries as one of the most magnificent cities in the world at a time when much of Europe had nothing like it. Alas, the Burmese armies showed up and in 1767 destroyed the great city-state.
Leaving Bangkok 11:40 - 13:06
Returning 18:47 - 20:35
Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol
(The Great Temple of Auspicious Victory)
Wat Phra Sri San Phet
Wat Chai Wattaranaram
More on Ayudhya and Phaulkon (the Falcon) and Lopburi here: