Monday, 21 January 2019

Cycling Around The Ruins Of Ayutthaya

I started my travels in Bangkok, and knew I had to make my way to Chiang Mai for a flight. There is a sleeper train that goes directly from one to the other, but I decided to look up a few places in central Thailand that I could visit in-between.

Just an hour north of Bangkok is the beautiful city of Ayutthaya. It used to be the capital of Siam from 1350 until the Burmese came in 1767. The city is full of the ruins of the beautiful temples that were built during this thriving time.

Nowadays they are 50 THB to get in. Or you can buy a pass that lets you go into 6 locations for 250 THB. They sell them at all of the ticket offices and you just get them stamped at each one you go to. I decided to get a pass. 

The guy at my hostel circled the ones he thinks are the best, so I made my way to as many of them as possible. The ones he recommended included are numbered on the tourist maps available in a lot of places are 15 (Wat Maha That), 16 (Wat Ratchanurana), 9 (Viham Phra Mongkhon Bophit), 10 (Wat Phra Si Sanphet), 34 (Chedi Sri Suriyothai), 29 (Wat Phutthai Sawan), 27 (Wat Chaiwatthanaram) and 47 (Wat Phanan Choeng).

Most of them reside in the historical park. You can walk from one to the other, but that would take a bit of time. Or maybe you could take tuk tuks or mopeds. But one of the best ways to get around is by bicycle. 

Most hostels have bikes available to rent, mine did for about 50 THB a day. Or, if you’re just visiting for the day from Bangkok, then as soon as you cross the river from the train station there are plenty of places hiring them out. 

In all honesty I was a little apprehensive to get on a bike and cycle around the streets in a foreign country. I used to cycle everywhere when I was a kid, but the last time I had got on a bike as an adult I was a little (lot) wobbly.

But I had come on my travels to try new experiences and be braver, so I decided to brush away the familiar feelings of anxiousness and worry and hop on a bike. And I am soglad I did it. 

Apart from a few busy roads I ended up on when I cycled further afield, the roads were mostly quiet and slow paced. The people using the roads are used to navigating around cyclist, all the cars gave me a wide berth. Also, there are places to lock up your bike at every location, so you can hop off and go walk around inside without having to worry.  

In the sweltering heat that can fall upon Ayutthaya, it was a welcome relief to build up a breeze cycling around the park. 


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