Ayutthaya is most well known for its historical ruins, it is actually a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. I did explore several of the main ruins sites over several days and took many pictures (good ones hopefully) in hopes of capturing the beauty of these sites. The city itself is fairly small and quite easy to get around. I would definitely recommend though that you rent a scooter or pedal bike to do so to save yourself some energy as it was quite hot and clear sky's when I was there, the sun really kicks your ass when you are a Canadian from Alberta not used to 35°C (95°F) temperatures with 70-80% humidity. One thing you wont generally read about in Ayutthaya is the insane amount of stray dogs, or as Hayley cleverly named them ... Demon Dogs. They are EVERYWHERE around the town and usually in packs of 3 to 5. They are fairly docile during the day due to the heat, but can become a bit more intimidating in the evenings when the temperatures cool off. I generally found that if you just ignore them and walk past they wont approach you very often. In the evenings our small newly formed group usually ended up on the "bar street" of Ayutthaya which is located on a side street just off of the main street of Naresuan Rd. There you will find a variety of places for food, drink, and live entertainment. We frequently could be found at Tony's Place or Street Lamp. You will find live music each night at Street Lamp which was one of the main draws for us. The first night was a classic rock cover band and they absolutely killed every song they kicked out. From Clapton to AC/DC to Led Zeppelin, they were honestly better than most cover bands I have seen back in Calgary. The second night I was blown away by a younger band who covered the likes of Korn, Metallica, System of a Down and more ... seriously?! I never would have expected to hear the likes of those bands while travelling SE Asia, not to mention extremely well done as well. I quite enjoyed my time in Ayutthaya and would definitely recommend anyone heading north from Bangkok make a stop for 2 or 3 nights (depending on your available travel time) and explore the city.
Next up was my 8 hour first class train ticket from Lop Buri to Chiang Mai. For 560 baht (about $20 CAD) I had a very comfortable seat in the air conditioned car. This train was also late ... shocking, but I was pretty used to that at this point and really I dont have to be anywhere for several months. The downside, as I found out by the time I reached Chiang Mai was that it took an additional 2 hours making it just over 10 hours of sitting on a train. There is an alternitive night train option where you can get a sleeper unit which seems to be a very popular option. Oh, and something to note for anyone planning on taking an air conditioned train north from Bangkok be sure to pack some warm layers as once the sun goes down it gets incredibility cold on the train from the AC. I mounted my GoPro with a Ram Systems suction cup mount (I picked up my GoPro mounts based on a review from Expert Vagabond, a travel blogger I follow) to the train window and took several time lapse videos during the trip up north, While I haven't had time to review the videos/timelapse at this point I'm hoping to have some decent footage to work with once I return home.
My next post will contain content from my time in Chiang Mai and Pai.
Cheers for following along!