Our next main destination was Chiang Mai, but being that it’s about 700 km away from Bangkok, we figured there would be some things to see along the way. First stop: Ayutthaya.
I had no idea what awaited us in Ayutthaya. Nathan mentioned something about ruins and I thought: “Cool”. It was a bit touristy around most parts but still a good adventure. Our hotel was conveniently located right on the river next to the ferry to get to the city. The town itself was easily walkable, but renting a bike was a good investment. For just 40 baht ($1.31 USD) we rented bikes for the day.
The ride would’ve been flat and easy if it weren’t for the saddle on my bike that wasn’t screwed in tightly so I was constantly slipping back or riding with a saddle up my butt. Not the best but it got me around town. We made it around to the following Wats:
- Wat Prat Mahathat
- Wat Thammikkrat
- Wat Suwandararam Ratchaworawlhan
- Wat Phra Si Samphet
I think we made it to a few others but Nathan had the map so I had no clue what we were looking at. Many of these places charged 50 baht as an entrance fee which I found rather annoying, but I guess its a tiny fee to have a look around these ancient ruins, some places founded in 1350.
After a long day of biking, watching the sunset in our riverside boathouse hotel was perfect. Exploring Ayutthaya was great, but I what I’ll remember most was our late night talks with a new friend, David.
David is originally English but transplanted himself in Australia a few years ago. Which is explains why I couldn’t quite place his accent. It’s completely morphed. Neither English or Aussie. Any way, he was a riot. Probably in his late 30’s or early 40’s, this man has seen quite a bit of the world. I’m not sure if there is any place he hasn’t been in the world. Well except Seattle apparently, so hopefully now that we’ve met he’ll make a visit out there sometime in the future. Truly a free spirit with nothing to tie him to the ground, David is an engaging, curious, wandering soul. He reminded me so much of my friend Zak back home, I wish they could meet!
Our talks covered all sorts of topics, and I found his stories so fascinating. I’m pretty sure if Thomas Kohnstamm could write “Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?”, David could write a book a hundred times more interesting, humorous, and worthy of a read. As soon as we parted ways from David at the train station and lined up for our train, I turned around to wave goodbye and could see David was already engrossed in another conversation with another traveler on the bench next to him. By the time we boarded, he was sitting side by side with his new friend. I laughed so hard at this sight. He’s more socialable than me! I wish I had taken a photo of this moment, but rushing onto the train prevented this.
Onward to more adventures!