"Grand ol' Ayutthaya" Ayuthaya Off The Beaten Path Tip by PandawitchElphie
Ayuthaya Off The Beaten Path: 27 reviews and 27 photos
Years ago, I spotted a picture on the internet. Of a head stuck in the middle of a tree. And the image had forever burnt itself in my mind. A bit of research gave me it’s location. Ayuthaya, Thailand. I’ve been to Thailand before… but always to Bangkok. I was that near?!? And so, on another trip to Bangkok, I made plans to split from my group to explore Ayuthaya on my own.
And so, hardly thinking of any danger, I set out with only my handwritten directions, my trusty camera and my little tripod. From the MRT, I got off at Victory Monument and took one of the white vans heading to Ayuthaya. It was a bit of a struggle finding out which van to take as no one spoke English and the signs were in their local alphabet. I got by with using the words “Ayuthaya” “old palace” and ended up sketching a tree with a head on it. Ah! They understood. I had to wait until the van got full before we left the station…but after 20 mins, we were off and I settled in for an hours ride to Ayuthaya.
Being alone, and travelling for the first time without any companions in a non-english speaking place, I again had to struggle. I can’t fall asleep! And yet, try as I might, my eyes would close and I probably took a 20min unforeseen nap in the van—clutching my things tightly to my chest. I woke up when the lady next to me poked me in the arm. And to my alarm, the driver kept telling me to get off! They opened the van door and made me get down. Coming from sleep, I was groggy and stumbled out of the van. Was I there?
I found myself on the sidewalk of a highway. No ruins to be seen.! Where was I?
I did spot a couple of Tuk-tuks and after a stop-and-start conversation in halting English, I gathered they were there, waiting for tourists like me. I hired one TukTuk to take me around the ruins for the day—I was able to bargain for 600baht for the entire afternoon.
The one nice thing about these TukTuks is that they’re used to tourists. My TukTuk driver had a handful of postcards which he fanned out to me. He asked me, using sign language, to point out where I wanted to go. So I plucked cards out of his hands and handed back to him the different ruins I wanted to see. Nodding and smiling, he arranged them in order and again, in sign, basically showed me we will go to each place in the order he placed them. Logistics I suppose?
There started my beautiful journey thru the ruins of Ayutthaya. I went from spot to spot, basically hugging myself in silent glee. With no one with me, I didn’t have to worry about the fact my companion might be bored as I took my time taking my pictures and clambering up the ruins to get a better view.
It was the peak of the afternoon and my TukTuk driver kindly lent me his pink floral umbrella. So I walked along… exploring. Making the acquaintance of the grand ol’ Ayuthaya ruins.
This was the ol' world and I finally got to visit and pay my respects. The entire time, regardless if it was boiling hot... I was in silent awe. I feel like I didn't speak the entire time I was there. And I didn't have to. The ruins were talking to me...and I to them.
The place was beautiful in it's ruined grandness. So if you get to go to Bangkok... take the time to visit. THIS place is worth more than any of those temples within the city. If you make me choose between the gold of a buddha statue versus the texture of rough red brick... I pick brick.
TIP: Buy water. Keep yourself hydrated. And if possible, bring a hat. There’s hardly any shade to be had.
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