The Magnificent Ruins At Ayutthaya

Day 2 – July 28, 2011

How to get to Ayutthaya from Bang Pa-In Summer Palace?

Right after my visit to Wat Niwet, I went back to the entrance of Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. The reason was to find something to take me to Ayutthaya. But one thing I realized at that moment, there was no public transportation whatsoever around that place. Gosh! I was a bit anxious then. Finally, I decided to enter Bang Pa-In Summer Palace once again. Well, of course, not to re-enter that palace for one more time, but to ask the officers around there on how to get to Ayutthaya.

Finally, one officer (with extremely limited English) who seemed to be reliable enough to help me, suggested a motor-taxi. But, the problem is, I didn’t see any motor-taxi around. Well, turned out, he made a phone call first to his friend who, in my assumption, is the driver of the motor-taxi. While waiting, I negotiated the fare and he offered 20 Baht which I directly agreed at that time (because I didn’t see any other choice and 20 Baht seems to be making sense).

And then, there it was, my motor-taxi! Surprisingly, he (in my wild guess) is another Bang Pa-In Summer Palace’s officer (from his uniform) and not really someone who works as motor-taxi’s driver. His English was even worse than the first officer. But, that was fine as long as he knew my destination.

After 5-10 minutes ride, what I saw in front of me gave a little bit shock. I thought he was about to take me directly to Ayutthaya. But how wrong I was at that time. The view in front of me was Bang Pa-In train station from where I arrived and headed to the summer palace that morning.

Yeah, turned out I had to take the train to Ayutthaya. The fare? Only 3 Baht!!! Super duper affordable!

What to see in Ayutthaya?

To show you what to see in Ayutthaya, these pictures below will answer the question better:

I was at Bang Pa-In station once more. In 15-minutes, the train to Ayutthaya would arrive. The train system in Thailand is not disappointing at all.
Now, my train was about to arrive. Yay!

When I got in the train, I realized one thing: I didn’t have any map of Ayutthaya with me 😦 Oh, well! But fortunately there was this kind old woman who tried to help me to get to Ayutthaya. She couldn’t speak English at all and we communicate with what I considered sign language. She showed me where to stop and where to get the boat (4 Baht) to cross the river (I didn’t even know I have to cross the river) if I wanted to arrive at the city of Ayutthaya. When I felt that her kindness was more than enough, I told her I’d go separate way from her and decided to stop at 7Eleven and bought some drinks. I asked the cashier about map to Ayutthaya but he told me to go to the police station to get it *nah, I thought that is too much*. So, I decided to find my lunch first.

I chose KFC to have my lunch and picked some local menu for 85 Baht. It was quite delicious. The reason I chose to eat at KFC is the hope that KFC’s employees can speak English more fluently and help me find Wat Mahathat and Wat Ratchaburana. Well, well, well, was I not disappointed by my own expectation. None of them could speak sufficient English to guide me to my destination. So, I asked them to draw some rough map to where I was heading and their map did help me out!

After I had enough confidence that I’d be able to reach the place by foot, I started the long HOT trip to Wat Mahatmat. Several times, I was approached by songthaew’s driver who offered his service to take me to some other place and said that trip to Wat Mahatmat will take three-hours. He also added the fact that it was damn HOT that day! I was almost allured to get to his songthaew just because of the given fact *thank God I was not, that’s just another prank!* After 30-minutes long HOT walk, I finally saw what appears to be Wat Ratchaburana.

I finally arrived at Wat Ratchaburana! Phew ... The entrance fee is 50 Baht
One of the Sukhothai-style pointed chedis! The worn out white color is now accompanied by the chocolate-orange-ish color of the bricks.
It was really hot that day. No wonder, it was 12 PM. This picture perfectly said how shiny the sun at that time. I don't know what the name of the statue but it is one of the (complete) statue worth-photographed.
Door to get inside the prang. You can see a little exhibition with very poor lighting and extremely smelly room. I couldn't stand the smell, so I left as soon as I got in. There's also stairs heading down inside the prang, but I thought it was too risky to go down there so I just skipped it. But I stood in front of the window to take the previous photograph.
Another view of Wat Ratchaburana from the top of the prang.
Okay, this is the third photograph I took from the top. But here, you can see Wat Mahathat, my next destination.
The prang is now the nest for some birds and home for unknown plants. No wonder some people call this area as Ayutthaya ruins.
Though my legs hurt and the weather was crazy hot, the beauty of the ruins satisfied my cultural thirst.
This Buddha statue is somehow unique. The body is half-cut perfectly, and of course, it's headless already. You can find many of these around this wat.
The top of the prang.
More carvings to see in the prang. I didn't spend too much time observing the carvings there, but I am happy enough to see them from this photograph.
This is the view that took my breath away. I don't know why, but this grand ruins with the its big prang behind it gave me certain amazement. I guess you have to be there by yourself to truly understand what I said.

Next destination : Wat Phra Mahatmat! (Entrance fee: 50 Baht)

I was told that this Buddha head surrounded by a tree is the most frequent photographed single object in Thailand.
I do wonder how the head of Buddha fit in this growing tree. And the tree itself,is also unique with random roots formed its trunk.
The big wall that floats a question in my head, what is that actually?
You can see large crumbling stupas around and also some remains of prangs and chedis in various shapes.
Rows of headless Buddha statues are arranged neatly right beside the wall.
This Buddha statue quite stands out amidst the ruins. I really suggest you visit this place whether in the morning or in the afternoon. It will give you better lighting and less heat, of course.
On my way out, I saw this awkwardly arranged small stones. It's quite funny actually.
Finally, I accomplished my journey to Ayutthaya and this street sign of Naresuan Road with super blue sky concluded the exciting trip to Ayutthaya!

In my next post, I will give you a little hint of how to find a minivan that can take you to Victory Monument in Bangkok. So, until next post!

Au revoir!


8 thoughts on “The Magnificent Ruins At Ayutthaya

  1. The Buddha inside the tree is rather intriguing!
    I’m quite amazed to hear that hardly anyone speaks english’s quite odd considering it’s such a touristy place.

    1. Well, at that time, I think I just stumbled upon wrong locals (but at least the first local understood what I meant and asked). However, once I got to Bang Pa-In station, I met one of the locals who was so talkative and nice. And his English is good too.
      If you are going to visit Bangkok and have enough time, just take a little trip to the north and visit Ayutthaya.

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