Ayutthaya is a smallish town on the outskirts of Bangkok. The only reason I came here was because it was recommended by a French guy I met in Bangkok. I ended up staying here for 2 nights, mostly due to F.O.M.O.(fear of missing out) but as always it worked out ok. 🙂
I arrived here by minibus from bangkok. The ride was nice enough as the bus was big enough and had airconditioning. While I was waiting for the bus I bought some strawberries from a street vendor. She coated them with what I thought was sugar and handed them to me. It turns out that it was sugar and salt together! I have never had salty strawberries but it was not bad! I don’t know if I’d have them again back home but for a taste it was surprising and worked well.
I was planning on staying at what I thought was a guesthouse called Tony’s place. When I got there at 1pm they were already fully booked so I went across the road to the U.P. Inn. The room I got was lovely and cheap and I should have stayed there for both my nights but I didn’t.
At this time I was starting to get affected by something that sometimes happens when you travel alone. It’s a terrible thing called loneliness. I was enjoying my stay in the country but it had been 3 days since I had spoken to anyone and I was feeling rather down in the dumps. When you feel like this you tend to make stupid decisions based on trying to get to the place where you think you’ll meet people. In that frame of mind I went and booked a room at Tony’s place for twice the money of the place I was staying. I didn’t break the bank but I could have done without it.
I then rented a bike and went on a small tour around town to see the major ruins. The ruins were nice but the truth is that they are in the middle of a city and most are currently under construction. Though it may seem weird, they are rebuilding many of the ruins to make them look more attractive. I think they are ruining the charm of the 13th century buildings by plastering them over with new pieces but to each their own.
I headed back to town on my bike and went back to my hostel to rest a bit. As I said before, I was not exactly my cheerful self so I decided to wander around town to see if I could cheer myself up. I had a bit of dinner and kept my eyes open for potential groups I could join but all I could see where couples and families. I was starting to really regret booking a second night in this town and got sadder and sadder. After dinner I decided that this needed to stop and I sat down at a table of strangers and asked if I could join them. That’s how I met my travel buddy for the next day and it was a great move.
The 2 guys I met were from Quebec so I spent the evening and most of next day speaking in French. Seem like I need to travel to Asia to speak French! 🙂 We went for another bite to eat and then had a few beers in town . There was little night life and we ended up sitting at a closed bar and buying beers from the shop across the road. We were then joined by another random French man whose only joy in life seemed to be to disagree with everything anyone said. He was a miserable man and kind of killed our buzz.
I agreed to meet Antoine the next day in front of my new hotel after I’d checked in so we could rent some bikes and go see some more ruins. It all went smoothly and I was shown to my new room which was definitely not worth twice the money of my previous place. We proceeded to bike all around town (over 20kms) in the midday heat. Suffice it to say that it was gruelling. I overheated at a certain point and had to pour loads of cold water over my head to cool down.
When we were visiting one monument we ran into busloads of Thai students that had come to see the monument in airconditioned buses. The looks they gave us reminded me of how I used to look at German tourists when I’d see them sweating in the midday heat in Madrid. To think that now I’m the stupid tourist!
After biking to the middle of nowhere to see a supposed Portuguese village, we called it a day and took a ferry back to town and returned our bikes. We headed to the local market for dinner and then parted ways as Antoine had to work and I wanted to update the blog. I booked an early morning bus to Sukhothai at the hostel and had a free dinner on the house as I had paid for breakfast but was leaving before breakfast was open.
The rest of the night was spent having beers with Antoine and talking about politics, acting, travelling and many other things. Overall a great night!