Central Thailand (Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Bangkok)

Sukhothai (24/02/17)

As I explained in my last post, after crossing the border from Myanmar back to Thailand at Mae Sot, I got a Songthaew to the Mae Sot bus station. Here I booked a minivan to Sukhothai. The minivan was going to Phitsanolouk, but I’d get off a little earlier at Sukhothai, which was Thailand’s first capital city.

The minivan cost somewhere around 150 baht and took 2-3 hours to get to New Sukhothai. On arrival at the Sukhothai bus station, I got a motorbike taxi to my hostel in the centre of town for 50 baht.

‘New Sukhothai’ is where the town has been developed, with most of the accomodation, restaurants and shops. ‘Old Sukhothai’ refers to the Sukhothai historical park, where the ruins are located, with a few smaller shops/restaurants/guesthouses around the place.

I met three people in my dorm and we went out to dinner at the small night market together. But sensing we weren’t going to be the most compatible travel group, I called it an early night and in the morning made my way to the historical park alone with the old-new intercity ‘bus’ service (the buses are like flatbed trucks converted into long songthaews with timber framing in the back).

 

I rented a bicycle from a small shop here for about 50baht and explored the temples for a few hours.

 

That same morning, I had briefly looked into the timetable for the buses to Ayutthaya. Around midday, I checked the time on my phone and realised I could avoid waiting until late afternoon for a bus if I rushed back to the station immediately to get a bus at 1:30pm, so thats what I did.

I returned my bicycle, got the shuttle ‘bus’ back to New Sukhothai, grabbed my bag and started a fast walk towards the bus station hoping a motorbike taxi or tuk tuk would pick me up.

I got a tuk tuk after walking for two minutes, and arrived at the bus station right on departure time. In fact, the bus had left the platform, and was circling around the station to leave the compound. The staff ran out and stopped it for me on the other side. With my ticket in hand, i boarded the bus, having only just made it. For better or worse it was a VIP bus, really fancy with food, water and nice seats, but more than i wanted to pay for the 8 hour trip (350baht from memory).

Ayutthaya (25/02/17)

The bus from Sukhothai was actually heading to Bangkok, so as the only passenger getting off at Ayutthaya, they decided to only drop me off at the highway bus stop, quite a way from town. It was easy to find a motorbike taxi to take me the extra distance though.

I stayed at Early Bird Hostel, and after checking in went and got a cheap dinner at the night market, 10 or 15 minutes walk away.

The following morning, I was planning on hiring a bicycle and riding around to see the Ayuthaya ruins. I met Koh from Japan at breakfast and we decided to check out the ruins together.

 

At about 2pm Koh and I split up, he continued to cycle around town whilst I went back to the hostel to get my bag and catch a minivan to Bangkok. The minivans only cost 60 baht, and don’t have any luggage storage capacity – this isn’t a problem for most of the tourists who are in Ayutthaya on a day trip from Bangkok.

Because I had my big 70L backpack, the driver was telling me to pay double, as the bag would take up a seat on its own. I argued this on principle, thinking it would be managable between my legs, so he said if I could do that, I would only pay 60 baht total. Fair to say it was a very uncomfortable 1.5hr drive with my bags on my lap – in hindsight, paying the 60 baht was the way to go.

Bangkok (26/02/17)

From the bus terminal at Mo Chit in Bangkok, I split a tuk tuk with David from Brazil, and by chance we were both staying at the same hostel, Warm White Hostel near Khao San Rd.

This was my second time to Bangkok, the first time in 2013 I had an amazing time, so was planning to spend a week here this time, starting with three nights at Warm White Hostel.

Although I did check out Khao San Rd the first two nights, I actually had a couple of pretty quiet nights. When my friend Kyle arrived on the 28th, we had a slightly bigger night, meeting a few others at the hostel (including Koh from Ayutthaya again) and going out for drinks together. We also met up with a few people from Couchsurfing Hangouts as well.

Kyle and I moved to a triple room the next day at Siri Suvan, which was only a dollar or two more than the hostel, and pretty nice. We planned to stay for two more nights, and head to Koh Tao on the 3rd March.

On March 2nd, we met up with Tangmo and her friend Kevin. I met Tangmo in Busan, South Korea back in September 2016, and now that she was back in her native Thailand it was nice to catch up and have a local guide for the two remaining days. We parted ways at about 4pm on the 3td, with Tangmo and Kevin heading to Koh Lanta while Kyle and I would go to Koh Tao that night by bus.

 

 

 

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