Thailand Day 3 – Travel to Sukhothai

The third day in Thailand, December 29th, was mainly for moving from Ayutthaya to next destination Sukhothai. The reason I wanted to go to Sukhothai although it is not close to Ayutthaya or Bangkok was it is another World Heritage. Please see “Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns” in UNESCO’s website for the details.

It is located 400km away from Ayutthaya. I was wondering if I would take train again or bus. And I chose bus because I got to know train would not run on schedule at all from my experience of the previous day.

In the morning, I took a tuk-tuk to get to a bus station. Unfortunately, long distance buses to Sukhothai were fully booked because it was a busy season. So, I had to take a minivan instead.

Minivan accommodates 11 guests
Minivan accommodates 11 guests

I sit the end of the car. There were two women from Berin next to me and two Japanese guys in my front seats. Japanese guys thought I was a Chinese until I talked to them in Japanese because I chatted with Germans in English.

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From Ayutthaya to Sukhothai

It took about six hours to reach Sukhothai via Phitsanulok. The guest house, which I booked through HostelWorld.com in advance, was really nice as I read in reviews.  At Home Sukhothai has pretty wooden made house and great atmosphere. They even have big garden.

At Home Sukhothai cost only 450 bahts or $15

I didn’t have enough time to go to the old city, Sukhothai historic town, so walked around the new city for a few hours.

Market
Market
Early dinner was street stand
Early dinner was street stand

I took early dinner and strolled in the town again. It was hot outside like 30 to 35 degrees, but I definitely prefer hot to cold.

 

Many dogs and monks in the town
Many dogs and monks on the street

 

The second dinner was street food again
The second dinner was street food again

Continue to the fourth day in Sukhothai.

 

Thailand Day 2 – Ayutthaya

The second day was a fine day. Because it was a dry season in Thailand, all day were beautiful during my stay.

I woke up early and went to the station to get a train to Ayutthaya. Although it was in the morning, trains did not seem to run on schedule. Since Thai people do not speak English well, it was not easy to find right train for my destination. With a little anxiety, my train departed with two hours delay from the time table.

Hua Lamphong station
Hua Lamphong station
View from the train window. People live along the railway

I felt very long until getting to Ayutthaya. It was difficult for me to understand even train announcement of station name in Thai language. I asked a couple of people around me at the station which looked like Ayutthaya and got off there.

Ayutthaya is a kind of island city, which is surrounded by rivers. I got a ferry boat to the center of Ayutthaya.

The ferry boat across Mae Nam Pasak
The ferry boat across Mae Nam Pasak

As planned, I rented a bike and explored in the old city. I finally arrived at Historic City of Ayutthaya which is one of UNESCO world heritage site.

In front of the famous Wat. (Phra Sri Sanphet)
In front of the famous Wat. (Phra Sri Sanphet)
On the back of elephant
On the back of elephant

It was probably around 4PM to arrive to Japanese village which is a bit off the center of the city. There was no visitor other than me.

Japanese settlement. 1,500 people at maximum lived back in 17th century.
Japanese settlement. 1,500 people at maximum lived back in 17th century.
On the way back from Japanese village with my rent bike
On the way back from Japanese village with my rent bike

I got used to have foods at open stand by then. Pretty comfortable except for flies always flying around foods.

Dinner
Dinner

Next post will be the day 3. Go back to the day 1 while waiting.

Thailand Day 1 – Bangkok

My flight ticket to Bangkok was China Airlines, which cost only 630 US dollars although it was one of the busiest week. I flew on December 27 and came back on January 2 in new year. The ticket was the cheapest on Kayak.com and included one stop at Taipei on the way.

I arrived at Bangkok International airport, which is by the way also domestic airport, around 5 pm. Because this was the first time for me to visit to Thailand, I wasn’t sure what was the best way to get to the city. I chose train Airport Rail Link and it was very comfortable and fast enough.

The first stay was a budget guesthouse very near Hua Lamphong station. I booked it because I was going to take train early next morning. My room was located on the 5th or 6th floor, but there was no elevators. This was a view from my room.

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View from the room faced to the big street

 

Once I settled, I went to the station to see if I could get the train ticket for the next day and the ticket to Nam Tok I scheduled in the latter of this trip.

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Concourse of Hua Lamphong station. Monks were impressive.

Then I headed to Chinatown to get a quick dinner. At this time, I was still scared by the city atmosphere where I couldn’t understand anything because of Thai language.

Yaowarat Road in Chinatown was similar as Strip in Las Vegas somehow. It wasn’t so huge as LV, but very alive.

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Yaowarat Road

 

Thanks to a can of Thai beer and being tired by trip, I slept well the first night.

A Flashpacker’s 7 Days in Thailand

I think I graduated a backpacker and became a flashpacker with this travel in Thailand. What is a flashpacker? Let’s see how Wikipedia describes it:

Flashpacking is a neologism, a combination of flash, as in fancy, with backpacking, used to refer to an affluent backpacker. Flashpacking has an association of more disposable income while traveling and has been defined simply as backpacking with a bigger budget.

When I traveled in Spain in the end of 2010 and in Italy summer 2008, they were not real backpacking, but not flashpacking either. The reason why I think so is I stayed dorms a couple of times while took a flight domestic in each country to save time to transport to next destination.

However, I didn’t choose dorms for these six nights in Thailand. This does not bring me new friends, but comfortable night and keep energy for traveling.

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Mixed transportation, train, minivan and flight
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Dogs and monks in Sukhothai
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Thailand-Burma Railway
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Slop toward Buddha on the hill in Sukhothai

Next post is the day 1 in Thailand. Stay tuned.