Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thailand: (Temple Biking) Extreme Biking Experience Around The Old Capital, Ayutthaya



"Because for a moment, traveling makes me forget about my present reality and succumbs me to a new world where my imagination becomes the reality." -gottabekara

If you are planning a trip to Bangkok, and have a day to spare plus you want to travel cheap. I suggest you plan a day trip to Ayutthaya. If you love culture, adventure and a not so crowded place, you might wanna consider this IT. 


Some Itsy Bitsy Facts: Ayutthaya is the Old Capital of Thailand, formerly called Siam. It was a powerful Kingdom before it was totally destroyed by the Burmese during the 18th Century. It is also considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Definitely a place with a glorious past that is very rich in culture.  

While exploring the place it felt like i was caught in a time warp. A feeling where past is intertwined with the present. An incredible story of Power, Greatness and Fall, the ruins say it all. 


Conversion: 

1 US dollar = 30.6370 Thai baht

1 Thai baht = 1.3484 Philippine pesos


How to get there: There are a lot of transportation options how to get to Ayutthaya. You can ride a bus, taxi or a train. We opted for the latter, because of 3 reasons:  Experience a local train ride, it is the cheapest and fastest way. 

We arrived early at the Hualamphong Railway Station (Bangkok Railway Station, the Main) to avoid rush hour (7:am-10am). We rode a taxi from our hotel located in Pratunam going to the Train Station, it took us only 15mins (cost: 80baht/2pax). One way train ride costs 20 baht each (3rd class Seat). 
Below are more pictures and stories about our adventure:


Hualamphong Train Station

(Chug-uh-Chug-uh Choo-choo) Inside The Train Station
Inside the 3rd Class Train Ride. 
Many Locals and Tourist ride in the train. Not bad for a 1.5hrs travel. So many things to see during the entire ride. I suggest you sit near the window side so you can enjoy the scenery and also see the other "face" of Bangkok. 


Upon arrival, we (my bestfriend and I) decided to rent a bike to explore the city for some adventure and not to mention how cheap it is. It costs only 20baht each/ full day. 

A picture with Ms. Jintana, a local and owner of the shop. She can speak English (which is really helpful, because only few Thai people speak/understand English) and can give you some helpful pointers on your Temple Biking Adventure. Don't forget to ask for a Handy Dandy Map. 

Our Ride for the Day!
Biking is definitely LalalaLove. The cheapest way to tour around the place. Get ready for some Adrenaline Rush! haha

BUT Waaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiit....

Unexpected Events to Consider: 

1. If you decide to go biking, you must be ready to bike on these roads and say hello to your Road pals. You will encounter Killer trucks and buses, 8 lane roads and traffic counter flows on some routes. Thank God we survived them safely, knowing we had no gears. 


2. If you're coming from the train station, you need to cross a small river in order to get to the Historic Ayutthaya. You have an option to rent a bike near the Train Station or after crossing the river. We chose to rent a bike near the Train Station so we can still visit the Elephant Village before going back home, which is at the side of the Train Station. But the risk is, you have to carry the Bike with you when you ride the Small boat. The Bike is heavy and you have to take a few steps going down/up the boat area. Fare: 5baht person only; 6baht with bicycle. We were just lucky we encountered very friendly tourists and locals on our way to Ayutthaya and back home. 

That "Princess Feeling", away from Home. The Locals were too nice, or must i say Everyone! Very Thankful, yet another priceless moment. 
"Kob Kuhn Ka" (Thank you, you can also add "-Ka" used by women "-Krub" used by men, to give respect.) 


So if you think you can handle the challenge, welcome to my World...

Thai Architecture: Old Houses and Quarters
Some scenes you'll see along the way.

Temples, temples, temples everywhere...
Know the Rules: Respect!

Wat Mahathat Temple (Temple of Great Relic): A place where you can see the ruins of the "Beheaded Buddhas" and "Buddha Head in A Tree". It is located at the heart of the City. 







Headless Buddhas



Buddha Head in a Tree.




Wat Na Phramen: It is said to be the only temple left intact during attack of the Burmese in Ayutthaya. 



Phra Chedi Suriyothai: It is a memorial and a tribute to Thailand's Heroine (former Queen). It is situated near the river banks, opposite side of the Wat Na Phramen.
Wat Thammikarat: A Metal Buddha Head on a Lotus Flower

This temple really caught my attention and melted my heart. It is a "Bridal Home" turned into Temple. According to the legend, a father built this for his daughter after she eloped against his will. He planned on giving this to her and with the hope that she'll go home. The father waited but his daughter never came back and it was then converted to a Temple. 

"Say a little prayer, whatever your heart desires"
Offerings: Yellow flowers and Incense sticks (top); 
Lotus flower (bottom)


Overall Costs: 780 Baht/2 pax 
(Inclusive of fares BKK-Ayutthaya 2-way; Bike Rentals, Food; Entrance fees)

This was my second Biking Experience away from Home, but it felt like a "FIRST" again. Yet another priceless memory to cherish and linger on. A new story, a new adventure, a new achievement, a new discovery about self. We can never be too wise, every day is a learning experience. Every adventure is a way to make self a better person. A different culture, a different lesson, a different experience, and a different view on life. I am thankful, that everyday I am given enough courage to overcome the fear inside me, which gives me more room for Self Discovery. 


Another Tiring but all Worth It Extreme Experience. It's definitely a Wrap! Looking forward for moooore!  

I travel not for luxury, I travel for Self Discovery. 
Traveling need not be Grand, Because it's the Simple Things that Matter. 
Travel Young, Feed and Open your Mind to Endless Possibilities, Satisfy your Curious Soul. You'll never know what life has to offer... 

2 comments:

Worthy Habla said...

Waah! nice one aira! Now I want to go there myself! :D

Kara said...

Pack your Bags and GO! Hahaha. it's definitely a MUST try adventure! πŸ’ΌπŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ™πŸ‘£