Backpacking Thailand: Into the soulful city of Ayutthaya

I fell in love with Ayutthaya from the moment I stepped out of the train and onto its soil.  While there were a lot of tuktuk drivers coming on to us, asking if we wanted a ride, I didn’t feel bothered.  I found it as their way of providing support to its tourists and the visitors of their land.

In no time, we found our ride and started our journey into the soulful city of Ayutthaya.  If you wish to experience it the same way as we did, here’s a glimpse.  Enjoy! :)

Relax and rejuvenate:  Check in at Baan Thai House Ayutthaya

Since Ayutthaya is also a famous tourist spot, the place offers a lot of accommodation options for those who want to visit it.  We could’ve opted for a cheaper hotel, to be honest.  But, because we initially planned to stay in Ayutthaya for only a night, we all agreed to splurge a little.  Just a little.  And, that choice was made when we came across this precious gem in Ayutthaya, Baan Thai House Ayutthaya.

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Our room was huge, with very comfortable beds.  It allowed us to have restful sleeps as we prepared for the following day.  Roaming around the place was also very relaxing – a retreat in itself.  We enjoyed the place so much that we decided to ditch our one night in Bangkok and extend our stay at Baan Thai House Ayutthaya.  Compared to the stress that we would have experienced in Nasa Vegas Bangkok?  Ahh, it was definitely all worth the extra money we spent. :)

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Do it differently:  Take a boat ride to explore temples

After enjoying our lovely spot in Baan Thai House Ayutthaya, our first agenda for this trip was to visit the lovely temples through a boat ride, which our accommodating hosts booked for us.  We were picked up by a tuktuk and brought to the dock.

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

It was quite an interesting way to explore the place, a different perspective from when you view Ayutthaya on land.  The water was calm as was our trip.  We barely talked the entire time, despite our excitement.  I guess we all just immersed in the beauty and tranquility that this experience provided us.  We were all in the moment.  The best way of experiencing a place, no doubt.

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

We stopped by several temples along the way.  All a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Thailand.  Pardon the selfies – we wanted to take a piece of Ayutthaya, Thailand, with us through these pictures!

Wat Phanan Choeng

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Wat Phuttai Sawan

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Eat like a local:  Food trip at the night market

After our boat trip ended, we visited one of Ayutthaya’s night markets.  With a variety of food options, you will definitely have a fill of their food culture.  Helen, Justine and I enjoyed their freshly-made sushis!

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

I, however, would like to warn you to make sure that the food that you’re purchasing passes your cleanliness test.  We were eyeing some grilled food at one of the stalls but decided against it after we saw insects on top of the food being sold.  When we brought this to the attention of the vendor, he just smiled at us, as if it was normal. :|

Immerse in their culture:  Hire Mr. Pok as your guide

The following day, we were off to what resulted as an educational tour around Ayutthaya’s main temples.  Prior to getting to Ayutthaya, we requested for a guide that Baan Thai House can recommend.  They booked us a day with Mr. Pok.  And, we could all say that every penny we spent to be toured around by Mr. Pok was worth it.

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Mr. Pok was a very informative guide.  Before letting us roam around the temples he brought us to, he would share with us interesting information about the history of which.  He would let us sit, like his students, as he explained what are the different notable facts about the temples.  You could see his enthusiasm and passion in his chosen field.  We were very blessed to have met him and to have been toured around Ayutthaya by him. :)

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Wat Mahathat

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Wat Na Phramen

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

St. Joseph Cathedral

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Be adventurous:  Take their bikes for a ride

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

Going home:  Khaawp Khoon kha, Thailand!

As Justine has already left the day prior, it was only Helen and I on our way back to Bangkok.  We didn’t take the train this time.  Baan Thai House Ayutthaya booked a tuktuk for us to bring us to the van station, where we could get a ride to Bangkok.  Because my backpack had a life of its own, we also booked an extra seat for it.

While waiting for the van to leave, we met this cute little girl with his father.  She seemed quite interested in us because we were speaking in English and not in Thai – when we could be mistaken for someone who is from their country!  Haha!

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015

From the time we left Ayutthaya, it was quite a hazy and tiring trip for me – I had a backache when I got back to Manila haha.  After the van ride, we took the train to Makassan City Air Terminal and then to Suvarnabhumi Airport.  Since Helen will be staying for another night in Bangkok, we had to depart at at Ramkhamaeng Station, where Nasa Vegas was linked to.  She headed back to Nasa Vegas where she would be spending one night before going back to Manila and I just proceeded with my trip to Suvarnabhumi Airport, where I would be taking the plane back to Manila.

While tiring – with my big backpack and all the walking – it was indeed an enjoyable trip for me.  Something that I will definitely do again in the future.  I learned that I can go on a trip by myself.  I learned that I can interact with other people from different nationalities, without a friend assisting me to make a connection, and totally rock it.  I learned that I also have my limits and still be able to go back to my center and be in the moment, despite the heat and tiredness.  Khaawp Khoon kha, Thailand, for all the warm memories.  You, as always, have been very generous and accommodating.

And, while I enjoyed traveling alone, I also loved that I got to spend my last few days in Thailand with Justine and Helen.  So, to my awesome travel buddies – thank you for your love and generosity.  I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to explore and experience this part of the world with you.  ‘Til the next plane ride, boat ride, train ride, temple, mountain, beach, and sunset to experience!  I love you!

© Monica Manuel | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand | September 2015



Liked what you read?  Share the love!  Follow See ya, Monica on social media to get updates on my recent travels, with tips and a lot of shares on what I got during my trips.  Plus, some barely edited photos to give you the most authentic feel of the place. (I do not know how to use Photoshop, and what I can only do are cropping, adjusting brightness and colors the way I remember it):

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Thank you! And, in whatever space you’re in now, I hope that you get something from reading my articles.

See ya,
Monica

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