My friend and I awakened and took a local bus to the Rangsit Market area, where we had a breakfast of hearty noodle soup and then hopped in a van that was heading toward Ayutthaya, Thailand’s original capital city that today hosts acres of beautiful ruins that date back to the year 1351. Definitely the oldest place I’ve ever been! We had to wait about 20 minutes for others to join us in the van before we left and it was a slow hour+ ride with lots of stops but not bad to go such a far distance for only 14 baht.
When we arrived in the town of Ayutthaya, we hopped on motorbike taxis and took a short ride to the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the site of the ruins. I saw one of the most beautiful signs ever at the entrance: “Free Today!” Apparently it was an official but not widely celebrated Thai holiday so lucky us! We spent an hour walking around and climbing up and down various ruins, found a Buddha head in a tree and a variety of Buddha statues, and even saw a few gigantic Asian Water Monitors casually hanging out in a pond. We got dessert – sticky rice in banana leaves and coconut ice cream topped with peanuts and mango. I don’t typically like coconut or most coconut-flavored things but boy did I fall in love with coconut ice cream in Thailand! So delicious & refreshing and usually only 20-30 baht for a big scoop.
We walked through the downtown area of Ayutthaya for a few minutes and then took a van back to Rangsit, where we transferred to a city bus that took us on an hour-long journey through Bangkok rush hour to Lebua Tower in search of the famous rooftop Sky Bar. When we arrived at the top, we were (unknowingly) ushered into Distil, a smaller bar one floor above and around the corner from Sky Bar that provides a great view of the creepy never-finished Sathorn Unique Tower. Since we arrived right at their opening time of 4pm, we got a great seat overlooking the river and ordered expensive non-alcoholic drinks (a sweet fruit concoction and a sparkling water – much cheaper than the alcohol) that were actually quite delicious. (Tip: for either of these bars, it’s important to arrive at opening time so you can get a seat as they fill up quickly.) Our adorably sweet gay waiter took plenty of photos of us and kept replenishing our supply of complimentary pistachios. We then discovered a staircase to the real Sky Bar and were amazed at the even more incredible view there – the round bar and dome make for an unbelievable environment. If you’re looking to splurge, there’s an expensive restaurant called Sirocco right next to Sky Bar but I suggest just getting a drink since there’s significantly cheaper and better food all over on the ground.
We then took the SkyTrain to my Couchsurfing host’s apartment for a hearty traditional Filipino meal and spent the night socializing with fellow Couchsurfers from Israel, Chile, Ukraine, and the Philippines.
Click here to go on to my Chiang Mai Blog as I attend an epic and FREE ladyboy show and explore the Old City.
Click here to go on to my Bangkok Day 3 Blog where I walk through their incredible Chinatown and check out Unicorn Cafe.
Click here for a travel guide to Bangkok outlining cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to see, eat, and drink.
For another great Ayutthaya blog post with tons of photos, click here!