So yes, we were scammed at the floating market by our cabbie, nevertheless, we’ve outsmarted him by sticking to our original plans on heading to Ayutthaya Historical Park afterwards. It was 2.5 hours of just relaxing on his cab while he endured the heavy traffic.
|I'll do more research next time, but no, haha.|
After our duped out Damnoen Saduak Floating Market trip, which turned out to be fun by the way, we headed 90 km. north of Bangkok (170 km. away from the floating market) to the old capital of Thailand.
Phra Si Nakhon Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and was destroyed in 1767 during the Burmese siege. The scattered remains of the former capital of a strong Southeast Asian empire are still there (temples, pagodas, statues) making it a significant stop while you’re in Bangkok. The mystical appeal of Ayutthaya drives tourists all around the world to visit it.
Ayutthaya was so charming at first sight. I couldn't take my eyes off the nice ruins scattered around. And we were so happy to know that it was still open at four in the afternoon (contrary to what our cabbie told us that it will be closed, maybe it’s part of his scheme to not bring us there as planned earlier).
There were so many sights to see that we just asked him to bring us to any of the Wats around. Tuk tuks, elephants and bicycles dominated the old city. It’s surrounded with canals making it look like a city on an island. The major ruins are collecting entrance fees for like 50 Baht (US$ 1.5) per person, the minor ones are free of charge.
|The "boss" of this trip|
First stop was the Wat Maha That / Wat Mahathat. We paid the entrance fee and checked out what’s inside it. It was late in the afternoon so tourists were nowhere; we practically owned the whole place.
There were ruins of an old Buddhist monastery (where Buddha’s relics were enshrined). It also used to be the seat of the Supreme Patriarch or leader of the Thai Buddhist monks.
A head of Buddha surrounded with roots of a humongous tree was the highlight of the visit. It reminded me of the Ta Phrom temple in Cambodia where a Buddha was also embedded on some roots.
|Entangled but still at peace|
We got to check out more temples on our way out of the historical park but it was rather swift. We would ask our cabbie to drop us off along the roads if there was something nice to look at. We actually just stayed inside the park for an hour and a half which felt so fleeting. But then again, we were all happy to include it on our day’s trip.
We were dropped off at our hotel in Bangkok before sundown. We paid the agreed rate of 1,700 Baht (US$ 52) for the whole day affair. I could just imagine the stress (absorbing the passengers' rage) he has to go through every day with that kind of job. Well, scammed or not, we were all too elated to be bothered. We’re just all so thankful that we got to experience Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Ayutthaya Historical Park that day.
Next time, I’ll book a Manila-Bangkok flight and go directly to Ayutthaya for three days or so and just walk or bike around this old city, someday.
Ayutthaya National Park
Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand