Saturday, 16 September 2017

5th Week: Weekend in Ayutthaya

Sawadii ka, everyone!

On the fifth weekend we decided to go to Ayutthaya again. In case you've read the "Siam Culture" post, you'd know, that we've been there in the first week; but only for a day. Sunday, a coordinator, said that there would be a festival on Saturday and, since we've only seen 2 monuments last time, we wanted to go and visit more.


Saturday 

On Saturday we left at 11am. Phil drove us to the bus station, helped us get tickets and told us how and when to come back on Sunday. 

After an hour, the bus stopped in the middle of the Asian Highway where our bus station was supposed to be.
There was some sort of wooden cabin there but it didn't look like a bus station at all. We asked a guy if we could get a taxi somehow to the city center and he said, he'd organise one. Our "taxi" was a pick up truck where we had to sit on the truck bed without anything. I'm not sure if that was safe but it was an interesting experience, we survived and actually got to the center.

There we got lunch in a small café and tried to figure out where exactly we were and how we could get to our hostel. We found a way thanks to Google maps and walked there for 15 minutes. We eventually found it and checked in.
Thankfully the room was air-conditioned and the beds comfortable. We stayed a bit in the room until we decided to look for the festival. 


First we went to a monument, though, where we could walk lots of stair ways and had a pretty decent view of the area.

There also was some kind of bunker we went in but there was nothing in there and I started to get claustrophobic so we left the bunker and went to see the rest of the monument. 

Later we started to research the festival but couldn't find anything. We thought we still remembered the place it should be on, from the culture week and started walking in one direction.

After a couple of minutes we figured, that it was probably not in that direction and went back.
We then saw a huge monitor lizard swimming in a pond and came across a sports party where children were playing games. 

After nearly two hours we went to 7eleven to buy water and decided that we should ask someone at the ticket allocation of another monument. They didn't understand us at first but after hearing the words "stage" and "music" they told us where it was. 

We followed the directions they gave us and soon arrived at a stage where there was also music playing. It was the wrong stage, though, and for sure not a festival. Frustrated, we sat down there and started researching again. The only information we remembered was, that it should be right next to some sort of museum. 

After watching hundreds (at least that's what it felt like) of "what-to-do-in-ayutthaya" videos and reading articles, we finally found the location. It wasn't near a museum but near a tourist information center.
We walked there for half an hour and all the researching was worth it. It looked more like a thai street market than a festival but it was amazing nevertheless. 



There were food stalls and little shops everywhere and we even found a pastry shop where I bought 4 pieces of pastry for only 42 Baht (~1€). And it was delicous. There were two different stages at this festival.

One where there were different acts every few minutes, such as magicians, singers and dancers, and another one with traditional thai music and comedy shows. 
We walked the market up and down a couple of times, watched the performances on the stages and I also got coconut water before we decided to go back to the hostel.

We asked Google for the directions again and started walking. The atmosphere was really nice since it was already dark and the monuments were illuminated by huge spotlight lamps.
After a few minutes of walking, we realized that, maybe, we should've rather taken a tuk tuk back. There were so many dogs on the streets and they obviously all wanted to defend their territory. When suddenly three dogs at once started barking at us, we decided to walk back and take a tuk tuk. 

We didn't really have to walk back, though, since, right at that moment, a tuk tuk came around the corner coincidentally and subsequently brought us to our hostel. During the drive we saw masses of dogs and were really glad, that the tuk tuk driver came just in time. I'd have to add that the street wasn't used at all so actually keeping on walking there would've been dangerous. 

Sunday

This day we ate breakfast in the hostel. Toast and bananas - really fancy. We had to check out at 12am so that's what we did after enjoying the air-conditioning one last time. We then went to 7eleven again for water and got food at a restaurant in the same street. There I had spring rolls and a mango shake, since I always get a mango shake when it's on the menu somewhere.


After lunch, we met up at a museum with two volunteers who were staying in another hostel.

There we took a tuk tuk to the Asian Highway bus station. The driver took us to the wrong bus station at first and we had to drive back a few minutes on the service lane as wrong-way drivers. 

At the right bus station we waited for our bus for a few minutes and obviously got on it. The drive back was quite comfortable, since we were in a minivan, not a bus, and we only had to pay 50 baht (~1,25€) each for a one hour drive.

We took a taxi from the bus station in Singburi to Twinhouse and arrived in schedule for dinner. After dinner all I did was pack for the new week, since I was going to go to Nakhon Ratchasima, which is more or less in the east, for the buddhism week. All in all, a really great weekend.

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