At 8am we got picked up from our hotel in Bangkok (yay!) and taken to the train station to catch a train to Ayutthaya. The tickets were pre-booked for us by a Bangkok travel agent who would haunt us for days to come! Here's the story...
Whilst on a tuk tuk we were taken to a 'tourist information centre' that was actually a travel agents. The tuk tuk driver took us there as he gets commission for every tourist he drops off. I was beyond suspicious of this place and the agent we spoke to who called himself 'Henry the eighth'. It didn't seem genuine at all!! We booked a trip with them that would take us to Chiang Mai in the north and then Laos. The agency did have a license number but I was still convinced they had taken our 'non-refundable' money and we would never see them again. We were vulnerable and believed everyone was here to help which wasn't the case but we learnt a lot from it and it's made us smarter travellers sooner rather than later. That was on the 2nd so we got smart early.
Anyway... back to today. I was shocked when the transport Henry had booked actually turned up to take us to the station! So far so good. We got our train tickets which saw us sat in 3rd class for our 2 hour journey which cost 30p!! It was an experience to be sat amongst Thai people but not one I would rush to do again. I could feel the stares from all around.
One lady was amused by how pale Mark's legs were and kept touching them and saying something to the lady opposite haha. And the amount of junk they were taking on trains with them!! One lady got on with an electric fan?! It got pretty crowded, the seats at home that normally fit 2 people on, fit 3 on in Thailand. Quite a squeeze in 30 degrees.
We arrived in Ayutthaya for the day at 11:30am. 2 hours on a train for a 50 mile journey. Everything runs slower in Asia. We had a train that night from Ayutthaya to Chiang mai at 7pm so had 7 hours to kill!!!
We looked around some of the ruins for a couple of hours but soon got fed up of the 34 degree heat. What to do for the next 5 hours?
Being rich by Thai standards has its benefits so we paid £13 to rent a hotel room for until time to get the train. The receptionist seemed baffled that we were willing to pay a full nights rate but only stay for 5 hours. We had a lovely nap and showers to freshen up. Looking back I'm glad we did this as there is nothing worse than feeling grubby and sweaty whilst travelling.
We then headed back to the station to collect our backpacks, ready to get a 12 hour sleeper train to Chiang Mai expecting the worse. We were really surprised. We had 2 lower bunks that were both comfy and spacious. So we settled down for the night after yet another delicious meal on the train.
To be continued...