Just putting some final touches to my honeymoon itinerary - I am looking to do a day trip to Ayuttaya and come back to Bangkok by boat.
Am happy to get train (or mini bus) to Ayuttaya myself and then catch a boat back but not sure if this is possible/easy to do?
I've been looking at organised day trips which seem reasonable and there seem to be two main boat companies - black pearl and river sun cruise - can anyone let me know which is the better option?
#1 sarah6969pink has been a member since 28/10/2013. Posts: 26
Ive done a tour which makes it easy. No idea what company it was. Didnt think much of ayuthaya. Prefer kanchanaburi
#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Sadly I can't be of much help here as I've never taken the boat. Information on Thai-language forums is also non-existent, suggesting that it's mainly geared at foreigners. While I've never travelled upriver beyond Pakkred, I'd imagine the route down from Ayutthaya to be just as scenic.
Although taking the van will be quicker, a train ride from Hualamphong is in itself an experience, and one which will soon disappear if the powers that be actually manage to finish the new central station at Bangsue in time by 2017. You'll encounter a bunch of tuk-tuks in front of the Ayutthaya train station; from what I remember these will charge somewhere in between 500 and 1000 baht for a day-long tour of the sights. But because the ruins that constitute the historical park is easy enough to explore on your own, I'd suggest renting a bike or scooter from shops or guest houses in the Naresuan Road/Chao Phrom Market area.
Be sure to visit the tiny Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre for its jaw-dropping miniature dioramas (my bet is you'll also savour the air-conditioned coolness there).
Of course, a trip to Ayutthaya wouldn't be complete unless you've had some grilled king prawns there. Sadly the best places for these are outside the city proper, though I reckon most will find the riverside restaurants on Uthong good enough.
I've done the trip (years ago), with my parents. We organised it in Bangkok, got a bus from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, grabbed a couple of temples then Bang Pa-in then the boat back. I can't remember the name of the company -- it was ages ago. The temple bit was quite rushed and I wasn't all that taken with Bang Pa-in.
If you have the time I'd head up to Ayuthaya under your own steam (train is good) and overnight there and get the boat back the next day. That will give you more time to see the temples up there. Grab a bike and ride around. It is a very interesting town.
#6 sarah6969pink has been a member since 28/10/2013. Posts: 26