Hello! I will be travelling to Ayutthaya before heading back to Bangkok for my flight home. I was wondering whether there is anywhere to go between Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya for a day or so.
My idea is to catch the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok but would like to stop off a couple of places in between, Ayutthaya being one of them. Are any of the other stops worth stopping at? Phitsanulok or Lopburi?
Advice appreciated. Thank you.
#1 Emma23 has been a member since 13/4/2012. Posts: 13
If you need to travel by train, then Phitsanulok or Lopburi are good for an overnight stopover. There is a river in Phitsanulok with some great spots to eat along the banks, and a large temple that draws quite a few asian tourists. Lopburi has quite a few Ayutthaya -era ruins, a museum, and lots of monkeys in the circle near the center of town and elsewhere. Both are convenient to visit by train.
One stop I might recommend even more than those two is Lampang , just a few hours south of Chiang Mai by train. There aren't many western tourists there, but it sees quite a few Thai tourists and there is a happening local music scene within walking distance of the riverside. You can find info and reviews on these three cities on the Travelfish website.
If you want to break up your journey by bus, then Sukhothai would be a good choice. The city itself is an interesting place for a stopover, and the ancient ruins are popular because they've been fully restored in many places. Kamphaeng Phet is another interesting stay for a night or so. It is right on a river as well, and you won't see many other western faces there.
In terms of logistics, you might be better off with either the Lampang stop and catching the overnight sleeper train from there to Ayutthaya, or just taking the sleeper train from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya and spending an extra day there. The overnight sleeper train is fun and convenient (although it won't be your best night of sleep ever) and these other stops will pretty much prevent you from taking the sleeper train. I hope that helps. Have fun.
Following the straight & narrow via Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, etc. it's pretty boring. Only gets more scenic if you stray west via Mae Sot and Kanchanburi (sorry, no direct road through) or east via Lom Sak, Petchabun, Korat. I've tried all the different ways between Chiang Mai and Bangkok and it's mostly boring repetition (rice field, buffalo, tractor, rice field, buffalo, tractor, etc.) I'd use any extra days to explore the far north as much as possible (Chiang Dao, Doi Angkhang, Thaton, Mae Salong, etc.)
I agreed with exacto that a lovely stop would be Lampang ^^
Lampang is a small and laid-back town which is getting more popular even among Thai tourists now days. I am a local Chiang mai myself but I love to go to Lampang whenever I have free time. Things are slower and more relax there. It reminds me of Chiang Mai when I was a kid.
Lampang highlights are;
Horse cart ride- a fun way to see the town center and many beautiful temples and in particular “Wat Pong sanook”- a Unesco heritage. A small temple but very neat. There is famous Thai dessert shop “Mae pranoom” opposite to Lampang Post that you may want to try.
Wat phra tat lumpang luang – a beautiful temple and you can discover upside down pagoda another “Unseen Thailand”.
Kad Kong ta- starting from Rassada bridge, an ancient street and market the settings is beautiful preserved old colonial houses, nice café andgelato. There is a lively walking street every sat and Sunday evening.
This link has photos of places I told you above but it is inThai. I hope it will interest you and love this slow city as much as I do ^^
I wish you have a great journey in Thailand.
#5 jasminerice has been a member since 5/8/2012. Posts: 1
Jasmine, your link doesn't work.
#8 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148