I'm currently in Kanchanaburi and want to head north towards Chiang Mai. I was thinking of travelling via Ayuthaya as I love old temples and architecture. My friend is not that interested in these things, so was just planning on having an afternoon there. how feasible is this? Is there anywhere we could store our bags for the afternoon, while we wait for the night train or would we need to book a guesthouse for the night. Also can you see much of the sights in just an afternoon?
Lastly how easy is it to book a train ticker for the night - I was just going to book a 2nd class ticket seat, rather than a sleeper as I find them more comfortable, but don't know whether they get booked up in advance. we will only be able to book them the afternoon that we get there. If this is a problem, then we may have to go back to Bangkok and get an overnight bus from there instead.
#1 rocketgirl has been a member since 1/10/2007. Posts: 22
How's Kanchanaburi? Having fun I hope!
An afternoon in Ayutthaya isn't very long... see if you can wangle an extra day out of your travel companion -- even if they're not into ruins, there's heaps of comfortable guesthouses to hang out at for a day.
To store your bags, I think you can store them at the train station, but I'm not positive on that -- otherwise just leave them at a cafe with your friend to mind them!
Booking trains -- pop into a travel agent in Kanchanaburi -- they should be able to book you a train ticket -- or go to Kanchanaburi train station and book it there.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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I think that you can see quite a bit of the World Heritage area in Ayutthaya in just an afternoon, particularly since the overnight trains don't depart Ayutthaya for Chiang Mai until as late as 9 or 10 pm. But as Somtam says, if you are really into these kinds of things, an extra day will make you much happier.
I remember there being luggage storage at the train station as well, but unless you are really on a tight budget I'd say you are better off getting a room for the day. That way you'll have a place to relax and clean up too. A nice shower before jumping on an overnight train always makes me feel much more comfortable.
Are you really going to take a pass on a sleeper car to sit in a second class seat all night? Wow! Like you said in your Vang Vieng post, to each their own. If you do opt for the second class non-sleeper seat, you might want to look into the diesel rail car option. Those seats are a bit more comfy than the other trains. And like Somtam says, you'd be wise to get your tickets while you are in Kanchanaburi, since trains sell out much more than they used to in the past.
There are tips on Ayutthaya in the trip reports section and more info on the overnight trains in the features section on the website. Have fun. Cheers.
I was in Ayutthaya for a couple of hours one morning in May. We were between trains. I don't remember there being a definite Left Luggage area but we asked a station master and he let us leave our bags in a room with him while we went off and had breakfast. This was fine for a couple of hours but if you are wanting to do this for more than a couple of hours you might want to consider one of the other suggestions.
If you are there in the afternoon/evening you could consider doing one of the tours run by the guesthouses. They start at about 4pm and finish at 8pm at the night market. You go to several temples and as it gets darker the impressive ones are spotlighted and look very cool. This costs about 180B per person and is good value. You won't get to wander through the main historical site as it will be closed by the time the tour gets there but it is a good taste. You do get to wander over some of the other sites. Soem of them are still operational temples.
A tip for the trains - there is a shower in the Chiang Mai train station that costs 5B. If you are out and about during the day you can go directly to the train station and have a shower there before boarding your train. The Left Luggage in Chiang Mai train station is reasonably priced at 10B per piece per day. Also, buy a takeaway meal from the place over the road from the train station as it is cheaper and tastier than the train grub.