I´m travelling Laos during Feb2009 going around LP and heading south to Vientiane and later to Nong Khai/Thailand. Further on I´m planning to slowly go across Thailand (by train) back to Bangkok taking a look at Ayyuthhaya on the way. What are your opinions about places which are on the way and worth taking a peek at? Please post your suggestions, anything from scenic landscape to great temples and everyday life...
#1 Architeuthis has been a member since 28/7/2009. Posts: 14
I used to live in Khon Kaen, so it is a sentimental favorite for me. But even my Thai friends pretty much keep going straight from Nong Khai until they reach Ayutthaya. Most of the scenic or interesting stuff in northeast Thailand/Isan is near the Mekong river or within the corridor of Angkor -era temples farther to the south along the Cambodia border.
If you are looking for some cool stuff along the way from Nong Khai to Ayutthaya, you might make a stopover at Ban Chiang in Udon Province. It's a pretty cool archeological site. There is also the little town of Phimai, which is not far from Korat. It's a cozy little town on its own and has a small but interesting set of ruins from the Angkor era. Another option might be to cut across to Sukhothai (but not by train I'm afraid) and then head south to Ayutthaya. In that case you could stop at Lop Buri too.
One other thing you might consider is a stopover at Phu Kradueng National Park, a really cool cliff-like mountain that's a popular hiking area for Thais. I had a car when I went, but I think you can get there by bus from Khon Kaen. Regards.
I had the same suggestions -- Sukhothai (not directly on your route though) or Lopburi (really close to Ayuthaya)....
How about Khao Yai National Park?
(exacto -- I love KK too! I have Thai friends who are profs at the university)
Thanks very much for your replies. I would love to see Sukhothai instead of Ayutthaya , actually, my first travelroute was the other way round. Starting in VIE then north to LP and Luang Namtha. From there across the border to Thailand an then turn round and back to Bangkok spending some time in Sukothai. But I think the part Luang Namtha-Border-Chiang Rai/Mai to Sukothai is quite time consuming... So I decided to visit Sukothai on my (hopefully) next time in SEAsia and see Ayutthaya instead.
So exacto and durian, many thanks for your help. I will look into your suggestions.
#4 Architeuthis has been a member since 28/7/2009. Posts: 14
Ayutthaya isn't such a bad consolation prize. I used to stop by often on weekends when I was living in Bangkok. Apart from the obvious UNESCO area, there is a pretty good backpacker area for hanging out when you aren't at the ruins, boat trips along the river, and great restaurants along the waterfront as well.
The other good news is that you can take the overnight sleeper train from Nong Khai directly to Ayutthaya. It is scheduled to arrive at some really early hour, but is usually running late so you can get off the train at a semi-decent hour and grab breakfast while you get settled.