Hello there! My husband and I will be spending three weeks in Thailand and Laos in March. We're fairly certain we want to take the slow boat from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai in Laos; is it also worth it to take a boat from Bangkok to Ayutthaya (especially considering the rather high cost), or will we see about the same thing on the slow boat?
#1 JavaJunkie has been a member since 19/1/2010. Posts: 9
They're very very different experiences.
The Bangkok to Ayutthaya deal is a pretty flash deal, typically with some kind of buffet included. The sceenery is flat plains and river life.
The Laos boat is back to basic, you get a plastic seat to sit on and the scenery is river valleys and river life.
Would I do both -- ahhh if I had the time and the Thailand boat wouldn't bust my budget, yes I probably would. If I had to pick one, it would be the Laos one.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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Some looking online pointed me to River Sun Cruises, who offer a guided tour of Ayutthaya with coach (bus) one way from Bangkok, and boat the other way (1800B per person -- includes transfer to/from hotel, English-speaking guide, buffet lunch, and entrance to historic sights). My husband and I were looking at just taking the boat one-way (1350B per person -- includes buffet lunch) and making our own arrangements in Ayutthaya. The above information came from www.thairivercruise.com.
Anyone had any experience with them?
#4 JavaJunkie has been a member since 19/1/2010. Posts: 9
Honestly, you can do it yourself for waaaaay cheaper! If you go to Victory Monument in Bangkok, hop on a minibus, it will take you to Ayutthaya for 70 bht/pp. Once in Ayutthaya, grab a tuk tuk driver to take you around for the whole day for around 400-500 bht ( if you are good at bargaining you can probably get cheaper, but we didn't really bargain as we thought it sounded reasonable to us anyway). Grab a meal pretty much anywhere for around 60-120 bht not including drinks. However we had decided to spend the night in Ayutthaya which we were sooo glad we did as you can then also see the sites lit up at night. However, if you are doing a day trip, the tour may be worth the cost just for ease. We like being able to check out the sites on our own schedule and go to the ones we wanted to see though. If you can afford an overnight in Ayutthaya , I would highly recommend it and it is worth it. Fortunately it's only about 1 hr from Bangkok so not too far to get there and back.
#5 Halilee has been a member since 4/5/2008. Posts: 11
I know that this is an old thread but hopefully some one has an answer.
If I do as Halilee says and do it on our own what time do we need to start in the morning and what time should we leave to get back to Bangkok? Also, how much will this total adventure cost me and my hubby?
#6 maryray has been a member since 19/8/2010. Posts: 9
An even less expensive way to get to Ayutthaya from BKK is by train. A third class train should take about 90 minutes or so and cost in the 20 baht range. There are frequent departures to/from Ayutthaya. Once you arrive, just walk west towards the river and take the little ferry boats across the 100 meter-wide river (a few baht) and then walk to most accommodation options from there.
You can definitely see Ayutthaya as a day trip from BKK, but like Halilee says, an overnight gives you a chance to see the ruins all lit up at night and is definitely worth it.
Anyway, the last time I was there, the little fish head-style tuk tuks were charging a uniform 200 baht per vehicle per day, but I imagine you could bargain for a day rate. There are plenty of push bikes and scooters for hire too, if those fit your style and skill mix.
Admission to the ruins usually runs about 20 to 40 baht per person per place. I don't know if they have a ticket that is good for every place or not. Sukhothai and Lop Buri used to have that kind of ticket but stopped selling them a while back.
The advantage of not taking a tour, even if it doesn't save money, is the adventure and freedom of visiting where you want.
There is good info on Travelfish about the old city and such. Be sure to read it. I wrote a trip report on my last Ayutthaya visit too. It is a bit dated now, but may still have useful info for you. It is at:
Did that answer your questions? Regards.
Thank you so much exacto - exactly the info I'm looking for!
#8 maryray has been a member since 19/8/2010. Posts: 9