On the way to Chang Mai we decided to stop in Ayutthaya to check out the ruins of the ancient capital. Ayutthaya was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1991. The ruins date all the way back to 1350 and there are many different sites to visits. We visited Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol which was a royal monestry back in the day and also the Royal Palace. My favorite of the sites was Wat Mahathat where you can find a Budda’s head entwined in tree roots. The great temples of Ayutthaya where destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767. The Burmese invaded the capital and destroyed the religious statues. As a result there are scattered bits and pieces of Budda everywhere. It is belived the Buddas head was hidden and protected under the tree routes to be recovered at a later date. Another theory is that the Budda head was taken by a thief during the invasion and then hidden under the tree.
Once you’ve seen the world heritage sites in Ayutthyaya there is not a lot else there so we decided to get the sleeper train to Chang Mai. The train cost around 750 Bhat for the top bunk and 850 Bhat for a bottom bunk (about $24-$28 or 14-16 GBP) and takes about 14 hours. We got a second class ticket and the carriage just looks a normal train carriage and they were pretty clean! We have recently ridden another night train which was a bit pissy so I guess its just luck of the draw which train you get. After looking at the different in cost for the trains in Thailand and the busses the train is definitely the best way to travel. We recently travelled across the border by train which cost about 45 Bhat each the bus took longer and got 600 Bhat!
My favorite thing about travelling by train is that it feels totally acceptable to have a couple of beers while you ride somehow on the bus drinking beers doesn’t feel right! Its also lovely to wake up in your bed cabin and look out the window to see a little piece of Thailand that you ight never of otherwise see. The ride up to Changmai and into southern Thailand is so green. A great sight to greet the day by.