advertisement

Getting There

By Train -- Starting at 4:20 am, trains depart nearly every 40 minutes from Bangkok’s Hua Lampong Railway Station (tel. 1690; trip time 80 minutes; 65B first class, 45B second class; 15B third class).

By Bus --With regular departure times form sun up to sun down (5am to 8pm) from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal (tel. 02936-2841), the 1.5 hr. ride averages 50B. Minibuses leave every 20–30 minutes from Victory Monument (on the BTS). They cost around 70B and take just an hour to arrive.

By Boat -- All-day river cruises are a popular option, but we would advise against them since most of the travel is done by bus with only short stints along rivers near Bangkok. There is, however, one notable exception for getting to Ayutthaya by boat.  That exception requires three days but you’ll be traveling upriver aboard a sumptuously chic renovated teak rice barge. Three-day, two-night trips sail from Bangkok, stopping at local temples. Aboard the ship, the crew serves cocktails, snacks, high tea, and Thai meals in a covered lounge. Guests spend an afternoon in Ayutthaya in the company of a knowledgeable guide. Inclusive of meals, tours, and transfers (but not alcohol) the cost is 64,767B. To learn more, contact Anantara Cruises (www.bangkok-cruises.anantara.com).

By Car -- Outside of the congestion of the big city, the 90-minute drive is a cinch, but the ease and affordability of public transportation should sway you from renting a car for this occasion. If you do drive plan to pay 130B in tolls.

Orientation

Ayutthaya's old city is surrounded by a canal fed by three rivers -- Chao Phraya, Lopburi, and Pasak -- and thus is often referred to as the "island." The main ferry pier is located on the east side of the island, just opposite the train station. The Bangkok bus makes its last stop at the station opposite the Siam Commercial Bank Building, off Chao Prom Road in downtown.

Visitor Information

There is a Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office at Si Sanphet Road opposite the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum (tel. 03524-6076). Stop by for maps and other information.

Getting Around

A tuk-tuk from the train station into town will cost about 50B. The best way to visit the ruins is by renting a bicycle (about 50B per day) from any guesthouse or hotel. If you're feeling lazy, negotiate a fee with the rider of a samlor (bicycle taxi); enlist the help of hotel staff to negotiate, or this unique and environmentally friendly way of getting around will cost an arm and a leg. Fun to know: Ayutthaya’s tuk-tuks have a dome-like hood that is unique to this province, and they come in a variety of colors with larger bench seats. The most likely reason for this difference is they were imported from Japan.

Fast Facts

Bank of Ayudhya (which uses a different spelling of the city’s name and is often known as Krungsri) has a branch on U Thong Road next to the ferry pier, across the river from the train station, and there are plenty of ATMs in the city. The main post office is also on U Thong Road in the northeast corner of town (but any hotel or guesthouse can help with posting mail). Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hospital on U Thong Road is where to head for emergency care.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.