As of February 22nd, I am currently in Ayutthaya, just north of Bangkok. It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of BK. Upon arrival, I did my usual ‘I’m going to walk a few miles and find my own place’ thing. After a while, the humidity coupled with the weight of my backpack started getting to me, and so I decided to flag down a Tuk Tuk.
I had him take me to the Baan Lotus Guesthouse, a place recommended by lonely planet. I don’t usually go by the guidebook when finding places to stay. Oftentimes I can find something cheaper on my own. However, they nailed it on the head this time. Baan Lotus is amazing! The grounds here are gorgeous, the rooms are spacious and clean, and the lady that runs it is sweet as can be. For 300 baht, she gave me a double room all to myself. She told me I could use one bed for my backpack, and the other for me to sleep inJ. There is a lengthy balcony outside my door with chairs to sit and read in. There is a pond out back with lily pads and wildlife. And, there are hammocks in different spots around the grounds. This place has been such a pleasure to stay at.
As for the city, the main thing I’ve done is check out the ruins spread out over the island. Ayutthaya was once the capital of a powerful kingdom. Evidence of its previous grandeur is shown by the size and number of ruins that are scattered throughout the area. Yesterday I walked the town and visited some of the ruins closest to the guesthouse in which I’m staying. There is a Chinese festival going on here that has made the town an active place to be. Last night a fellow traveler and I explored the street adjacent to our guesthouse. It was full of vendors and stages with music and live performances. We watched a Chinese dragon dance and got some food.
Today, I rented a bike for 30 baht and rode around the entire island. This time I checked out some of the more far away ruins. It was fun to weave in and out of traffic like the Thais do. Traffic rules seem to be lax here. It reminds me of driving in Juarez, Mexico when I was a teenager. During my ride I ran into yet another Chinese festival, this time a parade with dancers and a marching band. A few of them smiled at me as I squeezed through on my bike.
Now I’m back at my guesthouse enjoying the last hours in this beautiful place. Tomorrow is another day, and a new city!