Day 1: Lopburi
During New Year holiday, we traveled to some attractions nearby. After visiting Khao Yai and Bangkok, we continued our trip to Lopburi and Ayutthaya. We departed from Mochit Bus Station by minivan. Anyway, if you want to go to Mochit Bus Station from downtown Bangkok, you can take MRT or BTS to Chatuchak (name for MRT station is Chatuchak Park, BTS station Mochit), then you can take bus no. 77 which will drop you in front of Mochit Bus Station. Cost for minivan from Bangkok to Lopburi was THB 102 per person, distance Bangkok – Lopburi around 150 km. It took around 2.5 hours (little traffic at that time). Beside minivan, another option to go to Lopburi is by train, with cheaper cost but slower and less comfortable compared to minivan.
The minivan stopped in Bus Station in the downtown of Lopburi. Lopburi was famous for monkey city, even in this station, you can see some monkeys playing around electric cable. Beware of your belonging!
Our main destination in Lopburi was seeing the sunflower field. Actually, there were some sunflower fields around Lopburi, mainly in Pattana Nikhom area and Saraburi, but that’s quite far from city. The closest sunflower field from Lopburi city was called Khao Jen Lai, maybe around 10 km. We hired a rent car, THB 500 for round trip Lopburi Bus Station – Khao Jen Lai. I thought it was acceptable to be divided for three of us. Tips: ask to the station officer for hiring the car, they will call the driver, and fix the price for you. Just say to them that you want to go to Khao Jen Lai.
The sunflower bloomed around November – February. Therefore, during New Year holiday, it will be packed by many locals. Below pictures may sum up my explanation about Sunflower field to Khao Jen Lai.
We tried to catch the last minivan from Lopburi to Ayutthaya. The minivan’s capacity was actually only 14 passengers, but there were more than that in our minivan. Fortunately, we could sit in the ‘real’ seat, not the additional one. Hahaha. Minivan from Lopburi to Ayutthaya cost THB 60 with distance around 75 km, it took around 1.5 hours.
In Ayutthaya, we stayed in Sleepaholic hostel in Naresuan Road. I really recommended this hostel because it was cheap, clean, and comfortable. Staffs, especially the lady, were very kind and helpful. It was also located in a strategic location, close to temple, and dining options. They also provided simple breakfast. We had dinner at Kumlangpainai Restaurant, mainly Thai food with a little Chinese style. It tasted very good, but during peak dinner hour, it may takes longer time to wait your order.
Day 2: Ayutthaya
I easily fell in love with the beauty of Ayutthaya. I suggest you to rent motorcycle or bicycle (prepare to ride it for about 20 km in total). Cost for renting motorcycle was around THB 150 – 250 per day, while renting bicycle was THB 50 per day. If you are in limited time like us, renting motorcycle will be a better option. Since we had limited time, we prioritized some places.
First destination was Wat Mahathat, where you can see the Buddha head in the tree. It was very beautiful and romantic. Come there in early morning, so it will be not crowded by the tourist from Bangkok. We really enjoyed the amazing temple ruins, the wind blew, many trees freshened the area, and the beautiful lake. It felt like I wanted to spend hours there, but we had to catch up the next temple.
Second destination was Wat Ratchaburana. Shape of this temple was quite different with others. Anyway, there was delicious chicken noodle in front of Wat Ratchaburana, which only cost THB 40 per bowl. There was also pad-thai seller next to the chicken noodle seller. Since we both easily got hungry, we decided to eat there.
The third one was Wat Phra Si Sanphet (three chedis). These three temples were close one another, and accessible by walking.
Lady in the hostel recommended us to go to Bang Pa-In Palace. It was located around 20 km from city center. You can go here by motorcycle or train (there is a railway station named Bang Pa-In station, which is located 1 km from Bang Pa-in, but check whether the train stops there or not, since not every train stops in this small station). The entrance fee for foreigner was THB 100 per person. You have to dress properly to visit the palace (no sleeveless shirt and no short pants/skirt). The palace was basically built in the era of King Rama V. The King was famous for his interest in combining architectural design from many countries. So, in this palace, you can see the beautiful palaces consist of Thai, Chinese, and European style.
If you don’t want to walk, you can rent a golf cart for THB 400 per hour to explore the palaces. All the palaces were beautiful and well-maintained. There were some beautiful parks where I can imagine myself reading book while having an iced-coffee, but it was just a dream due to our limited time 😦
We went back to the hostel to return the motorcycle and took our backpack. Actually, we wanted to catch minivan to Bangkok. But, there were so many people already queuing. Anyway, the minivan shelter was located in the junction of Naresuen Road near Satang Bar. Then, we decided to take the train.
Inter-city train in Thailand was less developed compared to Inter-city train in Indonesia (Java Island). It was not that on time too. We arrived at Ayutthaya Railway station around 5.15 pm, but they sold the ticket for train 4.37 pm because that train had not come yet. It was rapid train, the 3rd class only cost THB 20 per person. It was so packed that I had to stand from Ayutthaya to Bangkok, yeah. Thankfully, the train was quite fast, not as slow as the ordinary one, it took around 1.5 hours to Bangkok. Tips: better to disembark in Bang Sue station. It was close to MRT, and not as crowded as Hua Lamphong.