The historic part of Ayutthaya is located on the island surrounded by three rivers. In the past, non-Siamese people were not allowed to live on the island and therefore the ‘other’ side of the Ancient Capital contains Dutch, Japanese and Portuguese settlements. The train station is located outside the island as well, and there’s a ferry connecting the island and the station.
I’ve been based on the island for my entire stay – that’s where most of the temples of the Ancient Capital are located and you can visit them by bike. There’s also some nightlife, like the Jazz Bar, and some other places with drinks and music on the west side of the island on Hua Ro street. If you decide to come to Ayutthaya I would recommend staying on the island as well (and here is the route I recommend).
My impressions of the ‘other side’ of Ayutthaya
On my last day in Ayutthaya, I’ve decided to explore the “other side”, where the railway is conveniently located. I was thinking about luggage lockers or maybe renting a hostel for the day so I could take a shower before the train to Chiang Mai that departs at 9:06PM.
At my hotel, however, they said that the train station is just a ferry ride away and that I can keep my luggage and take a shower for an additional $3. And also use my bike.
So I headed to the ferry… and this is how you would likely arrive at the Historic Town if travelling during or in the end of monsoon season… the river is probably half size during the dry season and there’s a proper pier in the underwater.
Dragging my bike via this pier was a bit challenging – but the ferry is nice!
I went to the floating market, which was a disappointment! For 200baht ($6), I was admitted to a normal market, with lots of food stalls, clothes, sweets, fruit. It wasn’t really ‘floating’ – but rather built on some water canals. There was also a historic show which I watched for about 5 minutes. One could feed fish, donkeys and some other kind of fish for 10baht a pop. One could ride an elephant. Not my kind of thing. I hardly took any pictures.
I thought then if this place had durian, I would have accepted that – and guess what! At the next stall, I’ve enjoyed a delicious gooey fruit for a better price than in Bangkok.
Then I headed to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. The roads were mainly motorways, and although locals are friendly to bike tourists, it wasn’t an enjoyable ride.
On the way back, I took a wrong turn and reached the city limit realising I was only getting further from the pier. And getting that bike up the pier wasn’t fun at all.
Well, if you’re only 1 day in Ayutthaya I’d suggest you skip those attractions.
For the remaining few hours in Ayutthaya I headed back to the Historic Park and visited Wat Phra Ram and Wat Mahathat: