In this trip, Cathy left all the plannings and decision-makings to me which is something unlikely for a lawyer like her. Perhaps either she just trusts me a lot, or she just wanted to relax her mind in the entire duration of the trip. Since we had nothing planned for the whole day, I decided to gave Ayutthaya a go which came from a suggestion of fellow TB and friend Racky (www.travbuddy.com/racky_tn).
After breakfast, we rode a tuktuk to Bangkok Railway Station where we were supposed to ride the train to Ayutthaya.
It was a 3rd class train but the ride was not at all bad. It was, in fact, a lot better than what I expected it to be. And for as cheap as THB38, you can already reach another interesting Thai destination in less than a couple of hours.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
The main attraction that Ayutthaya offers is its many ancient ruins and artworks. We hired a tuktuk that toured us around the place for about 4 hours. We asked the driver to bring us first to what he thinks is the most beautiful temple. After a few minutes, we were in a place called Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. The structures here were not that huge, but the many Buddhas lined up around the main ruin made it outstanding. We climbed the relatively high steps of the main temple and saw various images of Buddha on top. I couldn't take my eyes on how attractive the images are, but suddenly my eyes focused on someone else. Someone with us in the area looked so, so familiar. I couldn't be wrong... it could be the travbuddy who was very persistent in persuading me to attend the meet up, and one of the reasons why I was in Thailand.
.. he moved closer, then finally gave my puzzled face a glimpse... I shouted “JC!”. Yes, it was him! With much excitement, first TB friends were finally hugging each other.
Then another voice, that of a female, was heard. “Josh? Is that Josh?” I looked at her but couldn't get a clue... She gave me a few seconds to recall until she finally revealed her identity: “It's me, Aioh!” Now you can imagine how loud we got at that point.
After introducing Cathy who took some pictures of our accidental first meet up, I told them about a dinner which I set with Dodge that night and JC agreed to come as well. The four of us, though riding in different tuktuks, almost discovered the rest of the temples in Ayutthaya all together.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Ayutthaya is home to various temples and ruins. Although incomparable to Angkor, you wouldn't mind walking under the heat of the sun as structures here have their own remarkable beauty and interesting history.
When asked how much we got our tuktuk service for, we said THB800. JC and Aioh smiled and revealed they got theirs for only THB300! @#$%^&* Holy macaroni! Well, charge it to experience and share it with others (that's why I am mentioning it here). So at around 3PM, Aioh and JC went back to bangkok ahead of us. We stayed on for another hour, maximizing the services of our tuktuk. You already know why. :-S
The train back to Bangkok took an extra hour with a few technical or operational stops that caused the delay.
We were back in the hotel at around 8PM. We made it sure that wash up was made quick as travbuddies were already waiting for us in Khao San. Dodge was already calling us while we were on our way to Buddies Resto. And when we arrived, she was seated in a table with JC, and fellow Pinoy TBs currently in their Southeast Asian trip- JeAr and Hanie. It was damn great to have finally met Dodge who in the flesh was as warm as she was on-line. It was nice catching up with Jear and Hanie's stories of misadvetures, too. Also, more time in getting to know JC better.
We the decided to move to Gazebo Bar, the venue of the meet up the following day. Dodge wanted us to somehow do an ocular in the place which we all loved! With cool music, live band performances, lusciously mixed cocktail drinks, and more importantly, good-looking crowd--- the place was simply perfect!!!