Asia 2016: Ayutthaya, Pak Chong, Khao Yai

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Fortunately, the minivan from Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya ranDSCN0405 and was surprisingly efficient, collecting us and delivering us door to door at our guesthouses. We stayed in the same place as 2012 and worryingly the lady recognized us. We only stayed the night as we had planned to have the parents with us, so just wandered the streets rather than doing and Wats and visiting the excellent local night market for random edible things for tea.DSCN0412

The following day we took the local train to Pak Chong, about 2.5hrs away for around 50p each. And from there collection to Greenleaves guesthouse which runs some well renowned tours in the national park. The guesthouse itself was, well, pretty poor and in an unexpectedly naff location on a main road so exploring DIY is impossible DSCN0417giving us a wasted day. The room was poor, bedding clean but poor and overall disappointing. We expected rustic but in a nice location but this was more of a dump. Doh. That said, food was fine and it is very busy with interesting and nice people. But, probably 1/10…..

However, the reason to stay there is for the people and the tours, and the first half day tour did exceed expectation. DSCN0426The Greenleaf guide was superb, nothing too much trouble and took more effort than all other guides. They found genuine native animals and gave interesting accounts of all, and watching 2 million bats leaving a cave was spectacular.

The full day tour in the jungle aimed to find wild elephants, which they did the previous day, but on our day all group were unlucky. That said, we saw wild monkeys and even wild gibbons swinging from the trees, a crocodile, huge DSCN0433lizard and huge tortoise and overall an interesting day just enjoying the jungle and beautiful scenery.

We did meet some lovely people on both days with similar interests and outlooks which was really good giving us some ideas for future adventures. As ever, always one know-it-all, best mates with the guide, been-there-done-it (or made it up) with a voice so loud it drowns out unsilenced engines. All travelers will name the nationality in one! Every time!DSCN0435

So overall the people and social atmosphere and the tours made up for the poor accommodation and we would recommend it, but suggest 2 nights only arriving early first day and do half day tour same day.

DSCN0446  After, we got the train back to Ayutthaya and crossed the river on a 10p ferry, but then had about 8 hours to kill before our night train to Chiang Mai. We can totally blame the parents for this as we’d planned to use their hotel to store bags and spend the day with them. But with nowhere to go with our bags we just loitered and found aDSCN0459 good bar awaiting the night train to ChiangDSCN0467 Mai.

1 thought on “Asia 2016: Ayutthaya, Pak Chong, Khao Yai”

  1. Hi for dave and chell, it was great to meet you at the greenleaf tour restaurant ?? We enjoyed our evening with people so like minded, and thanks for the advice an heading to loas.
    I hope you complete your new van conversion later this year, maybe we will see you on the road.
    We are currently in sukhothai and have just cooked ourselves cycling around the historical park.
    We will keep an eye on your blog.

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