How We Got From Chiang Mai to Bangkok: We took Air Asia, a local budget airline. There are no frills, you have to pay for water, etc. but the flight is only 1hr so we didn’t need much and the $26 price tag was perfect. Checked baggage is priced by weight ranging from 15kg to 30kg. We only have one checked bag for the whole family that weighed 20kg. Jordyns luggage was a carry-on and you are allowed 7kg for each carry-on.
How We Got From the Airport: A private transfer was provided by our Airbnb, it was at no additional charge! The driver was waiting for us with a sign when we came out of baggage claim. This was a great feature as it can sometimes be tricky finding an Airbnb or knowing how to get inside the apartment for the first time. Our driver had the keys and escorted us to our apartment. It was so nice especially since we arrived close to midnight.
Where We Stayed: We rented this Airbnb for our time in Bangkok which saved us a lot of money and was in a super convenient location. Not only did our Airbnb included airport pickup it also included a portable wifi hotspot so we could connect anywhere we went. New to Airbnb, sign up here and save $40 on your next stay. Don’t be nervous about using Airbnb, here are 8 Tips for a Great Airbnb Experience. Our Airbnb host provided a pack n’ play for Kennedy to sleep in, a high chair, baby tub since the bathroom only had a shower and even a baby blanket. The building also had a small playground with swings, some slides and a pool.
Day One: Day Trip to Ayutthaya
How We Got There: Ayutthaya is about an hour outside of Bangkok and definately doable without an expensive tour. I researched a few blogs before we left for our trip and the cheapest ways seemed to be by train or minivan. The train was longer as it makes a lot of stops so I decided on the minivan. The drivers charge between 60-70 baht per person, we paid 65 going and 60 coming back. You can catch the minivans at the Mo Chit Bus Terminal. To get to Mo Chit Bus Terminal you can take a taxi from where you are staying or take the train tot he Mo Chit train station and from their take a bus or taxi to the Mo Chit Bus Terminal.<
How We Got Around Ayutthaya: We hired a Tuk Tuk for the day at 300 baht per hour. I read that you could negotiate down to 200 baht per hour but 300 was as low as we could get the driver.
Temples Visited: We visited the 5 main temples in the city, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Wat Lokaya Sutharam, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Phra Si Sanphet. We didn’t even have to tell the driver where we wanted to go, they pretty much know what you are here to see. They have pictures with each temple and it’s name that they will show you when you arrive at each one so you know what you are visiting. Ayutthaya is truly magical and it is more than worth the drive if you will be in Bangkok.
Lessons Learned: I thought by taking the minivan and renting a tuk tuk that we would save a ton of money versus doing an organized tour. While it was much cheaper than tour guides we spent the same amount as a few taxi drivers in Bangkok quoted us to Ayutthaya for the day. For the same 1500 baht we could have avoided having to take the train to a taxi to the minivans as the quotes we received from taxi drivers ranged from 1400-1600 baht total for the whole day.
Day Two: Don Manora Floating Market, Maeklong Railway Market, Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arum
For the floating and train market we took a guided tour by Tour With Tong. It was a half day tour from 7:30AM-12:30PM. Our first stop was to see the Maeklong Railway Market. We were dropped off about half a mile away so we were able to walk through the market stands before getting to the train tracks. When booking the tour for the floating market I actually had no idea it included the train market or that their even was one. I am so happy it did because I liked the train market best, it was so unique in my opinion.
After visiting the Railway Market we went to visit the famous floating markets of Thailand and we chose the Don Manora floating market. When we got there our guide took us to the dock and the the boat operator took us around. Where the floating market currently stands isn’t its original location and he took us to see where that was.
After visiting the market we went to the nearby fine china factory where fine china is hand painted. We were able to walk through to see all the workers. It was a really cool process to be able to witness. The workers are amazing at what they do. Of course, there is the opportunity to purchase some items in the store as well if you’d like.
Our tour guide ended up dropping us off to the Grand Palace on the way back to the city as we discovered in the car it closes at 3:30PM. I was so happy she told us that because all the other temples close around 6 so we assumed it did as well. We might have missed it as we planned on having a relaxing lunch when we got back to our Airbnb.
We visited the Wat Pho Temple, which houses the infamous Reclining Buddha, around 5:30PM. This was as most tourists come earlier in the day so we nearly had the place to ourselves.
The main 3 temples are all near each other so you can walk except to Wat Arun. To get there you need to take the ferry across the river, it costs 4 baht per person. The tuk tuk price from the temples to our Airbnb (National Stadium train station) was 200 baht. We had two drivers try charge us 400 and we stayed firm as we had already gotten a ride their for 200. Thank God too because we would have thought 400 was normal, you can literally negotiate everything here, even if the price sounds low already so make sure you do.