Bangkok: Off the Beaten Path

“If man has no knowledge of the past, he is nothing but a vessel without a rudder on the high seas” 

Bangkok, probably the most popular destination in Asia with its chaotic streets and crazy nightlife. Been in this bustling city several times with all the eat-and-shop-till-you-drop experiences, so this time I’ve decided to explore a little out of the city. No Chatuchak, no night markets, no fanciful cafes nor those “must-visit” temples 😎😎😎

Erawan Museum

Just outside South of Bangkok in Samut Prakan province stand a 250-tons, 44-meters tall three-headed copper elephant. That is the massive icon of Erawan Museum which houses one of the most exquisite art and religious collections in Thailand. 

I was wowed by the impressive rounded stained-glass roof the moment I stepped into the shrine 😱😱😱

A world map blending into the Zodiac and galaxies beyond 😍

A small statue of Mahayana Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion

As you continue to head up through a long spiraling staircases, you feel cooler and somehow reached a “fantasy world”.

Standing Gold Buddha surrounded by moons, sun, clouds and constellations

If it’s not too hot, you can take a walk along the tropical garden outside the shrine.

How I get there: BTS Skytrain to Bearing Station and then use Uber Bike to Erawan Museum (130Baht; USD4)

Admission Fee: Foreigner price is 400Baht (USD12).  I used Klook apps to book online which cost me SGD11 (USD7) 

The Ancient City

Taking up 320 acres of land, roughly in the shape of Thailand, Ancient City is the largest open-air museum in the world. This huge park reproduces over 100 important monuments from around Thailand. Some of them are reconstructions of buildings that no longer exist. Other buildings are examples of traditional architecture that were scheduled to be demolished and instead were purchased by the Ancient City, dismantled and reconstructed in the park. 

Entrance to the museum

Map of the museum

Opening Hours: 0900-1900hrs

Tourist pass is 700Baht (USD20), but if you go after 1600hrs, the fee will be halved (USD10)

Bicycle rental is inclusive! Trust me, you wouldn’t want to walk in this museum

Spending a day here taking pictures with all the architectures is as good as going around Thailand visiting different temples and monuments!! A great place for instagramable photographs 📷📷📷

How I get there: Taking Uber Car from Erawan Museum to Ancient City: 200Baht (USD5.50)

“Death Railway” in Kanchanaburi 

One of the major projects during World War II was to construct a 250-miles railway from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbuyuzayat, Burma. Originally called the Thailand-Burma Railway, it earned the nickname “Death Railway” because over one hundred thousand laborers died during its 16 month construction between 1942 and 1943. Today, part of the railway is still in use daily for visitors to pay remembrance to the horrific history of the Death Railway.

100Baht one-way, about 3-hours journey

Only 3rd class train available

Thai-Burma Railway starting station

River Kwai Bridge where usually tourists will get off here

But I continued on to pass this bridge by train

High-5 to tourists along the wayy

Most locals will get off here……

To pray inside this cave, a cave used to keep the POWs

You can walk along this railway before the train returned from another side

I’m definitely going to get fined for doing this if in my own country! 😋

Just walk back to the previous station (20-minutes) and wait for train back to BKK!

When you board the train from an under-utilized station, you pay your fare to the train captain

How I get there: Took Uber Car from hostel to Thonburi Station 150Baht (USD4) to catch a 0745hrs train. Returned on a 1330hrs train.

*Take note of the return train timetable if you planning for a day-trip only.

Maeklong Railway Market

Apart from floating markets, street markets and night markets, Maeklong Railway market is one unique experience you should try when visiting Thailand. One minute there is a bustling market under umbrellas with stalls scattered everywhere. The next minute a train passes right through the middle of it all, only to turn back into a market a few minutes later. How cool is that?! 

13Baht bus ride

Mini-van from Sai Tai Mai (Southern Bus Terminal) 70Baht (USD2)

Waiting for 1110hrs train to arrive

Here it comes~

So near I can touch it

Catch you later~~

I chose an easier way to get to Maeklong Market by taking mini-van from Southern Bus Terminal, 90-minutes journey. Do not go to Victory Monument, services do not run from there as of 2016.

Train arrival times: 8.30 a.m., 11.10 a.m., 2.30 p.m. and 5.40 p.m.

Train departure times: 6.20 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 11.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.

And now, I’m going to catch the 1130hrs train back to Bangkok, which will take me about 3-hours 😴😴😴

Managed to get a ticket 5-minutes the train leaves for Ban Laem: 10Baht 

After 1-hour, reached Ban Laem Station

From Ban Laem Station, walk about 10-minutes along the street you will see ferry crossing pier

Ferry: 3Baht

Once reach to the opposite side at Mahachai, walk along the seafood market and will reach a train station

Another 1-hour train ride: 10Baht

Once arrive at WongWian Yai Station, walk about 15-minutes to the nearest BTS station.

Ayutthaya

Used to be second capital of the Siamese Kingdom, Ayutthaya was attacked and razed by the Burmese army in 1767 who burned the city to the ground and forced the inhabitants to abandon the city. Today, Ayutthaya is an archaeological ruin, characterized by the remains of tall prang (reliquary towers) and Buddhist monasteries of monumental proportions, which give an idea of the city’s past size and the splendor of its architecture. 

15Baht, 3-hours from Bangkok

260baht (USD7) per night

Renting a bicycle is one of the best ways to explore the city

A more luxury option is to go by tour tram

It’s my lucky day!! All attractions are free!!! 😇

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Maha That

Wat Lokkaya Sutharam

River crossing to floating market

200Baht to floating market

yummy but so spicy~

Boat ride along the river

2 days in Ayutthaya is not enough at all…I will definitely come back again and stay longer next time! 

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