Unexpectedly the ticket office advised there were no tickets available except third class standing until 31st December. The prospect of staying in Bangkok being as intolerable as standing on a third class train for eight hours with two children, we spontaneously decided to take a step toward Sukhothai and managed to secure seat tickets to Ayutthaya (the capital after Sukhothai but before Bangkok) just 1.5 hours distant.
Relieved to leave Bangkok the polluted air mass extended into Ayutthaya and the traffic noise diminished only marginally.
Rosie chose the hotel and restaurant for today but plans were scuppered when we were met at the station by a very convincing Thai lady with excellent English who persuaded us to stay at her new hotel rather than the one Rosie had chosen (enticed by the promise of Thai swords over the bed). Rosie was sold! We all were!
Arriving at the hotel the room we had been shown was 30% more than the convincing Thai lady had told us - and she had mysteriously disappeared. So once again we found ourselves hot, hungry and haggling. Seriously wondering whether we were indeed in Thailand or had been transported to India, we reached a compromise and settled in.
With the hungry and haggling resolved, we were left only to deal with the hot. We hired two push bikes with padded racks over the back wheel for the kids to perch on, adjusted our perception of risk and pedaled off across town to the ruins, creating our own breeze.
As the sun dipped low in the sky the polluted air became our friend; the sunset was rich and lingered. We had a few rewarding hours of Asia at its very best.
Dusty, happy and still in one piece we tuk-tukked off to Rosie's chosen restaurant but were not brave enough to try the deep fried frog, curry wild boar or fried bird. And took this photo ...
Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom