A decent city to run in with many parks and historical sites.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: Pavement and dirt paths. Sometimes paving stones, and some of these were partly broken, so pay attention!
  • Length: Lots of small loops of 2km in parks that can be connected for longer runs.
  • Flow: Excellent within each park, but if going between you have to negotiate busy traffic and large intersections.
  • Scenery: City parks and the famous historic ruins of Ayuthaya.
  • Safety Issues: Traffic when crossing streets!
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Drinking water: No
  • Transit Access: n/a
  • Parking: n/a
  • Night Access: Not recommended – there is very little street light and it is very very dark!
  • Special Features: Historic Ruins of Ayuthaya
  • Nearby Attractions: The one thing we found in Ayuthaya was an amazing street food market – it’s the biggest we have ever seen and is not to be missed! Every night at Bang Lan Market.

Ayuthaya is a popular day trip from Bangkok but we decided to go and spend the night. While Ayuthaya was not my favourite city on our trip to Thailand, the discovery of an amazing street food market every evening made spending the night well worth it! In addition we were able to visit the wonderful historic ruins outside of the busy hours when hoards of day trippers crowd everything.

Having just come from tranquil Sukhothai further north, Ayuthaya was a bit of a shock! It is bigger and louder, and there is a lot more garbage. However, it does have its own charm, and the sites are amazing in their own right.

I love running near ruins and historic sites, so I planned a route from my hotel. The city is flat, so I knew I wouldn’t have to negotiate any hills but there is a lot of traffic down the main roads, so I tried to avoid those. Like the rest of Thailand, its hot and humid, so I set out in the early morning, just at dawn, and I recommend you do the same. I started out on some smaller streets near my hotel, which were quiet in the early morning. I slowed down to cross a big road, and then found myself near a small city park. Across the street was another park. The whole center of the city, near to the various famous ruins, make up a network of parks. They all have paths that circle the outer edge of the park and various paths crisscross the center. Some contain Wats and ruins, others are simple city parks; the largest is Rama Park and it contains and borders several historic ruin sites.


The paths are paved, dirt or paving stones. Most are in good repair, although some areas with paving stones are broken and parts stick up, so you have to pay attention. The nameless city parks I circled has nice dirt paths, but Rama Park, despite being more of a destination for tourists, had several paths of paving stones in serous need of repair.


I did not see many other people exercising. I pass one other runner in a city park, and at the edge of another park I came across an area with manual exercise machines and a few people were using them. I did see some people playing a game that looked kind of like croquet but I think it was something else? I am not sure. They were dressed nicely (kind of like golfers) and seemed pretty serious about it.

There was shade here and there from big trees, but it is really quite cool in the early morning. I made sure I was back at my hotel and showering before the punishing heat of the direct sun was an issue.

Some of the ruins are stunning. And at the early morning there I had them all to myself. I returned with my family later in the day and it was much busier (even after the main tours from Bangkok had left). I stopped for a few minutes during my run to snap some pictures. There were some street dogs that seemed to be guarding some of the ruins. I was a little nervous around them, but they were uninterested in me.

 

Another special part of the early morning hour is seeing monks out for alms. I have a vision of this that is intricately associated with Thailand in my mind. Every time I would run by a monk, I would smile, and often they would smile back.

Ayuathaya is not a city I would go out of my way to run in. But it is worth a stop as part of any historic and cultural tour of Thailand, and if you are there for a night, you can definitely get in a nice run. I am attaching a picture of my Strava running route. So you can see how I ran, and can plan your own set of loops.