Ayutthaya in English by Mrs T – Part One

I promised I would do a post in English and now is the time, sorry to my fellow French but I do need to think of my English friends who do want to have some insight of “moi”.

We say goodbye to SUK11, our hostel for the past few days, for a short trip to Ayutthaya, the late capital of Thailand during the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

A few pics of the place we will come back to again at the week-end.

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Packing two little rucksacks we took a taxi to take us to Bangkok train station. Tickets for 2 adults and 3 children to Ayutthaya and here we are lighter by 54 Bath, in GBP….1.10…yes you read correctly,

£1 and 10 pennies for a max of 2 hours on the train. Ok fair enough, there is no A/C, the seats are a bit manky, but the atmosphere is great and the people on the train are really lovely. I can now here Oskar saying “Mum, Mr Guy said you can’t use lovely.” well you know what Mr Guy? They REALLY are lovely, kind, generous, pleasant, enjoyable, delightful people.

Anyway…so here it is, our 3rd class train to Ayutthaya, that arrived an hour late, but hey so it is in Thailand, smile and wait.

DSC 0247 DSC 0260 During our journey, plenty of sellers tried to lighten their loads with jam sandwiches, or homemade platters or any sort of drinks for again, ridiculous amount of money, (20p for 4 sandwiches)

You can see clearly that the flood has done lots of damage from the scenery outside DSC 0275 , but I was very surprised that we couldn’t see any of that in Bangkok apart from the odd pile of sand bags on the streets.

We arrived safe and sound in this little town where we were welcomed yet again by the tuk tuk or taxi drivers offering rides. Following the crowd we headed towards the river to catch our boat that would take us on the other side for 3 bath each (0.06p). After a fairly long and hot walk, we found our hostel for the next 3 nights. A charming house, with 1 bedroom, bathroom and lounge with a big garden and a swimming pool; all this for £40 for the 3 nights.

DSC 0277I know I should stop telling you how much everything is but I wanted you to know, but that’s it, promise.

We dumped our belongings and headed straight to the pool and a bite to eat. Our 1st day had already gone, tomorrow we would start on the ruins.

After a long and well deserved sleep and a homemade breakfast we embark on our discovery, by foot. Big mistake. You would think that we could do the island walking, but by bicycle was far more romantic and less tiring as we encounter at the end of the day.

The people have cleaned the town so beautifully and quickly that you can almost forget the remain of the flood. The only evidence is the line on the building walls DSC 0281, almost as tall as Oskar DSC 0282.

A quick stop at the tourist information, DSC 0295 and on our way out, we meet up with beautiful pachyderms with their mahouts. We could have touched them and one came so close to me I didn’t dare move. P1040121 P1040122. It was quite a magic moment. We didn’t go on them though as we are keeping a special day in our diary for them, yes a whole day.

Here the flood came higher than Jon DSC 0300.

On our way to a Wat, we met with a monitor lizard, DSC 0309 and a magnificent beehive DSC 0312

Wat Phra Si Sanphet, a monastery located within the ground of the Grand palace, is of outstanding beauty. The ruins are all that remain from what would have looked amazing. I am not sure the pictures do it justice but we have tried our best.

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That is it for today. We know are proud owners of push bikes and tomorrow we will offer you more surprises from this extraordinary town.

Wat Phra Mahathat, built in 1374 has one perculiarity, the sand stone head of Buddha found encased in the roots of a magnificent tree.

There are many theories, one being that thieves tried to steal the head but found it was too heavy so left it there and the other, which I prefer, is that the image was abandoned after the Burmese sacked Ayuthaya and trees grew around it to somehow protect it. Far more spiritual.

DSC 0417 DSC 0530 I really like this picture, there is a sense of peacefulness and beauty. I just want to meditate in front of him.

DSC 0537 I felt very special in the grounds of these ruins, I guess the fact that we could escape most of the tourists helped as well.

I am going to share a lot of pictures now trying to recreate my feelings.

Now imagine silence, the only sounds are of the leaves rustling in the trees and the birds singing their peculiar calls. The sun is strong and the heat is powerful, there is a slight breeze and you walk around ruins and buddhas, a lot of them, as old as almost 700 years. You feel at peace, serene, relaxed, carefree.

Now join me

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Now some might think that there are just some boring old ruins, others,….well, will think like me.

I will have to start a new post as there are far too many pictures.

  1. #1 by Scot Peacock on January 14, 2012 - 5:25 pm

    Wow!!! Loving the head in the tree roots 🙂 I’m really liking the contrasts – the bustle of city life and the way you’re all bundled together on transport; with the quiet of Wat Phra. I would love to meditate there! And I can imagine seeing the remaining evidence of the flood was a sobering experience. Great experiences x

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