Posted by Lois on -
Ayutthaya was a city founded by King U Thong in 1350 and was proclaimed capital of his kingdom. It was one of the world's largest cities at that time. But by 1767 it was destroyed by the Burmese army and now the city lays in ruins. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
Did I know these facts when I visited Ayutthaya? Certainly not. In fact, I googled everything just now. I was an oblivious 'tourist' who went on a stress free day trip that was arranged in advance by my friend, Carlo. But I should have done some research, right sole sister Chichi? For starters, I broke the number 1 rule when it comes to visiting Buddhist temples. Do not dress inappropriately.My excuse is that it was hot. But yes, shame on me as this was not my first visit to Thailand. I just hope you guys won't make the same mistake as we did. But if you do, there are shirts and skirts that you can rent for 200THB at the entrance. Don't panic, they'll give you your money back after you return the clothes.
First stop was at the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace where the king usually spent the summer.
Next, we went to Wat Yai Chaimongkhol. This was my favorite part of the tour. We came to a gynormous temple complex and saw huge buddha statues. I liked this wat because of the chedis, the buddhas and the friendly monks. We must have spent the longest time here after taking so many photos.
We went to Viharn Phra Mongkolbophit after. We quietly observed the buddhist ritual of placing small golden flakes on the statues even though we didn't fully understand it.
Our last stop was Wat Phra Sri Sanphet.
By this time it was midday and we were all sweaty, hungry and experiencing WAT-overload. It was great to have lunch at a local restaurant where they served simple, fresh Thai dishes. This was also where the monks came to eat.
Just a quick note on the day tour: There are certain advantages to taking this route. We paid 1785PHP (40USD) which included the van pick up from the hotel, a driver, tour guide, entrance fees and lunch. It was convenient to get picked up at the hotel, take a 1 hour ride from Bangkok to Ayutthaya and just tag along for the day. Our guide was really good and she shared historical background about the places we visited as well as some interesting facts. The lunch at the end of the tour was a great bonus.
On the flipside, we felt a bit rushed as our guide made us stick to a tight schedule. There were places where we wanted to take our time and go our leisurely way. And others we just wanted to skip altogether. It would have been nice to just ride a bike and discover the temples at our own pace. But I don't think my friends would be amendable to that. (I'm looking at you, Leah) Perhaps on the next adventure, maybe in Angkor Wat?
I'm almost done writing The Sole Sister's Survival Guide to the Full Moon Party. I'm excited to share that with you on the next post.
Until the next trip,
Sole Sister Lois