Tom picked us up at 9 AM. two other couples had booked the same tour with the Avalon guide to Ayutthaya leaving at 7:30 and returning by boat.
After a rather light breakfast (lunch is included) we headed out of Bangkok. Thankfully it is Sunday so traffic is "relatively" light.
This is a much more scenic drive, lots of rice fields.
This was an incredible day and I am trying to limit the photos!
The Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya or Ayutthaya in short, is one of Thailand's historical and majestic highlights. Serving as the Thai capital for 417 years (1350 1767: Kingdom of Ayutthaya), it was once glorified as one of the biggest cities in the world a Southeast Asia center for civilizations. During the 17th century, most foreign visitors to Ayutthaya, traders or diplomats alike, claimed Ayutthaya to be the most illustrious and glittering city that they had ever visited.
This once glorious capital city, situated 80 km from Bangkok was destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767 and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. A large number of palaces, temples and chedis are still standing. In 1782 Bangkok became the capital of Thailand. The principal sights include the gigantic bronze statues of Wat Mongkol Borpith, also Wat Phra Srisanpetch and Wat Yai Chai Mongkol.
First stop is Bang Pa-In summer palace which can be seen on all the brochures, all the postcards, and everyone stops to take a photo of the beautiful golden pavilion, but the only true way to appreciate it's beauty is to see it in person.
The pavilion is situated in the very centre of the palace complex, and in the middle of a lake. It is the only structure in the entire palace complex that is built in the traditional Thai style, and is a tribute to one of Thailand's most revered King Rama V.
He was the first King to bring western technology and influence to Siam in the 19th Century, really started the modernisation of Siam into the country we know call Thailand. The statue was erected by his son after the death of this great King.
Spirits living in trees – If the tree is a mature or old tree, the spirit living in it is generally good ones. If one wants to cut down a tree for any reason, he/she must ask permission of the spirit before the “ceremony”. An axe/saw is to be put leaning against the tree trunk. In two or three days if the tool is still upright or at the same location, that means the spirit has given permission to cut down the tree. If not, it’s best not to pursue that task.
An altar comtaining one of the Rama's ashes.
Tom dressing me to go into the temple. No photos allowed.
A stop at a temple, not sure what the name was.
This was very busy with locals getting ready for the New Year by making offerings.
The monks sitting at the bottom of the Buddha will pass out the gold cloth to the crowd in front of the doors.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is situated to the southeast and opposite to Ayutthaya city. A large Chedi of this Wat can be seen from a far distance. This monastery was built by King U-Thong in 1357 A .D. for the use of the monks who had returned from Ceylon after studying under Phra Vanarat Maha Thera.
Let's just say WOW!
Time for lunch - another buffet.
Back to Bangkok around 5PM and some drinks on the patio outside the hotel. Then pizza and time for bed.