Wat

Ayutthaya,Venice of the East.

It’s hard to beat Ayutthaya for the number and variety of temples within the old city. As I mentioned in a previous Blog you can get ‘templed-out’ but here they are very impressive, many set in extensive grounds and the city itself is a pleasure to explore. We walked a lot, took the ‘noddy’ style tuk-tuks and went on a boat trip on the river. Many tourists hire bikes but I wasn’t tempted …too much traffic around!

You can see from the pictures that these temples are centuries old . Ayutthaya was a significant city dating back to the 14th century and was once the capital of Thailand. The river runs around the centre and unfortunately serious flooding occurs. In 2011 some parts of the city was under three meters of water. It’s hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for the residents during those three months and the effect afterwards both on them and the historical buildings. Tourism was affected although they have certainly returned in large numbers as we found visiting the temples.

Ayutthaya, Ban Thai House
Ban Thai House

Ban Thai House where we stayed was a good choice. We’d booked their traditional small Thai house which is made of teak. It creaked a little and we eventually got used to the high step between our compact bedroom and the bathroom and enjoyed sitting on our balcony overlooking the lake and the grounds.

Wat Mahathat, The Temple of the Great Relic, Thailand.
Wat Mahathat, The Temple of the “Great Relic”
Wat Mahathat, The Temple of the Great Relic, Thailand
Wat Mahathat. One of the temple’s most photographed features is the head of a stone Buddha entwined within the roots of a tree.

I had to be patient to get these pictures of the stone head as I didn’t want any tourists in the way!

Wat Mahathat. Ayutthaya,Thailand
Wat Ratchaburana.

I took this shot as we came out of a cafe opposite after having a beer. The cone-shaped oblelisk which are called Prangs had turned a golden colour by the setting sun.

Wat Yai Chaimongkhon Ayutthaya, Thailand
Wat Yai Chaimongkhon with its stunning reclining Buddha.

We had an interesting walk to this temple – having paused to watch workers making a sweet desert called Roti Sai Mai (also known as Sweet Angel Hair) which is a speciality of Ayutthaya and we were invited inside the mini factory. They were lovely people, so welcoming and eager to explain the process. They gave us a mid-morning snack of the most delicious Roti Sai Mai which is a bit like candy floss wrapped in a pancake.

Wat Yai Chaimongkhon, Ayutthaya
Wat Yai Chaimongkhon, an active temple where monks still live.

More tourists dressed up to visit the temples. It’s got to be said that not everyone looks great wearing the national costume and modern shoes with it doesn’t help …

Phraya River Ayutthaya Thailand
Visiting various temples on our trip on the river.

This two-hour boat trip was very interesting including visiting a Chinese temple (top picture). The picture of the little girl by the row of Buddhas is one of my favourite shots of the holiday.

Wat Phutthaisawan Ayutthaya Thailand
Visitor to Wat Phutthaisawan looking stunning in national dress.
Ayutthaya Thailand_0009
Dressing up to visit the temple.

Here are girls who can wear the traditional costume. I would have loved to have taken more pictures, they were just stunning and the light was perfect.

Wat Lokayasutharam, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Wat Lokayasutharam, home to a huge reclining Buddha

The tuk-tuks in Ayutthaya were different to ones we’d seen before, definitely ‘noddyish’. This Buddha is HUGE! 42 metres in length with the head resting on a lotus flower, very impressive. The grounds were beautiful and for once it was very quiet. I’ve added an effect to these two pictures to give an ethereal feel.

New weekend night market in Ayutthaya, Thailand
New weekend night market in Ayutthaya.

If the hotel hadn’t told us we wouldn’t have known about this new weekend market which opened at the beginning of the year. If you go to Ayutthaya you must go here. The food is cheap, varied and delicious. A word of warning, grab a tub-tuk before the market starts to close up otherwise you’ll have to walk back to your hotel. This city shuts early!

Wat Pichai Songkram Ayutthaya Thailand
Our last day and a visit to nearby Wat Pichai Songkram, getting a blessing for a safe journey home.

The blessing worked! We arrived home having had a good trip back. We were sorry to leave Thailand but we’ll be back, that’s for sure.

 

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