Published: February 27th 2011January 13th 2011
We got up at 7am today for breakfast and an early start. We hired a driver to take us to Ayutthaya for the day with the plan to catch the bus to Chiang Mai. (The train was sold out.) Ayutthaya is the ancient capitol of Thailand and has a lot of temple ruins.
We arrived around 11am and made three stops before lunch. First we went to Wat Maha That. It was a vast ancient temple with beautiful grounds. Our second stop was Wat Ratchaburana, an ancient palace with quite a high temple and amazing view. We were allowed in, but the artifacts were stolen in 1957. Last, we went to a temple whose name I never did find out.
We stopped for lunch and three of us opted for green curry. After lunch, we thought we had more driver services, but our driver said he was done for the day. Yet another reminder to always be specific when setting up a tour! I, alone, opted to set up a private tuk tuk tour for two hours in the afternoon and visit four sites; I could have hired him for longer and more sites, but his rate is for
the vehicle, not the person, so it was a bit steep.
My driver drove me around the city and across the river to four sites:
1. Wat Yai Chaimongkol
2. Phrc Monghonbophit
3. The palace next to it, Wat phrasisanphlet
4. The reclining Buddha, located at some remains that were pretty sparse.
1. Full of people, this was my favorite of all of them. It was just beautiful, though I think the bright blue skies influenced my opinion. You could climb up the wat, and the views from the top were spectacular. Two students interviewed me for a tourism class and it was cute to watch them smile as I told them how much I love Thailand. I leisurely wandered around the grounds, taking in the trees and flowers.
2. This wat houses a 9.5 meter wide and 12.5 meter tall Buddha, one of the largest in Thailand. It's golden and was restored in 1957.
3. This wat was on old palace grounds. I was impressed how extensive the ruins were and how tall.
4. These ruins were too ruined and not much to look at. In some cases, it looked like they were doing
construction. The Buddha was nice, but looked new. I don't think it was, but because of all the reconstruction, it was hard to tell.
On our way back, we stopped at his friend's house for a few minutes. I was starting to worry something might be going on, but I think he was just giving his friend something. I arrived back to where Edward and Tom were waiting; Sally had gone for a bike ride around to some of the same sites. We had a leisurely dinner and then caught a taxi at 8pm to catch a bus at 830 along the highway. Off to Chiang Mai!
There are more photos below