Published: August 5th 2012August 5th 2012
Wat Phra Sri Rattana Maha That
An absolute mouthful to pronounce, but what a sight to behold -- visions of Angkor!
Taking advantage of the long weekend here in Thailand because of what I think they call Monk's Day (Wan Phra), I made the train journey up north deep into central Thailand, to the ancient second capital of Lopburi. Nine famous temples bear witness to Lopburi's historical signifance as King Narai's preferred place of residence in the 17th century when the ancient capital of Atutthaya was still the seat of power.
Today Lopburi is a sleepy town where at times the crab-eating macaques seem to even outnumber the people. It's considered slightly off the tourist trail, or at least certainly so compared to its more illustrious ancient sibling Ayutthaya, which I'd visited a couple of years ago.
The Old City where I stayed was very compact, and all the sights were within walking distance. Smaller than Kanchanaburi, and even quieter, almost all activity seems to have ceased by 10 pm at night. Even the other foreigners in my guesthouse were mostly already sound asleep by then!
Speaking of which, there was a French (again) family staying at the same guesthouse (Noom's) as me, and I had the chance to chat with the father as we watched the USA-Lithuania Olympic
Phra Pang Sam Yod
A pretty three-towered templet ruled by the resident macaque hordes.
basketball match. Turned out he was an ex-professional handball player, and his brother who played the same sport actually won a bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics! He told me also that his wife used to be a professional ballerina. They are both now teachers, he in PE and she in dance (of course). Our conversation was constantly peppered by interruptions from his three young children, as he struggled to convince them to take their baths before they went to bed! When he asked whether I had a family and children of my own and I said no, I feel like I sensed at least a modicum of envy haha!
Anyway before long it was time to return to Bangkok, and for the return journey I took a minivan service instead, much faster but nausea-inducing!
Back to BKK again before another long weekend coming up again, stay tuned for perhaps more trip details!
There are more photos below