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Published: November 6th 2009
Ruined temple with buddhas
Note the missing heads as is common due to the Burmese, Khmer, and thieves defiling and looting.
Today was another travel day. We left the comfortable and welcoming guesthome of Baan Rub Aroon to fly back to Bangkok. Nong and her staff were so kind and we thank Nine, Ploi, and Tip profusely for their help. Special thanks and most warmest regards to Nong for being a wonderful hostess and making sure we ate well and experienced as much Chiang Rai and area as possible. We wish her the best with the guesthouse and her new venture which is opening a new guesthouse that is located in a leechee orchard. We'll definitely be visiting her again!
After a quickie flight to Bangkok, we grabbed a taxi to the city of Ayutthaya which is north of Bangkok. After 1 hr, we arrived at 11:30am and checked into a fantastic Thai style teak guesthouse (Luang Chumni Village). It is so unusual that you must see the video on it.
We ate a meal in a roadside shop of boiled pork and fish"ball"noodles (Rick) and steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Tammy). Rick liked the noodles all except the pork intestine. He passed on that. Ewwww...
We walked around downtown Ayutthaya and then picked up a tuk-tuk to take us out to a
few of the temples that are too far out to walk or bike to. Check out our tuk-tuk videos. It was certainly an interesting experience. We got the 1970's tuk-tuk instead of a nice new one. Poor thing could barely move and when our driver had to stop, the engine stalled every time. All part of the experience folks. The best part was stalling in the middle of a crowded intersection in front of a double decker tour bus. : ) We went to the farthest places to too just to tax that failing engine further. Ayutthaya is the old capitol of Thailand and was so for hundreds of years. This is where the center of the action was for much of Thailand's history with many famous kings ruling from different palaces. And of course, lots of wats, which are stone or brick and survive in various states to this day. According to one survey, there are 400 wats in and around Ayutthaya. Oh, by the way, Ayutthaya is an island surrounded by rivers. Good defensive place for a capitol, yes. We first stopped off at Wat Phu Khao Thong. This is a very tall white one that due to
They're a little skinner than American cows...much like the people.
settling, the top leans a bit to one side. As the guide book says "its a bit wonky." In the back is the active wat. We also passed by the King Naresuan momument. King Naresuan is famous for defeating the Burmese many times and winning back lots of Thai territory. He ruled at the end of the 1500s. His statue has hundreds of chickens of all sizes (see pics) around it. Our Thai friends, any enlightenment as to what these chickens represent?
We next went to the Queen Suriyothai Memorial. Suriyothai is the most famous queen in Thai history and was one of the few great heroines in all of Earth's history. Instead of hanging back at the palace, she went to war with her husband, the King. This is the king right before Naresuan. Just as he was about to be killed in battle by the Burmese King (both fighting on great elephants as was the style of warfare in that era) she road her elephant between them and fought the Burmese King herself. Unfortunately, she was killed. But her husband defeated the Burmese King and won the war. Due to her sacrifice, the Thai people greatly love her.
Her memorial consists of a small park with a massive bronze statue of the Queen on elephant back in full war armor with her guards fighting by her side. Opposite the massive bronze statue is another statue area with statues of people bowing down and admiring their queen. Truly impressive!
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is the largest temple/monastery and was built in a Khmer/Cambodian style of architecture to commemorate victory over the Khmer about 500 years ago.
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