Ayutthaya

January 11, 2007

Ayutthaya at SunsetAyutthaya is one of Thailand’s former capitals, was invaded by the Burmese, and is now a collection of beautiful ruins.

 We made the trip from Bangkok by local train, a supposedly 1.5 hour journey, which stretched out to 2.5 hours.  The train was jam-packed, not a seat to be had.  Vendors waddled up and down the aisles selling water, fruit, and snacks.  It was an interesting experience, but exhausting; we got into Ayutthaya knackered and ended up taking a 2-jour nap before heading out to the ruins.

The preffered mode of transport for going around the ruins is bicycle, although I can’t fathom why.  The streets leading to the Historical Park and chaotic and the bike paths in the park are bumpy, at best, non-existant, at worst.  Add in the rusting, granny-style bicycles and that makes for a sore butt at the end of the day.

Buddha in the treeStill, the ruins were beautiful, especially in the late afternoon.  The grounds were nearly deserted, except for a few small tours and a painting class.  Most of the ruins are red brick, mottled with black.  Sitting decapitated and amputated along the walls were rows of Buddha statues. One very famous photo-op is one such Buddha head, in eternal meditation in the roots of a tree. 

The ruins had me in awe.  Not so much their age or their design, but their there-ness, if that makes sense (which I’m sure it doesn’t.)  With the sunset behind them and the trees growing around them, they seemed to be a part of nature.  While I had no real expectation of the ruins we were to see – especially the great Angkor Wat – I’m now far more curious about them than when we first started out.

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2 Responses to “Ayutthaya”

  1. Keiko said

    I have finally caught up and read everything. Your trip sounds like so much fun so far. Well, anything is better than cold, rainy and weird misty rain stuff in NY right now. What kind of bike did you ride? Any accidents????
    Keiko

  2. erica said

    i was just taking a travel photography course last week, and saw a bunch of photos of that buddha head– i hadn’t been to ayutthaya, but that photo alone makes me want to go. :)

    if you enjoyed that, you are going to love angkor wat and the surrounding temples!

    how long did you spend at ayutthaya?

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