Sunday, February 24, 2013


Whilst doing some research about what else to do and see in Thailand, I stumbled upon this post about the ancient city ruins of Ayuttaya – and so based on this post Dave and I got a mini-van from Kanchanaburi as our next stop. One of the biggest cities in the world in it’s day, I had heard nothing about it!

Once settled into a guesthouse along the seemingly only strip of touristy places, we tried to check out the floating market across the river to find it in the packing up stages. Instead, we had dinner at Tony's Place before we walked down to the closest two temples to see them all lit up.

The next morning, we set about exploring the temple ruins, on foot cos I am a scaredy cat when it comes to riding a bike. The traffic around was a little mad, and I know I could not have navigated it – I really need to teach myself to ride a bike again!

The first one was the most impressive lit up the night before, Wat Ratchaburana, and was the stupu built by the surviving brother of two others, who, when their father the King died fought each other to win the throne - and in the process killed each other.

The whole complex has been severely looted over the years, and also victim to floods and earthquakes, and this tomb to the brother’s in line for the throne was a trove of much gold for looters when it was opened. You can now climb down into see where the remaining brother left so much gold with his fallen siblings, but alas no gold in sight.

Just next door is Wat Phra Mahathat, with a row all along the outside of the temple wall of buddhas with their heads missing. Only a few remain, and some have been restored.

Walking further afield, we passed several smaller wats dotted along the creek and parkland here, before wandering through Wat Thammikarat. This temple had monks at work on restoration, and also keeping the temple an active place of worship.

Seeking out the Grand Palace next, following the map we figured out that the area that we were walking around was in fact the Palace – completing flattened.  Of what must have been grand and impressive, just three to four bricks of the thick walls remained as an outline. We climbed the fence and walked through the massive complex before we reach the area with the wats of the Palace and the rest of the tourists.

The three chedis all lined up loom at one side of the Grand Palace grounds, and here seemed to be the main attraction of the city. We were able to climb over almost all of the temples, with only a handful of other people, monks and occasional tour or school groups, around. Although at Wat Phra Si Sanphet here at the Palace, we encountered the only crowds.

The kingdom of rule here in Ayuttaya was such an important piece of the Siam and indeed the trade region of it’s time, and now lies as a possible day trip from Bangkok, almost forgotten about. So few people here means you can explore at your leisure, and as your inquisitive whim takes you.

A lost Kingdom of the world, go grand and enchanting. It's amazing, and surely needs some more attention.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so pleased you guys had a good time in Ayutthaya - would have been a bit sad if you'd gone and it didn't live up to my description :)


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