Posted by: ghostdawg2 | May 5, 2009

Thailand:Ayuthaya by Princess and Toolman

Ayutthaya, Thailand: Gold Buddha
photo by Kris60

Ayuthaya is only 86km’s north of Bangkok, so next on our list of places to visit.

It has a huge collection of ancient ruins, is the former capital of Siam (Thailand) and now a Unesco World Heritage Site. We caught the train there; the ride was lovely, it was such a nice way to see the country side. Toolman made friends with a (faux-cowboy) Thai man who ended up listening to a couple of songs on his iPod (his favorite was Hush by Deep Purple and covered by Kula Shaker on Toolmans iPod) . He was rocking out, it was funny as!

Upon arriving in Ayuthaya we needed to embark on the dreaded hunt for accommodation. It is always hard work, lugging your pack around in the heat and checking out different places. Luckily this time the first place we looked at fitted the bill perfectly. It was called Tony's Guest House which had friendly staff and large, clean rooms. Awesome!
Outside Tony's was a Tuktuk airbrushed with drawings of the different ruins you can visit. It was really well done! Sorry we don't have a picture.
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The next day we embarked on a tour of the various sights Ayuthaya has to offer. We decided the best way to get around would be to hire a scooter. As always, plenty of places offering them for us farangs. As usual, we don't know the names of most of these paces, as there are so many!

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In the above Wat (sorry we aren't sure of its name) we met a lovely Thai man named Joe and his wife. We had a good chat with them, and Joe left us his business card in case we needed any help from him - he worked in finance, and spoke English reasonably well. That is what is so lovely about Thai people, they are always willing to go out of their way to help you.

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Ayuthaya's historic temples are scattered throughout the city and along the encircling rivers. The ruins are still so grand, considering their age. Some are over 600 years old! We tried to imagine what was it like for the Thai people so long ago to have such amazing architecture, and how grand the buildings must have been.
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As we mentioned, most of these temples date back to the 14th century. Some of them are still relatively intact which is pretty amazing!
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We could get on top of most of the ruins, which was good. Getting up close and all..

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Apparently this is one of the most photographed sites in Ayuthaya. It's the Buddha head around which tree roots have grown. It looks like a carved rock was placed there and the tree grew around it - neat!

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The tower pictured is apparently one of the first built in the city.

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It was stable enough to go inside. A set of stairs which we bravely tackled leads down to its depths...
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Very interesting. And yes, those stairs are very steep!
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If you look closely at the picture aboveyou might be able to make out some of the ancient illustrations on the walls.

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Toolman liked this tree-on-a-wall. Kind of cool, huh?

During our travels on the scooter we came across this bizarre monument that was surrounded by a large array of Roosters. We couldn't seem to find out anything about it in the Lonely Planet, and there was no one around to ask, so your guess is as good as ours as to what it symbolises!

Maybe something to do with fertility?

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Check out the giant cock! He's pretty impressive...
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..as is the mulitude of mini cocks. It was insane, there were literally hundreds of the things everywhere!

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We also visited the Elephant Kraal. This is a restored version of the wooden stockade once used for the annual round up of wild elephants. The King has a pagoda (behind the camera), traditionally to watch the event from. The area is now just an Elephant camp, so we went to look at Thailand's national animal.

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There were lots of tame elephants living here. We got to feed and have cuddles with them. This one ate the bundle of bananas we fed her, then let us close to her baby...
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Isn't the bubby gorgeous? For some reason his mum had covered him in straw. He was so cute and small and Princess REALLY wanted to steal him, but he wouldn't fitted into a pack very well. Also his mum might miss him a little bit...

So, after 2 days in Ayuthaya it was time to get the train to Lopburi, the land of the monkeys....

source : http://itsbetterthanwork.blogspot.com/2007/09/thailand-ayuthuya.html

source : http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g303897-Ayutthaya.html#19182993

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