Monday, June 25, 2012

Ayutthaya (Thailand) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Terror-terrifying first night in Bangkok (Pathumwan Hotel). For the first time ever in my entire life, just before I hit the big five, I did this solo travel. Albeit achieving it rather big while sightseeing along those unknown tourists (Bangkok - Through My Canon) by slowly ditching fear aside, dammit still to sleeping alone. Scary shit. I did sleep though, subsequently, waking up as early 5am for my Ayutthaya tour was akin an instant pop-up and about. Tour already paid for yesterday at the downstairs Pathumwan Hotel travel agent (Pathumwan Part 1 & Pathumwan Part 2). Those staff I tell you, are such darlings. They actually showered some love by telling me the do's and don'ts in Bangkok, which did in a way strengthened my solo traveling back bone. So, positively I followed the travel agent who came to fetch me by 6.00pm to his office, where by 7am, I hopped into the coach together with the rest of the tourists for journeying towards Ayutthaya.

Our first point in stopping was Bang Pa-In Palace where tour guide vaguely briefed us on its significance, and also told us that we have a choice between walking or buggy service. None opted for the latter, except Nava K. RM10.00. Why not instead of aimlessly walking around while the Thai sun was already shooting hot arrows from the sky for  blistering and sweating you unnecessarily? No regrets. My young darling buggy driver did a superb job, he even volunteered in picture photographing me. Bang Pa-In Palace, aka Summer Palace, in a huge, open and beautifully maintained ground, showcases the life and style of the former Thai Kings. How they lived, how they entertained, how many wives they had, even maybe concubines and mistresses, I said maybe, how many children and how beautiful their homage big houses are. All of these basically coming together as one core attraction in Ban Pa-In Palace.  

But, there is only so much you can see. Outside viewing is definitely allowed, however, entry is limited, photography is highly prohibited and decency by covering your essential parts must be adhered. If you have to, pay and wrap the Thai sarong around you like what I did, on your way out, return it and collect back you money. I actually covered Bang Pa-In Palace within half an hour, as I have already said, you can't see all of it. Having said that, its still worth visiting Ban Pa-In Palace because traveling experience is never a lost. I awaited for the rest outside, thereafter we road railed to Wat Mahathat.   

Located right at the heart of Ayutthaya, Wat Mahathat, aka "Temple Of Great Relics" is a symbolic center built during the 14th century A.D and where Buddha’s relics were enshrined. Sadly though, reduced to ruins when Burmese army invaded Ayutthaya. Obviously the reason why many of the Buddha images are headless. Nevertheless, Wat Mahathat through my eyes is still a beauty in its own class. One of the most beautiful temple complexes. Despite the ruins and what's left today, Wat Mahathat is a major tourist’s attraction. Thailand's world known iconic image of Buddha head on the ground, trapped in the roots of a bodhi tree is right here. Heart touching, but I must forewarn you that Thai sun can literally kill can you while you take your moment to seeing the whole area. 

Next our our list was Wat Na Phramen. A small interesting temple located at the river of Lopburi side and constructed in the late Ayutthaya-period architecture style, Wat Na Phramen is the only temple in Ayutthaya city that was not destroyed by the war. Gold leaf crowned, largest Buddha across the ordination hall, seemingly is the central attraction and in the hall by itself, you will see deities statues, including the "Nine-Faced" Buddha whereas in the small sermon hall to the right, is where Phra Khantharat Buddha image is, alongside other deities statues. By this hour, I have already seen many Buddha images. Uncountable. Remember I also did a round of Buddhist Temples yesterday (Bangkok -Through My Canon)? Therefore, my interest on the same was slowly sliding off. Too many. 

But the moment I stepped foot at the open area in Wat Lokaysutharam, I gleamed again once I saw the 
largest in Ayutthaya, reclining Buddha (32m long, 8m high). That's about in Wat Lokaysutharam, still, this one huge Buddha image will stir up your inner feelings. Awesomely fantastic.  

Officially Ayutthaya tour over, to return back to Bangkok, we cruised down Chao Phraya River while tucking into lunch. Not bad. Appreciated food which by far was finishing off just like that, thank god I managed to grab some, I then realise that I am the only Asian Indian Malaysian amongst all the Westerners. Mostly senior citizens, I made friends with the Italian guys though we couldn't speak much due to language trouble. Initially, I stood with them on the open deck, but once sun massively started burning my sun. I ran inside. Sipping into a cup of coffee, I continued looking at both sides of the banks. Popped up those temples we had visited, also the Thai water life at the edge of the river.

Dropped off at the hotel, I quickly dashed into the travel agent office for inquiring on what else can I do in Bangkok. Done. Paid for Calypso Cabaret Show. Simultaneously, I paid for another Bangkok tour which will be put into perspective next morning.

To be continued in Bangkok Part 2

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  1. Wow, amazing! I felt as if I am roaming there. Nava, wonderful post with very interesting pictures. Keep it up!

  2. I love the elephants. Guess it took long time to grow those

  3. I like the elephant sculpture..
    Th people like elephants..

  4. I love the last pic! Elephants in the garden!

  5. I've been to Ayutthaya once & the place is beautiful especially the reclining Buddha. Did u take pix with it?


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