Monday, June 25, 2012

Ayutthaya (Thailand) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

I survive! Yes everyone. I survive despite its been a 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. Indeed, a major massive milestone (Chonburi & Pattaya) which started off promisingly. Me being amongst never met before people, mostly Westerners for first day sightseeing (Bangkok - Through My Canon). Nevertheless, first night sleeping alone, as I have already given you the gist, was literally scary shit. Imagine? Never before (Pathumwan Princess Part 3). Sleeping alone at home on the other hand is something I am already accustomed to, due to my half-half quite often on the go work travelling, but this me alone ever on bed, damn! Still, sleep caught up with me for maybe 3 to 4 hours, before waking up as early 5am for my Ayutthaya tour. Already paid and settled yesterday at the downstairs tour agent (Pathumwan Part 1 & Pathumwan Part 2). Those staff I must tell you, were 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. Out of hotel by 6.00pm this morning, to the travel agent's office where I hopped into the coach alongside the rest of the tourists for the start of our Ayutthaya journeying. 

Passing by the still floated padi field during this worst floats in Bangkok, in fact I should consider myself lucky for this first day Ayutthaya was ready for tourism, followed by sightseeing popping in front of us once we arrived in Bang Pa-In Palace. Tour guide briefing us and also telling us that we have a choice between walking the full ground or buggy service. None seem keen in buggy service despite me asking, like I cared anyway, I went ahead and paid RM10.00. Why not? Instead of tiring myself unnecessarily in the blistering Thai sun? No regrets. My young adorable smiling smiley buggy driver driving me around, he even volunteered picturing 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, how many children and how beautiful their big houses are. All of these basically coming together as one whole piece 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 was done with Bang Pa-In Palace within half an hour. I basically saw all of it Bang Pa-In Palace had to offer. Done. Unlike the rest who walked the miles, from one end to the other.    

An hour going by, and once the rest returned to the entrance, we departed 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. Perhaps why many of the Buddha images are headless? Right? 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 of it today, and remaining as a major tourist attraction. Wat Mahathat mind you is where Thailand's world known iconic image of Buddha head is. Trapped in the roots of the bodhi tree. Heart touching melting moment. 

Subsequently, the next temple we visited 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. In the hall by itself, you will see deities statues, including the "Nine-Faced" Buddha and in the small sermon hall to the right, there's the Phra Khantharat Buddha image, as well as more deities statues.  

Honestly, I thought I had enough of Buddhist temple by this hour. But the moment I stepped foot at the open area in Wat Lokaysutharam, I automatically was overwhelmed seeing the largest in Ayutthaya, reclining Buddha (32m long, 8m high). That's about in Wat Lokaysutharam. Less than within 20 minutes, we left this area.   

Officially Ayutthaya tour was over and to return back to Bangkok, we cruised down Chao Phraya River while helping ourselves on lunch on board. Not bad. Appreciated food, but finishing off within glimpse of minutes. Thankfully, I grabbed my fair share, before looking around and realising that I am the one and only Asian amongst all Westerners. Mostly senior citizens who weren't like the most friendlies people, I did though make friends with the Italian guys who couldn't speak much due to language trouble. Standing and trying to sign language chatting with them at the open deck for maybe 20 minutes most to most, sun massively started burning my sun. I ran inside. Sipping into a cup of coffee, I looked out of the window at the popping on both sides temples, some obviously I had already visited, others I am not really sure, and also at the Thai water life at the edge of the river.

Dropped off at the hotel, I wouldn't keep quiet. I quickly dashed into the travel agent's office for inquiring what else can I do in Bangkok. Done. Paid for Calypso Cabaret, simultaneously for another Bangkok sightseeing next day.

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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