Wat a Day

Sorry for this very bad and probably frequently used pun. After seeing so much temples today it was just too hard not to use it (temple = wat in Thai).

In case you did not know yet: The old part of Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand, is more or less just made out of temples, the majority of them being ruins now. Most of the temples have been destroyed in the 18th century when a Burmese army captured the city. Not only did they destroy the temples and rob everything valuable, they also decaptivated most of the Buddha figures. Although some of the structures have been reconstructed, most of them are still ruins.


Temple ruins at Wat Phra Mahathat.

As I had one full day just to visit Ayutthaya, I rented a bicycle for the day—the preferred way to do it and with 40 Baht pretty cheap—and started my tour. The first stop was actually a working temple that contained a giant Buddha figure. As I started my tour early at about 8am, there were only few tourists at the temple. The rest of the day I spent on the island that is the old city and visited various temple ruins. Luckily, the weather was really nice (a bit hot, actually) so I saw some blue sky and only a few raindrops in the evening. Well, there was short and heavy rain around noon, but I was clever enough to anticipate that and went into a market during that time.

A “floating market” in Ayutthaya with water coming from above.

A “floating market” in Ayutthaya with water coming from above.

Besides temples Ayutthaya has some more attractions to offer. One of them is a floating market east to the old city. As I really enjoyed all the markets I had been to so far, I wanted to take a look at that one, too. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more a tourist attraction (mainly Thai tourists) than a genuine market. So apart from hordes of Thai school classes there was not really much to see and I drove back to the island.

The actual floating market in Ayutthaya.

The actual floating market in Ayutthaya.

Around sunset I went to the ruins a second time. In my travel guide I read that the ruins get illuminated and that this would give a nice sight though you only could see that from outside as the ruins are closed already. When I arrived there I gladly found out that the site was not closed yet and I could take some images of the illuminated ruins. I completed the way back to the guest house by foot as there was no TukTuk around. I would have preferred to take one as Ayutthaya is populated my many straying dogs that are not that predictable, especially at night. Luckily, there were no incidents and I soon arrived back.

Illuminated temple ruins as sunset.

Illuminated temple ruins as sunset.

To reward myself from that exhausting sightseeing day I went in an actual restaurant for dinner. It was that kind of restaurant tourists go to. So it was nice to have a menu card that I could actually read. A small anecdote at the end: The food was alright, however, I guess I am kind of used to Thai eating behavior so the amount of rice was just to small. I ordered another portion of rice and it turned out to be just as expensive as my whole lunch I ate at some street food place. I guess I am back to street food for the next time.

2 thoughts on “Wat a Day

  1. Philip Post author

    Hello Na,

    of course I remember you. You did a very good job at helping me to get the right train! I safely arrived in Pak Chong (with just one hour delay) and enjoyed a great trip through the Khao Yai national park. I hope you got to your destination in time and maybe you even were lucky enough to geat a seat in the train.

    Best regards,

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