A Step into History
This weekend Deanna, Kathleen, and I went to Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya is the historic capital of Thailand that sits about 60 miles north of Bangkok.
Deanna and I hit the road from Chonburi to Bangkok bright and early at 5:30am. Once we got to the Mo Chit bus terminal, we met up with Kathleen. We then all hopped on a van to Ayutthaya.
When we were on the van, the driver opened the door and set a box on the front row of seats. This box wasn't any ordinary box...it had holes all over it. We tried to ask the driver what was in the box, but our languages didn't quite match up.
Once we got to another stop to pick up more people, we heard clucking. Yep, it was a chicken taking a cruise up to Ayutthaya in our van.
We got to Ayutthaya, went to our hostel, 1301 Hostels, changed, and checked in. We then found a cafe called Malako Restaurant which was only 1/3 of a mile away from our hostel.
After eating our delicious meals, we rented bikes and then made our way to our first temple, Wat Ratchaburana. It was absolutely beautiful. We walked up to the top of the main prang to get a better view of the ruins. Once we were up there, we noticed a very steep staircase. A little boy told us that although it was a difficult staircase to climb, there was a beautiful painting at the bottom. So we made our way down the steep and narrow staircase into a small vault like room where the mural was. This mural depicts the previous lives of Buddha. Although it is mostly deteriorated, it was still a very neat thing to see.
We then made our way on our bikes to Wat Mahathat. This was number one on Deanna's list as this is the home to the famous Buddha head imbedded in a tree.
If anyone remembers The Andy Milonakis Show, I had a slight remix of the theme song that I kept singing over and over in my head; "I got trees on my head but don't call me a tree head." That was stuck in my head the rest of the day.
As we continued walking around, we found many more incredible parts of these ruins.
We then went to Wat Phra Si Sanphet. This was by far the most crowded. When we first arrived, a group of girls that were there on a field trip came up and asked for a picture with us. Was this part of some scavenger hunt...Find a Farang? We still aren't sure. But a few pictures later, we continued on our way.
**Farang = "Foreigner" in Thai
As we were leaving, I noticed a map of the temples at the tourist police stand. I decided to go up and grab one. At that moment, the tourist police came up and started talking to us. They gave us a book full of Ayutthaya post cards (fo' free), asked us about our time in Thailand, took a picture with us, and we were on our way.
Next stop: Wat Lokayasutgaram, or the Reclining Buddha. This was nice because it was less crowded and free entry, not to mention gorgeous!
Once we were done, we got ice cream and made the executive decision to return our bikes and go back to our hostel.
After showering and taking a short nap, we made our way back out to see one last temple at sunset: Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Since it is a little far out of the way, we had to take motorbike taxis. We arrived right around 6:15, perfect timing to watch the sunset.
The temple was magnificent. The way the sun was setting behind the brick and stone was like something out of a dream.
I definitely recommend Ayutthaya for the perfect weekend getaway. The costs break down like this:
Roundtrip Van from/to Bangkok: 120 baht
Entry into Temples: 50 baht each
1301 Hostel, bed in a mixed dorm: 200 baht
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