Explore. Dream. Discover.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Welcome to Thailand

Upon arriving in Thailand we had done little to no research. If fact, we didn't even know what direction we were going to start traveling. We knew we had 30 days (because of the visa) and there was  A LOT to see. We decided that going north would be best to do some more trekking, and get back into the mountains, however after less than a week in the blazing heat, we quickly changed our minds.


Guesthouse: The Old Place (2 nights)


  • Renting a motorbike and touring around all the temples
  • Trying new foods at the local market- great coffee!
  • Night Market- trying bugs

View of Ayutthaya ruins - Chaiwatthanaram temple
Ayutthaya is an ancient city full of history. There are ruins and old temples literally everywhere and a river that runs all the way around the city. Our chosen mode of transportation to get here was train. It was about four hours from Bangkok and the ride was magical. We stared out our window in silence as rice paddies, mountains, and wild landscapes floated by. I love that the Thai trains are open air. The fresh smells of the jungle drift in as the locals walk up and down the aisle selling homemade curries wrapped in banana leaves. You don't go hungry on these trains. Brandon and I point as delicious food roams by, we do some sign language to find out the price and swap our Thai coins for a delicious iced tea, curry, or exotic fruit. You never know exactly what your getting, but we haven't been disappointed yet. In Thai culture it is customary to share with others. We first experienced this on the train with kind gestures from all the locals surrounding us; trying local fruits that they had brought with them. At first, I felt a little awkward taking their food, but I then remembered reading somewhere that sharing is their way of accepting you. We were the center of attention and continually thumbed through our phrase book while we attempted to hold a conversation with them.

The train deposited us just outside of Ayuthaya. We ask around for direction, avoiding the touts at the train station who try to squeeze every baht they can out of you, and find out that our guest house is an easy 10 minute walk plus a ferry ride into the city of Ayutthaya. We find our guest house but at this point we are drenched in sweat, and suffocating in our air-condition-less room. For whatever reason we decided to roam around the city during the hottest hours of the day making our way to the less than exciting visitor center. It was over 100 degrees. It goes unsaid that we were both thinking to ourselves the beach would have been a better option.

Ferry to the island

After a few hours of wandering we hit up the night market, try an assortment of foods (and I mean an assortment!) and take some things back to our guesthouse to relax.

The next day we start off early to avoid the heat. We rent a motorbike and hit all the highlights of the city. As we wandered, we noticed, with very few exceptions, that every Buddha statue that was still standing was headless. We were told that they had been destroyed or broken off by looters and sold to private collectors.

Headless Buddhas

Exploring ruins

It was a bit eerie walking among the ruins with every buddha meditating in a decapitated silence.

One Buddha head did survive though, and no one knows for certain how it got there. Over hundreds of years roots from a banyan tree have miraculously grown around the statue leaving it in pristine condition.

No comments:

Post a Comment