A Day in Ayutthaya

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Indeed, it’s been a while since I visited Ayutthaya in Thailand. It’s about two years by now. However, I have been deeply impressed by this place and often thought and reminisced about it.

Sleeping dog at Ayutthaya

Sleeping dog in Ayutthaya

Well, the first thoughts that come to my mind when thinking about this place are amazing temple complexes where squirrels feast on fresh coconuts and where homeless dogs rest in the peaceful shades of banyan trees and temple ruins. Hence, to me this seems to be a place of contemplation, rest and inner peace today.

Squirrel and coconut at Ayutthaya

Squirrel and coconut in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

The city is situated in the region Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา) which is about 70 km from Bangkok. Thus, this location is ideal for a day trip from the capital.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, Reclining Buddha, Ayutthaya

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, Reclining Buddha

Well, let me tell you some facts about the history of this location: this place became the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom which was founded in 1350. Nonetheless, this place was conquered by the Burmese in the mid of the 18th century. As a matter of fact, it remained the capital city of Thailand for 417 years and has been registered as a world heritage by the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO) in 1981. That was when the Historical Park was declared as a “World Cultural Heritage”. It is famous for its historical temples, museums and palaces.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, stupa, Ayutthaya

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, view from the stupa,

Most prominently, I remember visiting the Reclining Buddha that wears a yellow robe. The Buddha is situated in Wat Yai Chai Mongkon (วัดใหญ่่ชัยมงคล). There is a stupa that visitors can climb and from there you have a nice view on a series of Buddha statues which also wear yellow robes.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, stupa, Ayutthaya

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, Buddha statues with yellow robes

Returning to the Reclining Buddha’s feet you can stick some coins there, this is supposed to bring good luck to you 🙂

Reclining Buddha at Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, Ayutthaya

Reclining Buddha at Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, sticking coins to the Buddha’s feet

My next station was the palace of King U-Thong and the funny and amazing display of roosters. In particular, I remember the giant rooster in front of the palace.

Giant rooster of King U-Thong, Ayutthaya

Great rooster of King U-Thong,

In his youth, King U-Thong very much enjoyed rooster fightings. Thus, you find a large number of rooster statues displayed around this palace.

Statue of King U-Thong, Ayutthaya

Statue of King U-Thong

The next memorable sight was visiting Wat Phanan Choeng (วัดพนัญเชิงวรวิหาร) which is situated in the Historical Park. Wat Phanan Choeng is partly Thai and partly Chinese. Thus, you can find there a section with entirely Chinese statues.

At Wat Phanan Choeng, Ayutthaya

Chinese statues at Wat Phanan Choeng,

However, the most important sight in this temple is the 19meters high giant golden Buddha statue.

Great Buddha at Wat Phanan Choeng, Ayutthaya

Great Buddha at Wat Phanan Choeng

The legends say that when Ayutthaya was taken by the Burmese tears flowed from the eyes of the Buddha.

Wat Mahathat (วัดมหาธาตุ) is an amazing site too. Here the main stupa is surrounded by ancient monuments and small Buddha statues.

At Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya

At Wat Mahathat

In Wat Mahathat you also find a most famous image, namely the Buddha head that is wrapped within a banyan tree.

Buddha head in banyan tree, Ayutthaya

Buddha head in banyan tree

It seems that nature embraces and takes care of Buddha so that he endures over the centuries in spite of violence and destruction. In this context, I’ve also come across a very nice book called ‘Ayutthaya: Venice of the East’ by Derick Garnier which deals with the history of this place. I truly like to get my hands on this book soon 🙂

Finally, I’d like to say that it was great fun , in particular, because nearby you have the opportunity to feed turtles and fishes in the Chao Phraya river!

Feeding turtles in Ayutthaya

Feeding turtles in Ayutthaya

 

Feeding turtles in Ayutthaya

Feeding turtles

Happy feeding fishes & turtles!

I hope you enjoyed reading my post! Have you been to this place and what do you like most about it?

Do you know that there is also a sweet dessert speciality from Ayutthaya? It’s called Roti Sai Mai and it’s a kind of crepe filled with colourful cotton candy strands 🙂

Have a nice day everyone,

Sirinya

(All photos in this post are my own)

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1 Response

  1. 5. March 2015

    […] ← A Day in AyutthayaJohn Thomson: Pictures of Old Siam → […]

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