Following my recent post about my trip to Ayutthaya, I learned that there is a dessert speciality from Ayutthaya which is called Roti Sai Mai. It is also referred to as ‘Sweet Angel Hair’ and Sai Mai (สายไหม) means “silky threads”.
Thus, I searched the internet for this ‘Kanom’ (Thai expression for “sweets, dessert”) and found some amazing pictures of this sweetmeat on Pinterest.
Roti Sai Mai
Sadly enough, I missed trying this sweetmeat while being in Thailand and visiting Ayutthaya 🙁 However, I hope to catch up on tasting this amazing dessert some time!
Roti Sai Mai is mainly associated with the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya. However, today it is generally a popular street food in Thailand that can be found ‘anywhere’. Nevertheless, Ayutthaya is still the centre for the production of these kind of crepes in Thailand.
Making Roti Sai Mai
However, the origins of this colourful sweetmeat goes back to the Indian subcontinent and was most likely brought to Thailand by Indian and Pakistani Roti vendors who migrated to the Kingdom.
In fact, there are different kinds of Roti but this one is made with cotton candy that comes in various colours and is wrapped in a piece or two lightly salted thin paper-like crepes. Since the cotton candy looks like hair, it is called ‘angel hair’ 🙂
cotton candy that looks like hair
colourful cotton candy
The Roti crepe is very often green in colour. This effect is achieved by adding Pandan leafs to the mix of egg and flour.
Here you see a greenish Roti with pink and purple ‘angel hair’
I think this is an amazingly delicious looking sweetmeat! Yummy!!! 🙂
Have you tried this sweetmeat while being in Thailand?
Finally, I’d like to show you a short video about the Roti Sai Mai production and selling in Ayutthaya.
Have a ‘yummy’ day!
(All pictures in this post are from Pinterest, for more information about desserts, check out my Thai Food Dictionary)
A Day in Ayutthaya
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 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 in 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
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, 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, 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, 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
(All photos in this post are my own)
A tribute to Chakrabhand Posayakrit
“I like to listen to Thai music, see Khon (traditional Thai masked dance) and Lakorn (Thai dance-theatre) and read old literature.”
The artist at work
Chakrabhand Posayakrit was born 1943 in Bangkok and can be regarded as one of the most famous and popular national artists of Thailand. In 2000, for instance, he received the title “ National Artist in Visual Arts (Painting)“.
Hence, if you search the internet for Thai art and painting, you will defintely come across this Thai National Artist’s works. In the early period of his works, he painted realistic images of people in order to express their character adequately.
However, in his later works, however, the artist uses more imagination and idealizes his paintings, he also creates Thai puppets and paints scenes from classical Thai literature. In addition, he is also famous for his paintings of Buddha.
Chakrabhand Posayakrit: Paining of a Thai Puppet
A scene from classical Thai literatureImage of the reclining Buddha
Painting of the enlightened Buddha
Indeed, this Thai National Artist’s paintings reveals a great interest in traditional Thai art and displays its beauty.
His work range is wide and not only incorporates paintings and drawings but also design, decorative art, puppetry and literary works which he published with the pseudonym “Sasivimol“.
I very much adore his Dioramas from Thai literature and wish I could have one myself 🙂
In a nutshell, I am very much impressed by Chakrabhand Posayakrit’s art works and since this kind of art is not available over here in Germany, I deceided to make a photo wall with his paintings for myself.
My picture wall
In addition, I felt free to incorporate some of the artist’s paintings in my decoupage art works.
This is the dance of the kinnari (The Shan Kinnari and Kinnara dance) which is the Thai Yai (Shan) bird dance. Love this picture! By the way, the Kinnari is a mythical being, half-swan and half-dancer.
Here are some examples of my decoupage art using Posayakrit’s paintings
If you want to learn more about this artist and painter, I suggest you check out his homepage.
The pictures on this page also come from this site.
You may also like to check out the following book ‘The Arts of Thailand’ by Steve van Beek, there you also find information about Chakrabhand Posayakrit.
Hope you enjoy reading and admiring these awesome pictures!