Travel

Ayutthaya: Thailand’s second Siamese capital

Many years ago, when I was only 18 I visited Thailand. I didn’t love Thailand, I had quite a few bad experience there but my absolute favourite place was the UNESCO Heritage Site of Ayutthaya.

I went on a day trip from Bangkok and I really thought it was a magical place, which is why I’m revisiting for the blog as we are planning to visit Asia again.

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The entrance to one of the temples

I don’t know if its because its a big place, or whether it was because we were out of season but there weren’t too many tourists around. The lack of people meant that it had a much more peaceful vibe compared with the mayhem of Bangkok.

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White Temple

The White Temple was my favourite building, it really is incredible. I love how it reflects the sun.

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A cockerel eating leftover rice

As it covers such a large site, there are animals wandering around.

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A family praying

There are more modern temples amongst the ruins where people can pray.

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It isn’t hard to imagine that Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam from 1350 until 1767. So much is still intact that you can get a good sense of its former glory.

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Buddhists make offerings to statues to demonstrate gratitude and inspiration amongst other things. Simple items such as a burning candle or a lamp, incense, flowers, food, fruit, water or drinks.

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There are a total of 67 temples and ruins in Ayutthaya’s historical park.

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Wat Mahathat

This is the most photographed and famous part of the park, the Buddha’s head in the tree. Buddhists have to be very low to pray to be lower than him.

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The Burmese attacked the city in 1767 and burnt it down. In later years, the Buddha’s cut off heads were looted and sold to collections around the world.

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Stray dogs of Ayutthaya

The city’s dogs have made the archaeological site their own. Although they are in terrible condition, I cannot help but notice one matches the stonework.

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A bedraggled umbrella

I liked the contrast between old and new which describes Ayutthaya so well.

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It is laid out in a perfectly-planned grid shape which you notice more and more as you walk around.

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The Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is complete with a reclining Buddha! I wonder how often this have to change his cloth.

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A family walk around the ruins

As Siam’s capital, Ayutthaya was perfectly placed between the powers of India and China as well as Europe and the Arab world. It had a good location to liaise with powerful nations.

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This statue has been reunited with the top of his head.

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Unfortunately this stupor has lost its spindle.

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I love how trees blossom between the ruins demonstrating how nature takes over from humans.

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I loved visiting Ayutthaya for some peace and quiet as well as to appreciate the creativity of their civilisation.

I might even be back so I can explore even more of the ruins as well as to take some better photos! Not to mention bringing some proper dog food for the stray animals that live here.

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