A couple weeks ago, Kaitie and I decided to get out of Bangkok for a few days. We picked the old capital, Ayutthaya, full history and old ruins. A major city for foreign traders, it was described as one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the East during the sixteenth century. UNESCO currently lists it as a World Heritage Site and I highly recommend it. The modern town of Ayutthaya has the laidback feel of a beach town, and the ruins are plentiful, beautiful and easy to get to. And there are elephants on the streets (not that I will recommend paying to ride them). For being just north of Bangkok, we had a long day of travel. We left our apartment building at 6am, walked to the BTS station, rode the BTS to catch a city bus that took us to the main bus terminal, got in a minibus, wandered on foot again in Ayutthaya, attempted to find our hostel with the help of two Thai men, and finally allowed one of them to take us in his tuk tuk (first to a temple…then finally I looked up how to say “guesthouse” in Thai and he understood). Our hostel, Baan Lotus, was so cheap and so lovely. It was a typical big stilted Thai house with a sweeping lily pond in the back full of baby herons and frogs and monitor lizards. Our room was simple but huge, and we could rent bikes to ride to the nearby sites before our tuk tuk tour later that afternoon (also set up at the encouragement of the adorable woman who ran the place).
What a trooper. She hadn’t ridden a bike in years!
The main reason I want to speak more Thai is so I can communicate better with kids. Love them. These boys were such hams. They loved seeing their photos after I took them.
They are all painted fancy (and the mahouts’ Hawaiian shirts) for Songkran.
After all our biking and tuk tuk riding and walking around ruins, Kaitie and I bought take away food from the nearby night market – spicy soup for her and fresh raw spring rolls for me and a mango for dessert – and swung from hammocks over the lily pond until we couldn’t stand the mosquitos any longer.
Dried squid. Literally one of the worst smells I’ve experienced here. Despite that, there’s a (tiny) part of me that is curious about the taste…
Kind of breaks my heart a little bit.
Sneaking pictures at the elephant kraal.
There was no way to straighten this temple. SO crooked!
Our new Canadian friends we met on our tuk tuk…Guillaume and Andy. After Andy got his infected leg checked out (yikes) they met us for drinks and we all ended up in a hotel pool in the middle of the night. You never know!
It’s good luck/wishes granted if you get your bill to stick to the Buddha. I probably should have tried…
A full day of temples and elephants…Kaitie and I were all smiles. We crashed out hard (after eating an entire package of actually semi-gross cookies – like a cross between a dry Ritz with a tiny bit of fake chocolate) and woke up to the sound of wild birds early the next morning. Next up…monkeys in Lopburi!
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Love the Ganeesh and all the Buddhas! Do you have a story about the Buddhas getting all the gold leaf and coins put on them? Happy Easter, belated….. from Aunt Lyn