Ayutthaya is a city with many temples. Our second stop was at thee Wat Chaiwatthanaram. This temple is visible from a big distance for his big cheddi or stupa.
After the very active Wat Phanan Choeng , Wat Chaiwatthanaram, is quiet one, mostly in ruins which apparently suffered from the flooding of 2011. You can find on the web beautiful, if not sad, pictures of the compound surrounded by waters.
The site is very interesting, mostly by its big cheddi and the hall with broken statues of the sitting Buddha. The compound is very nice to walk and close to the river.
The first place we wanted to visit was Ayutthaya an ancient capital, which also happen to be a very busy industrial city, 90 KM north of Bangkok. We decided to sleep close the the airport (at the Novotel, so actually in the airport), and hire a driver and a guide for the day.
Ayutthaya has many interest, but mostly the Royal Palace and many temples. I have not posted any pictures of the Royal Palace, but actually it is not uninteresting. The vast compound is still supposed to be used today by the Royal Family. Constructions are of varying styles, and if your guide is knowledgeable and chatty as ours this makes for a nice visit.
Now more interesting are the temples; as in many big Thai city there are dozens of them; but due to time constraints we only visited 4; each very different.
After the visit of the Royal Palace, we headed to Wat Phanan Choeng. This is a big temple, famous for its (very) large, statue of sitting Buddha. This is a very busy temple specially on week ends; I am not sure if it is permanent but the day we visited the temple devotees were offering new orange robes for the Buddha. A extraordinary occasion to experience the devotion of Thai people.
Next we headed for lunch but nothing worth mentioning.
Mid term school holidays stroked again last month and we pondered where to go this time. We have travelled around the region quite extensively but never did a nice trip in Thailand. Bangkok was the first city we visited in 2007, but we did not enjoy it too much; too overwhelming; we also visited Phuket once, but beach holidays are not too much our style. Oh yes and I also been on my own a few time to BKK and Phuket, but that’s another story.
So we decided to visit the north of Thailand from Bangkok (excluded) to Chiang Mai. Our first stop will be Ayutthaya, an old Capital near Bangkok. Wher eyou cna see the amazing Buddha image embedded in a tree (above). Or the very active Wat Phanan Choeng (below).
At Wat Phanan Choeng; these two men are folding robes to dress the large reclining Buddha.
So we flew to Bangkok, stayed near the airport and made a (long) day trip to Ayutthaya. Monday we flew to Sukothai; and visited the Historical park.
Tuesday we drove to Chiang Mai with very interesting stops on the way; particularly the Si Satchanalai Historical Par; below. An amazing complex or ruins in the shade of the trees.
All shots with the Hasselblad 500 CM; 80mm F2.8; Kodak TMAX 100