HISTORY WRAPPED IN HEAT
We had read that Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand, would be a great day trip out of the city, so one day we sat on a very old and rough train that would take us to the ruins showing a part of Thailands history.
We arrived at the train station in Bangkok a bit before 8.00 am and had just bought our tickets for 20 baht per person (around 50 cent in euros) when the clock turned eight and the national anthem started playing through the speakers. Everyone in the room then stood up and listened to the national anthem. I had read that this was a custom so I was prepared, it was still an interesting experience since we don't have anything like that in Finland.
There were no seat reservations in the train we took, and even though we had seats in the beginning, we ended up standing for most of the trip to Auytthaya, since it's custom to give the seats to older people in Thailand. The train ride took around two hours, and I have to admit, standing in a crowded, very old train in 30 something degrees without air conditioning was not my favourite experience of the trip. I think there are newer and faster trains operating the same route as well, but we happened to take the old and slow one :D
After arriving in Auytthaya we walked straight forward to the river and the river boat that would take us over to the city. The crossing was 5 baht. As soon as we got over we rented bicycles for 80 baht and got a nice map with all the historical sights. We then headed out into the traffic, which was not as intense as in Bangkok, but pretty scary nevertheless. The small, crowded streets near the river was the trickiest, it got a little bit less crowdy away from the river.
Our first stop, and our last as it turned out to be, was the Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Apparently the name means The temple of long reign and glorious era. Auytthaya was the former capital of Thailand, and Wat Chaiwatthanaram was a royal temple were religious ceremonies were performed. When Ayutthaya was destroyed in 1767 the Wat Chaiwatthanaram was not saved, therefore only ruins remain today.
The Buddha head tucked in the tree has probably been hidden there by thieves at some point. Theives usually cut off the head of Buddha statues to see if they were made of gold on the inside.
Rows of headless Buddha statues.
Biking to Wat Chaiwatthanaram went alright, but I was a bit nervous when crossing the streets (no lights for pedestrians or bicycles as in Bangkok). It was also before midday when we arrived to Wat Chaiwatthanaram, so it wasn't too hot. But while walking around the surroundings the temperature rose, so I was quite exhausted after this. We continued to a second temple but when we arrived it was just so hot that we simply decided to call it quits and headed back to the river. Our bicycle tour took around 2-3 hours.
All in all Ayutthaya looked like an interesting city with a lot of history, but the weather was simply too warm for us during the hot season in March. I have been in Italy when temperatures has been around 34 degrees Celsius, and it was okay, but this felt a lot warmer, I'm guessing it was around 37-38 degrees Celcius from a clear sky.
Here you'll find my other posts about Bangkok.
My name is Malin. I like to take photos and make illustrations. My aim is to spread feelgood through glimpses of me and my boyfriends trips and travels, spiced with a few illustrations. We are based in Finland and our trips go both near and far. Enjoy! :)