Today we got up at 5am to get on a full day tour of the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya situated 100km north west of Bangkok. Today is the Thai public holiday for Buddha's Birthday.
We were the first to be picked up and ended up getting a few people before going to Khao San Road to get on a different bus. Khao San road is meant to be the ‘go-go bar’ and tourist area but I found it tacky and it was very smelly.
We finally got to our destination at 9.30am and we went to the first of five temples on our tour.
The first temple was half Burmese/half Thailand design and has only recently been restored since the new king has been in power (2 years) as his wife insured that it be looked after.
Our second stop was the reclining Buddha. It is the 4th longest in Thailand at 42 metres. It is reclining with its eyes closed which means that the Buddha has died. If it is reclining with eyes open it means that it is relaxing.
We gave an offering of incense and flowers before looking at the Cambodian style temples at its exterior.
Our third stop was at the beautiful park where there is a Buddha head growing amongst mangrove trees and the surrounding buildings were of Sri Lankan style with lots of small Buddha's with arms, heads and bodies missing.
It was starting to get very hot (40 degrees as per google) and humid and our arms were wet with sweat and i suffered terribly from dizziness that was almost crippling but it was so beautiful that we had to soldier on!!
We drove to our next temple that had a market next door that supplied a Thai lunch prior. I thoroughly enjoyed the lunch which consisted of rice noodles, pumpkin curry and fresh cucumber and tomato.
The forth temple is part of the royal family and has a bone from each member (once they've died) within each temple. It was a combination of Thai and Sri Lankan styles. It was next to a new place of worship that has a large gold Buddha inside. Very pretty.
Our last stop was the royal summer palace that the king regularly attends. Although, he has only stayed one night in the past couple of years… 17th November last year. It was very french style and different to anything else we've seen in Thailand.
We finally got back in the bus at 4pm and arrived at the hotel at 5.30pm. This gave us some time to cool down in the pool before getting dressed and having dinner along the water front. Jip ordered a red curry and I had a green curry. Both were delicious.