This was our third pit stop on our day trip to Ayutthaya, from Bangkok. Although we didn’t have too many expectations for this day, we were quiet surprised at how many temples and ruins there were to see in Ayutthaya. All quite unique and very detailed, and none of them too crowded. Being Christian, we mostly just go to see these kinds of sights because we appreciate the history and the architecture. Because of that, we often lag behind the group that we might be with. We joke around taking photos and being silly — we’re kind of those kids at the back of the class that pay no attention to the teacher. Sometimes Justin listens a little bit, but I’m a lost cause… wandering off most of the time, and only take note of what time we need to be back to make sure we don’t get left behind. Sometimes I don’t even hear that information. Nevertheless, we almost always have a good time seeing these sights the way that we like to see them, and even though there were many temples to see on this day tour of Ayutthaya, it felt like there was a good variety of them so that we never got bored.
If you missed our first two parts of this tour, you can view them here:
1st stop: Phu Khao Thong
2nd stop: Reclining Buddha
Wat Phra Chao Phya-thai, popularly known as Wat Yai Chia Mongkol, is situated to the southeast of Ayutthaya. The larger chedi (Buddhist structure) there can be seen from a great distance. It is 62.1 meters in height and was built with 28,144 tons of brick. Even though the location was prepared to bare a lot of weight, the pressure from the Chedi was enormous and it pushed away underground water until the ground underneath the Chedi became hollow. As time passed, the Chedi started to sink as seen at present. This wat also had it’s own giant white reclining buddha which was being draped in bright yellow cloth while we were there.
Before entering the temple grounds, we rested at a store near the entrance. They had ice cream, fresh fruit, smoothies and some cooked food on sale. Justin got a sausage on a stick, and I got some pineapple. You have to love how readily available fresh fruit is in Thailand – cut, bagged, and waiting on ice – it really is a life saver in that heat! Our guide had mentioned that lunch was coming soon after this temple and this was good news to us since we were pretty hungry at this point, and starting to run out of energy.
While I normally like to climb to the top of everything that we visit, I decided to sit this one out. The staircase looked very steep and there were many people going up and down them. Justin went up alone to see the view and take some pictures. I rested on at the bottom of the chedi with some of the old people and resident dogs, haha!
The view of some of the gardens from the top of the chedi
An hour or two later we met up with everyone else and made our way back to the tour vans. It was finally time for lunch, and it seemed that we were not the only hungry ones. We were taken to a local open-air Thai restaurant located next to a river. It was a peaceful spot, and the tables were all set and ready for us.
Hmm.. finally, lunch time!
For our meal, which was included in the cost of our day trip, we were served a mixture of traditional yet simple Thai dishes: stir-fried vegetables, chicken and vegetables in a tasty sauce, rice, and egg omelette. Some of the others bought beers and refreshments to enjoy with their food, but we each opted for ice cream as dessert instead.
With the rest of the afternoon still ahead of us, we wondered how many more stops were on the schedule for our tour. The truth was that we were starting to feel sleepy, but with no way of getting back to Bangkok, we had to push through. It seemed that the higher temperatures in Ayutthaya (compared to those in Bangkok during the previous few days) were quite draining on us, but lunch was a good break in the day!
Next stop: Wat Mahathat (with the famous Buddha Head embedded in a tree trunk)
Thanks for following our adventures.