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Unread 25 Jun 18, 04:03 PM  
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Melbatb
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A Week in Bangkok - June 2018: Day 7 - Ayutthaya


It was a very early start - I woke up of my own free will at 5.15am. I was off to Ayutthaya - the old capital of Siam.

This involved the Skytrain and metro to the station then a train, ferry across the river and then a bike!



As I had done the dry run yesterday I knew where I was going! The purchase of the ticket was easy - the train staff speak a minimum of English! It cost 20bhts - about 60 cents!

The station was fairly empty so as the ticket had been acquired do quickly I went to get a coffee!



The coffee was a needed refreshment! The train was due to leave at 7am!



I was in third class - with the windows open there was a nice breeze. It wasn't too busy so I had a section to myself. People constantly came past trying to sell food and drink.

The train went through northern Bangkok and past the low cost airport.

I realised I should have noted what station came before the one I needed to get off at. Thankfully the guard told me so I could get ready to get off.



Once there I got a map, refused the tuktuk drivers' offers and made my way down to the river - many of the wats are on an island which does have bridges but the advice seemed to be to get the ferry across.

This was 5 bht!



I then hired a bike. Whilst on foot is my preferred method of transport, the distances involved were just too much!

The bike cost 50bht for the day - less than 2 euros! As bikes go, it wasn't bad! The brakes worked!



My first stop was Wat Maha That - known for the Buddha head in the tree.

I bought a ticket for 220 bhts that would get me into 6 Wats. I wasn't sure if I would use them all but for the sake of 20bhts I decided to get it!

This temple is one of the most important ones in Ayutthaya - it is known as the Temple of the Grand Relics and was built about 650 years ago.



As it was still early, about 9.30am, it was very quiet.

The Buddha here is also frequently photographed.



I spent an enjoyable 30 minutes wandering around.



My next stop was just up the toad at Wat Ratchaburana.

Wat Ratchaburana, which translates to the temple of Royal Restoration and was built in 1424 by King Borommarachathirat II as a memorial to his two elder brothers.

I liked the opening which framed the main monument!



You could climb up it. Apparently gold was found in the vault at one stage but was stolen by the person who was meant to safeguard it.

It is believed that only about 10% of it was recovered.



At the top - where I bumped into a tourist policeman who I had seen already twice that morning (at the previous Wat!) I didn't see him again thankfully or I would have got suspicious!



Next was a map reading fail where I got hopelessly lost! I ended up here - Wat Yannesan. There seemed to be lots of temples which weren't on the map - this one was down a side road!



I worked out where I was (must have added 2km to my ride!) and passed the elephant farm. I felt sad for them.



Next stop was Wat Phra Ram. This was a fairly quiet temple. Probably as it is not as impressive as the others.

The temple is thought to have been constructed in 1369 on the cremation site of King U Thong (the Ayutthaya kingdom's first sovereign), though details of its history are apparently unclear.



Then it was on to the Wat Phra Sri Sanphet.

Known as the temple of the Buddha Si Sanphet, it was the most important temple in the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Being part of the Royal Palace complex, the very large monastery with dozens of structures was used by Ayutthaya Kings.

It was certainly impressive.



It amazes me how these structures were built without all the modern tools and equipment that are used today!



By now I was getting templed out! But there was one more Buddha I wanted to see - Wat Lokaya Sutharam.

Also known as the Temple if the Earth, most of it is missing. Only the 42m reclining buddha remains.



A smaller version was coated in gold leaf as an offering to the god.



I was getting hungry - it was after 12noon. I had seen a restaurant near the first Wat advertising vegetarian Pad Thai so I navigated myself back there.

I had the vegan version - delicious. A steal at 50bhts (less than 2 euros! )

I decided to take the bike back as the only other temple I was interested in was on the other side of the river. Handover was quick and I was soon on the ferry.

It was about a 10 minute walk to the station. I asked when the next train was - in about 1 minute then the one after that was over 2 hours later. I decided to take this one - another 20bht!



The train was busier. The time soon passed and I was soon back in Bangkok!



Behind me on the train were about 8 monks - in a reserved section. They all had a bag carrying their alms bowl - one of the only possessions they can have!



The station was a lot busier than it was this morning! It was now 3pm - so the trip had taken me 8 hours station back to station!



I got the metro for 2 stops, then on the way to transfer to the Skytrain I stopped for a decaf cold brew with foam at Starbucks. Unfortunately, when I went to get the Skytrain, there had been an issue and we were held at every station. It took over 45 minutes to do what took me about 15 minutes yesterday.



I had a rest back at the hotel then caught the ferry across to Sathorn for a wander. There were lots of dinner cruises!



I found a busy market plus a great department store called Robinsons - very much a locals' place! Some stationery was acquired!



I saw a restaurant that looked nice. I ordered a mango smoothie...



Veggie spring rolls..



And a red veggie curry - which was meant to not be hot but was!

It was nice - not as nice as the curry I made yesterday. Total cost was 385 bhts - about 12 euros.

I made my way back to the ferry and then back to the hotel. I have had a shower and am ready to drop.

I have walked 16km plus about 7km I guess on the bike. Let's hope I sleep!


Edited at 05:20 PM.
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Unread 25 Jun 18, 05:13 PM  
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New Photo Added by Melbatb - 25 Jun 18 5:13 PM.
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Unread 25 Jun 18, 06:58 PM  
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A brilliant day Mel. You must be exhausted. Your dinner looks delicious. Some fabulous temples.
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Unread 25 Jun 18, 11:01 PM  
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Wow...you made it! Amazing (long) day. You certainly deserve to sleep tonight !

So impressed with your can do attitude, no over priced tours for you...brilliant

Thanks for taking the time to share
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Unread 26 Jun 18, 07:43 AM  
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That was a long day but you saw lots

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Unread 26 Jun 18, 08:06 AM  
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Great pictures, makes me wanna go back to Thailand! Must stop going to Disney for a while!
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Unread 26 Jun 18, 03:43 PM  
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Melbatb
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Originally Posted by Jake71 View Post
A brilliant day Mel. You must be exhausted. Your dinner looks delicious. Some fabulous temples.
It was worth the trip! And I slept well

Originally Posted by christybell View Post
Wow...you made it! Amazing (long) day. You certainly deserve to sleep tonight !

So impressed with your can do attitude, no over priced tours for you...brilliant

Thanks for taking the time to share
I surprise myself at times! I read so many blogs about it that it was actually quite straightforward!

Originally Posted by mick View Post
That was a long day but you saw lots

Joan
I did! I am not one for sitting around!

Originally Posted by LRMD View Post
Great pictures, makes me wanna go back to Thailand! Must stop going to Disney for a while!
Thank you! I am one of those Dibbers who doesnt actually do Disney
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Unread 27 Jun 18, 01:40 PM  
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Great day with some fab photos. I love the Buddha in the tree. Your meal looks lovely...I could just drink the smoothie!
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