AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Ayutthaya: Ayutthaya Historical Park

Posted on Jan 23, 2014

This is just a variation on a theme of what we had seen in Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai. The remains of a massive city where only the temples had survived because they were built of stone. Ayutthaya is slightly different though, unlike the other cities it is still inhabited. The historical park is in the centre of the modern city, surrounded by houses, shops, schools, etc. Ayutthaya was the capital city of the Ayutthaya Kingdom which lasted about 400 years and became what is now modern Thailand. At it’s peak the city had a population of over 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities on earth in its day. It sits on the Chao Phraya River about 50 miles north of Bangkok and was a major trading location. It traded not only within the kingdom, but around Asia and also with Europe. This made it very wealthy and also gave the city a cosmopolitan feel, a huge achievement. We hired a bicycle each and set off exploring the many temples of the city. Nothing much else to say… We saw about 4 temples and a giant reclining Buddha. We had a decent day cycling around on the worst bikes we’ve had so far. The photos for today are split into different sets, one for each Wat. Wat Chaiwatthanaram Wat Phra Si Samphet Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit Wat Maha That Wat Ratchaburana Posted from Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya,...

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Sukhothai: Sukhothai Historical Park

Posted on Jan 20, 2014

We are staying in New Sukhothai which is about 12km (8 miles) from the old city of Sukhothai. Sukhothai was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom, one of the early kingdoms of Thailand and covered most of modern Thailand and Laos, from the Vietnamese border and well down the Malay peninsula. The kingdom survived for about 200 years, meaning Sukhothai was an important city for long enough to build some impressive buildings and be influenced by previous cultures as well as the many kingdoms across Southeast Asia. Like most old cities in Southeast Asia only the temples were built from stone, everything else was built from wood and has long since disappeared. The owner of the guesthouse we are staying in offered to take us to the old city, he drove us right up to the ticket office. Very nice of him! We rented a bike (30 baht each) and bought the tickets to get into the central section of the city (110 baht each) and off we cycled. Not bad, £2.60 each to see this huge site. We had decided not to buy the audio guide and started to regret that decision almost immediately after entering the park. Luckily, at the first temple we reached the sign had a QR Code which I scanned and it took me to a website, which also advertised an Android App for Sukhothai. I downloaded the app and it had a map of the site, then information about each ruin and some audio information. It probably wasn’t as informative as the audio guide but for free it good enough. We wandered around the first three temples then started feeling hungry. In most places we’ve visited we have found that food stalls exist everywhere. Wherever there are people you will find at least one stall selling food and one selling drinks. In the historical park we found a row of about 30, selling all manner of foods. Annemarie had an omelette and I had red curry, about £1.10 in total. We looked at another three temples after lunch then decided to leave the central section and go to the north section. Just outside the central section is a huge orchid market, filled with orchids in an array of colours. A short cycle from the orchid market we found another couple of temple ruins. By now, in the heat of the afternoon and with full stomachs we suddenly felt sleepy. A nice shaded spot under a tree provided the perfect location for an afternoon nap (luckily no ants came to nibble). After a 30 minute rest we wandered again, but far slower now, around...

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