Time for New Pants
Trip Start Aug 03, 2008
40Trip End Aug 18, 2009
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We arrived on the train around 6 pm and found a great youth hostel that had private rooms with bathrooms, hot shower, air conditioning, and most important for Michelle a population of cats (I don't know if counts as cheating on Mojo, but every cat she pets she compares to him)
The next day we headed out to explore the temples in town, and since they were so spread out across the island and across the many rivers, we rented bikes to make the exploration a little quicker. The first temple we stopped at was Wat Mahathat, which was once a huge complex consisting of a number of chedi's (spires where the ashes of important people are buried)
After that, we rode past a number of smaller temples occasionally stopping to take a break and explore some. We went to the area where Wat Phra Mongkonbophit and Wat Phra Si Samphet were and started to explore. Wat Phra Mongkonbophit is a newer temple built to house one of the few Buddha statues that was not destroyed. It is a bronze statue with gold foil. Since it only had minor damage, a new temple was constructed around it on the ruins of the older temple. Wat Phra Si Samphet was next to the now completely destroyed Palace, and was the most important religious site in Ayutthaya. It is pretty impressive even in its ruined state. There are a number of Chedis still standing though in rough shape. The temples around the chedis are pretty much destroyed, but it was still cool to explore.
After exploring these, we stopped for some food when it started raining
I am now going to skip ahead a little to finish the story of these pants. Michelle was excited about these pants because they were cooler to wear than some of hers, so she wore them for our bus ride to Chaing Mai. During which she found out a couple of things about these pants. First when you sit, the material falls down and the split opens up so you always need to be tucking them in to keep from showing too much leg. And, secondly, but most important, to go to the bathroom in these pants, especially in shady eastern (squat) style toilets in bus stops that may have last been cleaned last century, you need to pretty much take you pants off to go because if you only untie the back part, they flop and drag all over the place. Needless to say, I had to make sure the bus did not leave without her as she was in changing pants, during one of our stops
So now back to exploring Ayutthaya. We next rode to where a single massive temple once stood, Wat Lokayasutharam. This temple once housed a large reclining Buddha but who now it is outside. This was a huge Buddha, but not being in the building with the gold foil covering it just took something away and made it look smaller. After this, we crossed the river to go to the best persevered ruin of Wat Chaiwatthanaram. This had a large Prabang at the center that was in decent shape, but one could tell it had not being well taken care of since there were a number of plants growing from it. Around it the walls still protected it with the number of large spires punctuating the wall. Finally, on the front going towards the river there was a large platform with a number of Buddhas over looking the complex. It was a cool sight to see, but once again the rain started falling making our ride back a little wet.
The next day takes us on a 9 hour bus ride to Chaing Mai, but I am sure Michelle will tell you more about this when she writes about our stay at Chain Mai.