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el2995 Ayutthaya - A travel report by USC
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Ayutthaya,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
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el2995's travel reports

Day-Tripping in Ayutthaya

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Ayutthaya travelogue picture
Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand that was sacked by the Burmese in 1767. Ayutthaya is an easy day trip from Bangkok, and a guided tour can be arranged from a variety of tour agencies. The main draw is the myriad photogenic temple ruins that dot the city. The key attractions are spread out over quite a large area, which requires some transit time between photo sessions. The drive does afford one a view of rural Thailand, which can be quite scenic. The itinerary recounted below is particular to the day tour that I selected through Songserm travel office on Khaosan Road, though the highlights are probably similar to those of other tour organizations.

Favourite spots:
Ayutthaya travelogue picture
The first stop is an island in the middle of the Chao Phaya River that contains a monastery, a nunnery and a collection of various temples, shrines and small chedis. The island is accessed via a gondola that traverses the river at a height of perhaps 15 feet above the water; it was interesting in that even the stray dogs that inhabit the island use the gondola to cross the river. The next attraction requires one to take either a 45-minute bus ride overland or a 20-kilometer longboat ride up the Chao Phaya River (which I chose) and features three stone chedis amid numerous red brick temple ruins and the remains of damaged Buddha statues. Subsequent attractions visited were a large reclining Buddha, the climbing of a whitewashed chedi, which affords a good view of the countryside, and the famous Buddha head entwined in a mass of tree roots, which is surrounded by numerous destroyed Buddha statues and the ruins of some Khmer-styled prangs.

What's really great:
Ayutthaya travelogue picture
The highlight of the trip was an encounter I had while photographing temple ruins at the site of the three chedis (I don't recall the official name of the site.) I was positioning myself so as to find the best angle for a shot of a decapitated Buddha statue flanked by the remains of a red brick wall and was slowly backing up towards a row of trees to adjust the photo's composition when I began to hear some rustling in the leaves above my head. I turned just in time to see a large bright green snake wrapped around something light in color fall with a muffled thump at my feet and immediate begin to roll around on the ground while pulling its lengthy body into a bundle around what turned out to be a sizable lizard. I snapped a few photos but was not able to capture the entire meal on film, as I had to head back to the tour van.


Accommodations:
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No hotel stay was required as it was only a day trip, but accommodations are readily available through a travel agent. Incidentally, the cost of the day trip was 300 Baht; we departed from the Songserm office on Khaosan Road at 8:30 a.m. and returned approximately 5 p.m.

Restaurants:
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There was one restaurant that we stopped at for lunch, though I don't recall the name of the place.

Published on Friday October 31th, 2003


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Sat, Nov 01 2003 - 06:24 AM rating by marianne

I especially like your picture of the snake. It's so difficult to take pictures of animals, they always seem either to move or to be too far away. Still I love trying to take pictures of them. My husband has to be patient and wait until I'm done. (but he is patient)

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