Today was our earliest start yet meeting our guide Em at 6:00am for the 1 hour drive to Bang-Pa and Ayutthaya. Breakfast was shared with some school children at a local village. Fried chicken, pork mince with snake beans, sticky rice and a thick Thai hot chocolate. It was actually very tasty or maybe I was just hungry. I enjoyed watching the schoolchildren arrive - 4 on a motorcycle, piled into the back of a converted ute acting as a school bus or by small boats across the nearby river. All eyes were on BJ & myself, obviously not many westerners join the locals for breakfast
Once done we rode a 'gondola' across the river to the local monastery. The temple was Christian architecture complete with spire and stained glass fused wth Buddhist symbolism. We enjoyed watching the young monks sweep the leaves off the grass. BJ would have fitted right in here as a young budding monk.
Next was a visit to the royal palace Bang-Pa In. It was here that I noticed my expensive wide angle lens missing. Fear set in as I thought of the consequences back home. I had left it in the grounds back at the monastery. Back we went and to my dismay I could not find the lens where I thought I had left it. Em spoke to a monk who much to my relief he had found the lens and put it away safe for us when we realised it was missing. After a generous donation, and many waits it was back to Bang-Pa palace. We were now behind schedule so it was a quick walk through the manicured grounds before making our way to Ayutthaya, the 2nd capital of ancient Siam.
Ayutthaya is not as famous as its cousin in Cambodia, Angkor Wat but it is almost as impressive. Unlike Angkor Wat there is very little restoration at Ayutthaya but this did not detract from the grandeur of the place. It continues to amaze me how pre-industrial revolution cultures constructed these amazing buildings. All we seem to build now is skyscrapers world wide, from Bangkok to Sydney to New York. You could distinguish between ancient cultures by their building practices from the Egyptians to the Romans, Mayans, Aztecs, Nabetians, Chinese, Khmer etc. You get the idea.
Back to Bangkok BJ rested whilst I walked the streets in the hot humid afternoon heat. I spotted a monk using an umbrella for some shade, a sensible way to create some shade. Later on we made our way to the Giant swing for some twilight pics then back to the same restaurant we had lunch yesterday for dinner, a green curry for me. We shared our table with a Chinese mother and son, who was fascinated by Australian spiders/snakes/bees and a French couple.
Finally we took a Taxi to Bayioke tower no. 2, the tallest building in Bangkok. The 83rd floor is an open air revolving deck. The view was spectacular, well it was for me BJ was a bit freaked by the sheer heights.
Monk with umbrella
Giant swing and Wat Sunhat post sunset
A tangle of roads from Bayioke tower