Feeling at a loss of what to do in Bangkok after our previous experience, I decided we should get out of the city and book a day trip to Ayutthaya. This was done via our hostel and involved an early morning start at 0645!! Carrying on the bad luck, my camera unexpectedly ran out of battery near the start of the day, so no decent photos of actual Ayutthaya, but trust me, it was beaut ;).
Led by Kevin Spacey’s Thai doppelgänger, we visited the ancient city of Ayutthaya and stopped off at a couple of temples along the way. Expecting some ruins in the middle of nowhere, it was strange to see how civilisation had built up around these sites. Even weirder to think about how the area might look in 20-30 years’ time – perhaps a revisit will be on the cards in the future! So the day consisted of being shuttled around in an air conditioned van, being let out to roam about for a few minutes at each site. I’m making it sound terrible but actually it was really convenient and not a bad way to tour the area! I definitely have an extremely dated view of Thailand in mind, (i.e. motorbikes down dusty roads, embarrassing, I know) but when you’re in a group where none of you can ride motorbikes, this is the way to go!
Visiting temples in the boiling hot sun is thirsty work and it was buying a bottle of coke from a cute old lady where I got scammed again – dammit. Perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions, but the coke tasted slightly off and lacked its usual deep brown colour. Was it a scam? Was it left out in the sun too long? Who knows, but it sure didn’t taste normal. Pro-tip: stick to buying bottled water instead. It’s cheaper, healthier and you can’t get scammed for that right? I guess every trip has to have a negative yet memorable experience and ours –that we may never talk about, but I do anyways- became the running joke of the rest of the trip.
Speaking of scams, my mother thought that the Buddha head entwined in the roots of a tree at Wat Phra Mahathat was created as a tourist trap. According to our guide, the head of the Buddha fell off when the temple there was abandoned and the tree’s roots grew around it. However, a little bit of googling tells me that there are many different theories surrounding it, none of them having been substantiated. Which one of these you believe in doesn’t matter, it’s still a sight to behold and remains an iconic image of Thailand nevertheless. Definitely worth a visit when you go!