Misty morning on our way to Bang Pa In
After our wonderful visit of yesterday-evening, and the lovely Italian diner, I woke up very happy this morning. Our first visit, the summer palace Bang Pa In, is however a bit of a disappointment. In fact, our boat trip to is more interesting than the visit itself. We see the beautiful misty morning from upon the water, with the cool air and the blue light in the sky. In the little houses next to the river people wake up to wash and cook and go to work. I was still half asleep when I got on board but I wake up quickly now all these images pass by us. By the time we get out of the boat the sun is already high in the sky and temperatures have surprisingly increased.
The Bang Pa In looks a bit like Disneyland to me: all the buildings seem fake and even a bit kitschy, with flashy colors and artificial parks surrounding them.
Everything looks a bit too neat and too well arranged, which creates a touching contrast with the majestic ruins we saw yesterday. The only thing that is really sweet are the little bushes which are all cropped to the form of animals. Some aren't hard to define but of some others we couldn't guess at all what animal they represented. I guess not all gardeners are equally skilled in cropping fauna out of flora... It is also very warm today, and the heat feels pretty humid and heavy, which we are not used to as temperatures have always been very pleasant before. While visiting the buildings we are therefore more interested in the huge fans than in the architecture. Ouch... The elder people in our group predict rain, because the peacocks are making noise. In Dutch we say they scream "oeioei oeioei", which would be translated as "oh-ow oh-ow" or something, meaning they are unhappy and warn for rain.
Raf en Jef
But I don't believe a thing of that, as there is not a single cloud to be seen. Impressive peacock that can make it rain out of a plain blue sky. But anyway, we fill our visit to the Bang Pa In with guessing what animals the bushes represent, arguing about upcoming rain, and standing in front of fans. Apparently I'm not the only one that doesn't really likes this place :)
The next visit is however much more interesting: the temple of victory or Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. This is a really nice complex with a huge Chedi, many Buddha statues, but many tourists as well. We arrive around noon and see the gong being hit. The Buddha in the temple also gets new clothing, and the smell of incense is all around. I didn't really find out why and when these statues get a new scarf around them, so if anyone knows I would like to be informed.
But it seems to be pretty important because many people are watching in the temple.
I like this site because of several reasons. Most of the Buddha's are stone, and as I wrote before I like those stone statues the most. The site is also old, and therefore has much more atmosphere than, random example, the Bang Pa In :) I got up the chedi but I liked the floor level better, as there is much more to see and do. While walking around I even found some peaceful areas, as most tourists seem to stay in front of the building at the stares and don't care to much about the rest of the site.
We drive on to Lop Buri
for lunch, which isn't a very long ride. But I've fallen asleep against the window which isn't so good.
When I did I was sitting at the shady side of the bus but when I woke up things had changed and now I feel completely overheated. Luckily our next stop is a blast.
We have lunch in a most wonderful restaurant today: the garden of eden, called Chaba Lagoon. This place is absolutely wonderful. All dining rooms are outside in open wooden houses, surrounded by a beautiful green garden full of flowers, trees, statues, little waterfalls and ponds. I could have stayed here forever! The food was equally great, just as the friendly service. This place is pure luxury and like a welcome oasis on this very hot day.
Cirque du Soleil - Alegria
Ayutthaya Hotels & Accommodations review
Good but nothing special
This is a nice hotel not far from the Ayutthaya center. We took tuk tuks into town and it was a very short and cheap ride. The hotel itself is nice as… read entire review