Wat The Dickens?

Ayutthaya Travel Blog

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Wat Chaiwatthanaram

From the original capital of Bangkok to the second of three, Ayuttaya. The attraction: more wats. You might think we would be completely fed-up with wats after seeing possibly hundreds over the last month or so - and you'd be right - but we had to stop off here before making our way north-east so we thought it would be rude not to check out a few more before we really can't stand the sight of them. And there really is little else to do here.

Our journeys between places recently had been running completely according to script. It was beginning to get spooky. So we were almost comforted when, for some unknown reason, we were dropped off at the side of a motorway and told that this was the stop at Ayuttaya and we would have to find our own way from there.

Buddha head in roots
All that lay before us was a few motorbike taxi drivers and a vendor with cold drinks (as always). We resisted the motorbikes (as always) and ended up chucking money at a bad situation to make it go away (yes, as always) by paying a taxi driver more than it's worth to take us away from the scary motorway.

Once safe and after a good night's sleep, we half-heartedly set about exploring a few more temples. Highlights were the buddha's head that had been enclaved by tree roots at Wat Maha That, the largest bronze Buddha in Thailand housed at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit and a 42-metre long brick reclining Buddha at Wat Lokayasutharam. On a cloudy day I managed to get sunburnt even more, despite laughing at someone who had suffered the same fate the day before.

Everywhere in Southeast Asia, when you try and get a tuk-tuk or sawngthaew you inevitably get told that wherever you want to go is either closed, shut down or not safe(!) or something similar so the driver can try and take you somewhere that pays commision for them bringing business.

Wat Lokayasutharam
When trying to catch a ride to a restaurant from the wats was no exception and, as always, I said, "We'll go there anyway, cheers." This time, however, he was telling the truth when he said it was closed and I actually felt a little guilty to have been blunt with him. He even found us a restaurant that was actually all right. So they're not all bad.

That evening we took a boat ride around the Chaophraya River. Guess what we stopped off to see. Yes, more wats. You're probably as sick of them as I am so I won't go on any more. The highlight was actually feeding some catfish, where hundreds of them were flapping around like maniacs, fighting for scraps and soaking the audience.

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Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Buddha head in roots
Buddha head in roots
Wat Lokayasutharam
Wat Lokayasutharam
They are maniacs
They are maniacs
Buddha in Mongkhon Bophit
Buddha in Mongkhon Bophit
Feeding catfish
Feeding catfish
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Ahoy!
Ahoy!
Ayutthaya
photo by: the_bloodsucker