Ayutthaya – Real Life Temple Run!
I have always had this attachment towards ancient temples and ruins. There is just something so charming, otherworldly and endearing about them. I cannot explain the appeal of ancient structures. Perhaps it is the knowledge that generations of people have made these temples their homes or their places of worships.
They have lived their lives, gave birth to offspring and worshipped their gods in these temples. The thought of a life gone by; the exuberant smiles of people; the exhilarating feeling of giving life; and the despair perhaps of birth, I feel like an observer of somebody else’s life and walking through ruins is like watching these people live their lives all over again, albeit only through my imagination.
Ayutthaya is one of the highlights of any trip to Thailand. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city was founded in 1350 and is the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. Destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century, it is famous for its gigantic monasteries and prangs or reliquary towers. The splendour of Ayutthaya remains although we only see the ruins today.
It was scorching hot when we went to Ayutthaya last November but it was all worth it. The trip to the ancient temples was not a very pleasant one though as we had to sit with rowdy and loud Brazilian or Portuguese tourists who probably thought they were the only people in the van. The lunch served during the day tour also left a lot of the tourists hungry including me. Somehow they thought that people who have been walking around all day long only have the appetite of a 3 year old child. Everyone was famished and there wasn’t just enough food!
The temples were magnificent although the throng of tourists might prevent you from enjoying them to the fullest. The ruins of all the most important buildings have all been consolidated, repaired and reconstructed. The most important sites are confined to the former Royal Palace precinct. Words will never do the temples justice so feel free to take a look at the pictures I took.