13th July 2004.

Ayutthaya was the Siamese royal capital for over 400 years and represents the pinnacle of ancient Thai history. A two hour train ride from Bangkok and we were there. Our days sight-seeing was slightly accelerated by the decision to rise late and catch a train at 11am rather than 7am.

Despite the racing-kits that the tuk tuks here seem to have we decided to hire another motor bike thus adding the additional excitement of highway roulette to the day.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon was the first stop and far the highlight of the day with reclining Buddhas...

... and a stupa surrounding by more Buddhas than we had ever seen.

Two days earlier an elephant had trampled a man to death in Bangkok and its Mahout (driver) was wearing all red thus identifying him as part of the Ayutthaya troop before he absconded to freedom.... for now.

Wat Chai Watthanaram was one of the less-fancied ruins but was one of our favourites complete with a busload of Thai university students who spoke good enough English to ask for a photo with Claire but not good enough English to explain why! Jason thinks that one went straight in the bank.

... more Buddhas.

Wat Mahathat had the photo highlight of the day a stone buddhas head that was believed to of fallen to the ground the last time the Burmese sacked Ayutthaya and has since grown up off the ground in the grip of a Banyan tree.

The big reclining Buddha had some pretty bad gold leaf eczema that Claire was desperately trying to fix... the gold leaf was blowing all over the field as bus after bus of tourists arrive and rub it on to the less than sticky concrete.

The highlight of the day was supposed to be Wat Phra Si Sanphet where the royal ashes are stashed... but it was a bit dull with the highlight being an odd shrine facing West containing barbie like dolls half-dressed in Royal garb and looking a bit naked and burnt.

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