Our excellent choice of accomodations at the Ayutthaya place included a light breakfast of coffee and bread, but the innkeeper was feeling extra generous and cooked us fried egg and hot dogs as well. Sufficiently fed and caffeinated we set off on bike in search of ruins. Breezing around on our bicycles we are freed from the solicitation of the numerous tuk-tuk drivers.
A brief history of Ayutthaya: Formerly a Siamese capital the city was a religious stronghold of the Buddhist faith Following Burmese attacks on the Lanna kingdom the temples and former seat of the throne was sacked and fell into ruins. Under the command of King Rama IX the archaeological process was begun and ruins are now under the protection and preservation of the Fine Arts Department for all to enjoy.
Our first stop was at the ruins of Wat Ratcha Burana:
Adjacent to Wat Ratcha Burana was the famous Wat Maha That and its countless Buddhas including the Buddha head in the tree roots.
Riding around the island we came across the decorated Wat Thammikarat an active temple slowly being reclaimed by nature. Preparing for the Lunar New Year we were greeted with a few hundred rooster decorations.
Our final religious stop was Wat Phra Si Sanphet significant for its three pagodas and a small market where we tried Roti Sai Mai as well as Ayutthaya boat noodle soup.
Making our way back to the our guesthouse we stumbled upon an elephant ride and feeding grounds. We are in agreement against the practice of elephant rides and the potential misuse of such magnificent animals. Seeing the elephants gather bahts for their hook wielding handlers while large chains clank on their necks confirmed our hesitations against this tourist fueled animal exploitation.
Following our stomach we rode to the area of the hospital where we could find more Roti Sai Mai in Roti Row. We wandered up and down the stalls looking for the best Roti, one of the dozen was making the roti fresh and won our vote for a bag of sugary goodness.
The night and our stay in Ayutthaya was capped off with a walk to the block party style night market, taking place literally on the road with motorcycles parked around the perimeter. We attempted to find new and different foods stopping for one small plate at a time.