Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thailand 2015 Trip - Day 3 (Bang Pa-In Palace, Ayutthaya, Wat Mahathat, Wat Na Phra Men, Wat Lokaya Sutharam, Chao Phraya river cruise, Sky Bar at Lebua)

After the first 2 days of getting to know the city of Bangkok a little, we decided to go on an Expedia tour to discover Ayutthaya. I have to say this was one of the days I look forward to the most, mainly because I love exploring places with a rich history. I told my hubby it's almost like we would travel back in time and re-visit the memories left at those places.

Ayutthaya is actually located about 80km north of Bangkok so it's quite a bit of a drive there. Fortunately, on the way we would make multiple stop overs at various sites.

About 1 hour later, we arrived at the Bang Pa-In palace, the former summer residence of the Thai royalty. Now out of respect as how it was for all palaces, you need to wear clothes that covers your shoulder and knees. Luckily, if you don't have the appropriate clothing, you can hire some at the entrance by 200 baht deposit which will be returned to you at the end. Hence...this is what I looked like on the day:

LOL excuse the fact I hid my face, mainly due to my haunting expression due to excessive heat in the morning. At this stage I was thinking: I AM SO GOING TO BURN! (Indeed I did, I think I almost fainted half way)

When we walked inside, we were amazed at the details of the fascinating architectures. It was known that the king traveled around the world a lot back then, and thus many architectures here had influences from all around the world, especially from Europe.

The fact some pavilions were built on water gave that feeling of serenity, as they actually harmonized really well with the green garden on the background.

This one totally reminded us of a statue we saw back in Europe, I loved how the whole bridge was full of them.

How luxurious does this look?? I really like how they always add that touch of gold.

We also saw a Chinese-style palace, and boy I have to say the structure of this could definitely compete with any of the ones in Beijing!

This is what it looked like inside, the typical combination of red and gold colours to give that strong glow. I had the urge to sit on that chair for once, but unfortunately any step beyond the first staircase was not allowed LOL.

After several more minutes of the walk, I gave up on exploring due to intolerable heat. I have to say I'm a person who can't function well in large amount of heat, I rather freeze like no tomorrow than walk another step in this heat. Thus we decided to go back to the bus a little earlier, after a stopover at an indoor air-conditioning building.

Later on, it was time to head to Ayutthaya!!! Woooohooo!!! I was so excited! Our tour guide told us that Ayutthaya was fonded around 1350 and was once the largest city in the world. Sadly, it was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century, which left a lot of ruins and broken pieces.

Here's the first sight of the ruins at Ayutthaya from the bus, it was simply stunning.

Here is the most famous site of the Buddha's head inside of a tree, and it was great to finally see it in reality! When we take photos, we couldn't stand above its level so I had to kneel down. I'm not a Buddhist myself, but somehow I was very mesmerized by this.

We went around a bit more towards the back area, and discovered some more ruins. I had no idea what to feel when I saw all these, while the sight was all amazing, somehow it was quite melancholic at the same time. It almost felt like I could see the scenes of once an astonishing city vanishes in an instant, through fire, violence, and perhaps much hatred too. I still remember when I was young, I wished there will be no more war in this world...I guess I had this wish in mind again when I walked through here. 

Moving on, the tour drove to Wat Na Phra Men for the next stopover. Apparently Wat Na Phra Men actually meant "the temple in front of the royal pyre" where the executed royal prisoners were cremated on the grounds. We shivered a little.

The Buddha in here was gigantic and calmly sending off that golden glow. We thought we'd pray a little, so we kneel down on the red carpet and completed chanting.

After this, we stopped at Wat Lokaya Sutharam, which was the largest reclining Buddha image in Ayutthaya. It was a very impressive one. Unfortunately it started raining quite a bit, so we couldn't stay longer to admire it.

The tour had an one-way cruise ride on the way back to Bangkok city with buffet lunch, and the cruise goes along the iconic Chao Phraya river. We actually got to see a tiny bit of the Grand Palace from far way on the way back.

One thing my hubby and I loved about the cruise was the buffet lunch, as it turned out better than we expected. It wasn't a large variety or anything, but there were a lot of local tasty food. Other than that, no doubt I was extremely in love with the desserts!!!

I think the boat ride was about 2-3 hours, and then we got back to the wharf and returned to our hotel after that. We took a small break, and decided to go to Sky Bar at Lebua as planned. LOL anyone remember "Hangover 2"??

The trip to Lebua wasn't exactly as smooth as we had hoped, mainly because we got a little bit lost LOL. In the end, we just decided to follow the big road instead of cutting in the back little streets. Poor hubby had to wear pants as the dressing code was smart casual, he was sweating quite a bit after we finally arrived.

After you go on the elevator, you'll then come to the entrance where someone will guide you to the dome area. There were no photos allowed at the dome area, and you had to get a drink in order to go down to the bar area. Me and hubby each had a quick drink, and then we started to admire the night view of this place.

You can actually have dinner here as well, although I have to admit the price is probably one of the very expensive ones you can find in Bangkok. Me and hubby thought just drinking at the bar was good enough, but a candlelight dinner here would probably be a really good idea for special occasions.

I couldn't bring my DSLR camera at night, so the night view photos actually didn't turn out very well. But in reality was great! Me and hubby chatted for a long time there, despite the amount of people and noise at our back (yes it's actually really crowded there!!). I always enjoy a night view, whether it's looking down at the city light or looking up at the stars and galaxy. It's a magical feeling, and it certainly bring me closer to who I'm with at the time.

Day 3 was actually one of the really good day, in fact probably one of the best day from this trip. We both felt really satisfied at the end of the day and looked forward to the next morning.

To be continued...

Thanks for reading again guys!! I will keep writing about our Thailand trip so please come back to check out more ^^


Thailand 2015 Trip links:

- Day 1 and 2 (Arrival, Central world, Jim Thompsonhouse, MBK, Naraya haul, Greyhound Cafe, Siam, Hello Kitty Cafe, MangoTango) 
- Day 3 (Bang Pa-In Palace, Ayutthaya, Wat Mahathat, Wat Na Phra Men, Wat Lokaya Sutharam, Chao Phraya river cruise, Sky Bar at Lebua)
- Day 4 (Cafe at Ease, Khao San Road, Tom Yum Kung restaurant, Chinatown, Always One, YumSaap at MBK, Tattoo show)
- Day 5 (Safari World, Mansion 7, Hot Pot train)
- Day 6 and 7 (Hospital visit, Erawan tea room, Asiatique market)
- Day 8 and 9 (Platinum mall, Manna restaurant, Terminal 21, Nara restaurant)
- Day 10, 11 and 12 (Chatuchak/Jatujak weekend market, Grand Palace, Damnoen water market, Elephant village)
Day 13 and 14 (Arriving Phuket, Kalima Resort and Spa, FantaSea theme park, Simon Cabaret show)
- Day 15 and 16 (Phi Phi Island, Patong beach, Loi Krathong)

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