Temples on the River and Street Food in the Night Market at Ayutthaya || 10-day Vacation in Thailand (Day-3 Continued)

Once we were back to the hotel after our temple walk, we did not have much time to relax. Our hotel manager had organized an evening boat ride for us for 200 Baht per person and we reached just 10 minutes before the TukTuk was scheduled to come and pick us up. We were advised by our hotel manager to go up to our room and he would come and fetch us once our ride arrived. We were glad for these 5 minutes and rushed up to freshen up.

Previous posts in this series:
How we arrived at our itinerary
Thai-style homestay and Authentic Thai Food at Ayuthhaya
Buddha in the Banyan Tree and other Temples at Ayutthaya

Once we were back to the hotel after our temple walk, we did not have much time to relax. Our hotel manager had organized an evening boat ride for us for 200 Baht per person and we reached just 10 minutes before the TukTuk was scheduled to come and pick us up. We were advised by our hotel manager to go up to our room and he would come and fetch us once our ride arrived. We were glad for these 5 minutes and rushed up to freshen up. 


Shortly we heard a knock on our door and we left. It took us 5 minutes to get to the tuktuk, but I guess if you count the time it took for the hotel manager to come to our room and by the time we had put on our shoes, it would have been 10 minutes. To our horror, the tuktuk were not empty. There were other guests who were probably picked up before us, and some of them were visibly annoyed. We could understand the annoyance and apologised for it. We wished we hadn't gone back to our room. We wished we had known that we wouldn't be the only people the tuktuk had to pick up. But what was done was done. We pledged to always be before time going forward. And we also realized that we weren't the last ones to arrive. A Japanese couple came 10 minutes after us, taking off some of the guilt to be honest. 

Anyways, very soon we reached a tiny boat harbor and boarded our boat. And soon afterwards, the boat was cruising the charming Chao Phraya River. We were lucky to get seats with a good view and focused on making the most of it. The river was bustling with life. We could see shoals of large catfish breach the surface and disappear. We also saw three huge barges being towed by one tiny steamer. It was an amazing sight. 

The first Wat where the boat stopped was Wat Panan Choeng. There was a 20-Baht charge to visit this temple, and this charge was not covered in the boat ride or This temple is well-known for the 19-meter high golden idol of Buddha that has existed since 1334, 16 years before Ayutthaya was officially established. For the resident Thai, this idol is Luang Pho Tho and for Thai-Chinese, this statue is Sam Pao Kong. It is believed that this idol watches over the travelers on the River. The temple itself is a beautiful amalgamation of Thai and Chinese architecture styles.

The first Wat where the boat stopped was Wat Panan Choeng. There was a 20-Baht charge to visit this temple, and this charge was not covered in the boat ride or This temple is well-known for the 19-meter high golden idol of Buddha that has existed since 1334, 16 years before Ayutthaya was officially established. For the resident Thai, this idol is Luang Pho Tho and for Thai-Chinese, this statue is Sam Pao Kong. It is believed that this idol watches over the travelers on the River. The temple itself is a beautiful amalgamation of Thai and Chinese architecture styles. 

The next Wat we halted at was Wat PhutThaiSawan. This Wat was built in the year 1353 and is an active Monastery. A sprawling complex with statues of the kings welcomed us to this temple. The building that you see first is a fairly standard Wat building, and we had had our fill of the Wats, so we didn't explore much. This was our second mistake on this boat ride. Apparently right behind this Wat lie beautiful ruins of an older temples, which look like something we would have enjoyed exploring. If you take this boat ride, make sure you explore these ruins too. Photographs on the Internet show that these are quite interesting.    By the time we were done exploring Wat Phutthaisawan, the sun was really low and we knew it was going to be sunset soon. Our boat was now headed to the final halt for the day, Wat Chaiwatthanaram. The journey was very interesting too. We saw some interesting looking restaurants on the banks of the river and some very beautiful buildings. One of them was the Saint Josephs Church. This is a beautiful yellow building sitting grand on the bank of the river, reflected starkly in the water.

The next Wat we halted at was Wat PhutThaiSawan. This Wat was built in the year 1353 and is an active Monastery. A sprawling complex with statues of the kings welcomed us to this temple. The building that you see first is a fairly standard Wat building, and we had had our fill of the Wats, so we didn't explore much. This was our second mistake on this boat ride. Apparently right behind this Wat lie beautiful ruins of an older temples, which look like something we would have enjoyed exploring. If you take this boat ride, make sure you explore these ruins too. Photographs on the Internet show that these are quite interesting. 

By the time we were done exploring Wat Phutthaisawan, the sun was really low and we knew it was going to be sunset soon. Our boat was now headed to the final halt for the day, Wat Chaiwatthanaram. The journey was very interesting too. We saw some interesting looking restaurants on the banks of the river and some very beautiful buildings. One of them was the Saint Josephs Church. This is a beautiful yellow building sitting grand on the bank of the river, reflected starkly in the water.

By the time we were done exploring Wat Phutthaisawan, the sun was really low and we knew it was going to be sunset soon. Our boat was now headed to the final halt for the day, Wat Chaiwatthanaram. The journey was very interesting too. We saw some interesting looking restaurants on the banks of the river and some very beautiful buildings. One of them was the Saint Josephs Church. This is a beautiful yellow building sitting grand on the bank of the river, reflected starkly in the water. 

Wat Phutthaisawan had an entry ticket of 50 Bahts and this was covered in our multi-week multi-temple ticket. After getting our tickets stamped we entered the complex and were quickly overcome by how beautifully the temple was silhouetted against the setting sun. This was indeed a beautiful site to see. We explored the ruins a little and came across huge signs of disrepair - broken Buddha statues and crumbling walls. However, these signs of age have a beauty of their own. And preserving these in their present stage is often better than shoddy restoration. We found this Wat very interesting to explore.

Wat Phutthaisawan had an entry ticket of 50 Bahts and this was covered in our multi-week multi-temple ticket. After getting our tickets stamped we entered the complex and were quickly overcome by how beautifully the temple was silhouetted against the setting sun. This was indeed a beautiful site to see. We explored the ruins a little and came across huge signs of disrepair - broken Buddha statues and crumbling walls. However, these signs of age have a beauty of their own. And preserving these in their present stage is often better than shoddy restoration. We found this Wat very interesting to explore. 

Once done, we returned to our hotel. We had had enough of Wats by now, but we still had half a day at Ayutthaya. We decided to dedicate this half day to birding. With this pleasant plan in place, we crashed and were soon dreaming of Wats and rivers and angry strangers. To find out how our birding plan went, stay tuned. Our next post will be out soon. Till then...

It was now time to board the boat, which would take us to the alighting point where our tuktuks would be waiting to take us back to our hotels. The journey back was much more pleasant. Everyone had apparently got over their annoyance and our pangs of guilt had abated too. Once we were back, we dumped our bags in our room and walked towards the night market, which was a couple of blocks from Niwas Ayutthaya. 

This night market was tiny, when compared to Chiang Mai's night market and also compared to the night market at Siem Reap and even the little one in Phnom Penh. Most of the stalls in this market were food stalls. And this was exactly what we needed. Food. We were starving. We hadn't had food for the past 6-7 hours. Most of the places here were selling snacks that we would have to munch on as we walked. But we were in a mood to sit and eat. Very soon we came across a food truck that had some seating arrangement in front of it. We ordered a Pad Thai and a rice dish, and also ordered some beer - the local Chang. We discovered that though we were walking a lot, and felt really hungry, but when we started eating, we were satiated quite quickly. This may be because the heat was forcing us to drink a lot of liquid.

This night market was tiny, when compared to Chiang Mai's night market and also compared to the night market at Siem Reap and even the little one in Phnom Penh. Most of the stalls in this market were food stalls. And this was exactly what we needed. Food. We were starving. We hadn't had food for the past 6-7 hours. Most of the places here were selling snacks that we would have to munch on as we walked. But we were in a mood to sit and eat. Very soon we came across a food truck that had some seating arrangement in front of it. We ordered a Pad Thai and a rice dish, and also ordered some beer - the local Chang. We discovered that though we were walking a lot, and felt really hungry, but when we started eating, we were satiated quite quickly. This may be because the heat was forcing us to drink a lot of liquid. 
   
Once done, we returned to our hotel. We had had enough of Wats by now, but we still had half a day at Ayutthaya. We decided to dedicate this half day to birding. With this pleasant plan in place, we crashed and were soon dreaming of Wats and rivers and angry strangers. To find out how our birding plan went, stay tuned. Our next post will be out soon. Till then...

Once done, we returned to our hotel. We had had enough of Wats by now, but we still had half a day at Ayutthaya. We decided to dedicate this half day to birding. With this pleasant plan in place, we crashed and were soon dreaming of Wats and rivers and angry strangers. To find out how our birding plan went, stay tuned. Our next post will be out soon. Till then...

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