April 2015. I was lucky enough to spend an entire day touring Thailand’s mind-blowing Ayuthaya Historical Park. It was hot, hard work that day for my rickety, rented bicycle and I, but the rewards seemed infinite as I came upon discovery after discovery. For most people the park is just too big and the stifling temperatures along with a how can I put this… somewhat limited attention span for such a large number of ruins… means a lot of folk just go for the highlights. In that sense you can’t miss Wat Phra Si Sanphet, which was part of Siam’s royal palace complex back in the mid seventeenth century.
April 2015. Wat Phra Si Sanphet is famous for its three grey, bell-shaped stupas with soaring spires. The temple complex was all but destroyed when the Burmese rolled into town in 1767 and smashed the place to bits. In fact, these towers were the only things left intact by the time they were finished.
April 2015. I loved Wat Phra Si Sanphet’s eerie atmosphere, with its stretch of waste ground framed by those stupas and a number of surrounding stone columns. A group of scattered, unmarked gravestones merely enhance the spooky vibe.
April 2015. I also came upon a group of visiting monks that day. Wat Phra Si Sanphet was once considered the holiest spot in all of Siam, so it’s now one of Thailand’s most revered pilgrimage sites. This monk, although very serious, was receptive to being photographed as long as I sent him a copy via WeChat. Which seemed like a reasonable tradeoff.
April 2015. I bumped into some Burmese tourists too. Happily they turned out to be a lot more peaceful than their ransacking ancestors and this time I was the one in demand for photographs. Hilariously the girl insisted that her Burberry bag remain in the corner of the shot because… you know… she got bling.
For more on the ruins of ancient Siam, check out my other articles from Ayuthaya Historical Park.
Or maybe delve further afield with my stacks of reports from all over Thailand.
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