The Historical Park not far away from Bangkok
10.12.2016 - 10.12.2016 33 °C
Ayutthaya was an old capital city of Thailand (now being Bangkok) and is listed under Unesco World Heritage site with its vast ancient ruins, temples and Buddha sculptures. The trip to Ayutthaya can also include a tour to the Bang Pa In Royal Palace which I have shared before on my last visit to this Summer Palace which was former Thai kings' royal residence revived during the reigned of King Mongkut and therefater by King Chulalongkorn. Ayutthaya city is somewhat distinctive of its own due to huge part of the city which was scattered with the ancient wats and chedis as well as big Buddha sculptures. Stepping into the Ayutthaya Historical Park will bring you back to the ancient times as if you have been brought to the past by time zone machine. Most of the ancient palaces, ruins, chedis, wats and Buddha sculptures were still well preserved though some parts of these structures were lost or crumbled apart due to old age while some could have been due to theft. But, some of the important and huge temples were able to stand the test of time and fortunately, perhaps due to restoration and reconstruction efforts by the responsible authorities with help of external experts, these very precious and invaluable ruins and ancient structures were able to be preserved for the purpose of research, views, education and tourism developments which then bring source of knowledge, income and well being of people in the area and its surroundings.
WAT PHRA SISANPETH
This visit to Ayutthaya Historical Park, I have the opportunity to take a tour to Wat Phra Sisanpheth, Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Yai Chaimongkol. Each of these temples, ruins and ancient palace highlight the distinctive features of its own. Most of these ancient structures incur entrance fee but at time of visit, it was waived perhaps due to Constitution Day holiday to spur local tourism. The first tour was the Wat Phra Sisanpeth. This was a former ancient palace built during the era of King U-Thong and indeed, due to this being a former place structures, the overall boundary of Wat Phra Sisanpeth can be described as huge with old chedis, large walls, ancient structures some of which had been crumbled can be seen scattered around the area. It was an impressive ancient palace and royal temple though the most visibles now remained the chedis or stupas of the ancient temple and some parts of the ancient palace walls. The old temple was used for purpose of royal ceremonies and swearing ins occassions. It also served as royal religious centre and to placed royal ashes.
The second visit after Wat Phra Sisanphet was the Wat Mahathat. This ancient ruins was built during the reigned of King Borommarachathiraj in 1917. The highlights of Wat Mahathat was the Prang (a cone shaped tower resembled present day pagoda) as well as the Buddha's Head which has a huge tree with its large roots grown around it. There were also some Buddha sculptures and parts of ancient temple walls as well as ancient chedis scattered around Wat Mahathat. There was discovery of antiques, precious stones and silver and bronze stupas over at Wat Mahathat by the Fine Arts Department.
WAT YAI CHAI MONGKHON
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is located outside of the Ayutthaya Historical Park. A brief history of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. It was established during the era of King U-Thong for monks returning from Ceylon in Sri Lanka for meditation purpose. The leader of the monks at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon during that time was conferred with a special title as a form of respect to him for his role as the monk leade. During the reign of King Naresuan, the King wanted to execute those armies who defied his orders while fighting the invading Burmese forces towards Ayutthaya. The head of the monk at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon during that time has advised King Naresuen against executing the traitor armies but instead built a grand chedi as a symbol of victory against the Burmese forces. Therefore Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon was a symbol of victory of King Naresuen in his victory against his country greatest enemy. Upon entrance to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is the Reclining Buddha sculpture on the left of the entrance. Walking further inside the premise, visitors will be greeted with the temple's ubosot. The huge ancient chedi of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon was located just behind the ubosot. There were multiple Buddha sculptures surrounding the chedi and staircases which provide access to the upper level of the chedi. On the upper level, there were also multiple Buddha sculptures seen surrounding the area which has a deep hole in the middle of this chedi. Coins can be seen scattered around the base level of the hole with average depth perhaps for good luck wishes by visitors.
Being in Ayutthaya, one should not missed the best culinary that Ayutthaya is famous for because of the deliciousness of these treats. It is not just about history in Ayutthaya but its also about taking some time to get to know more of the other side of this historical city of Thailand that is its food culture. Some of the best food Ayutthaya offers to food lovers include the boat noodle, roti sai mai which is a kind of aromatic sweets or snacks with floss candy in multi colours wrapped into a thin rounded bread as well as deep fried fish. Due to the city of Ayutthaya is surrounded by the river, fish is yet another treat that must have as here, they serve some of the freshest fish you can imagine of. Boat noodle needs no introduction as I had been reviewing this distinctively addictive soup of the noodle dish several times. Again, because the city is surrounded by the river, obviously boats were main transportation system during the ancient times and the noodles served as a fast food to boat commuters during that era to beat their hunger during early morning rush or to run other necessities. There are many boat noodles shops surrounding the historical park area and I did had some to try out and would say that this is a must-have dish while touring Ayutthaya. Roti sai mai is definitely a good snack to sink your teeth in with its aromatic flavour thin bread-like wrapper made from the mixture with pandanus leaf which then top with candy floss in various color before roll the roti over the candy floss and finally biting and melting it into the mouth. A definite should not missed snack in Ayutthaya.
ROTI SAI MAI