Thailand, Ayutthaya – Going Temple to Temple
I had never been particularly interested in Thailand. Yet me and my friend decided to give it a chance so we travelled to the land of smiles. When we got out of the airport to Skyline ground subway, Thais gave us adviced where to get a ticket, for how and they always smiled at us.
We walked down the famous Khaosan road. In the streets behind it we encoutered Original Guest House consisting of original tibered dwellings. We immediately set off to explore the royal palace surrounded by crowds. All its parts draw inspiration from famous temples in Thailand. Amazing. Then we went to Wat Pho temple and while doing that we encountered gigantic lying Buddha (45 meters long).
Then we moved on to the flower market. On our way back we took a boat which is part of Thai public transport system. Moreover, we took an amazing picture of Wat Arun temple (the temple of the setting sun) during the sunset. Amazing vista…
We booked a trip to the ghost city of Ayutthaya at local travel agency. The very first temple (80 meters high) looks like a pyramid of the Sun god. Even though my knee hurt me because of a ski accident shortly before our trip to Thailand, I had to climb up. The view was worth it. Then we moved to another temple resembling me of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. The fact that the kingdom reached far beyond Cambodia itself - to Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam is hardly surprising. There you find also the lying Buddha similar to the one Bangkok. However, the former is merely 42 meters long and is made of stone only which is why I liked this one more. He has his eyes closed which symbolizes that he is pictured after he passed away. The one in Bangkok has his eyes almost closed so he is just about to enter nirvana. Amazing details…
Then we continued to an island in the city. The island is surrounded with three rivers. The Praya runs through Bangkok. There used to be the royal residence. However, in the times of uprising in the mid-18th century the entire shrine burned down. However, huge temples around have been preserved. These reminded me of Angkor Wat. There is a giant tree in the back. It grows around a head of Buddha. It is pleasant look at this bust inside the tree. I remembered one of Buddha's sayings: "The root of all evil is the lack of knowledge." There are countles Buddha statues. It is said that monks hid gold in some of them that's why treasure hunters destroyed them.
Towards the end of our tour, there is a huge scale model of the entire compound which gives you better idea of how it looked liked here once. We boarded the bus and set off to two shrines. The first one consists of three pagodas which are truly photogenic. Inside, there used to be stone Buddha but vandals demolished it. Close to it, there is a new temple with 25 meter Buddha with one of his hands resting on the knee and the second with palm facing up. They can be pictured with palms facing one on another - this posture is called meditation. Another posture is blessing - sitting cross-leged one hand resting on knee the other with palm facing up. You need to have your knees and shoulders covered inside the temple. The atmosphere is very calm there. Our guide told us that the title buddha is something similar to our "saint". Therefore, there were a lot of them.
GPS: 14°22'09.6"N 100°35'21.0"E
Text and photos: Sylvie Halouzková
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