Sunday, February 14, 2010


A woman hawking garlands to anyone wanting to make an offering at Ayutthaya hurries from vehicle to vehicle.

Ayutthaya is a city of crumbling ruins dating back to 1350. By 1600, it had 300,000 inhabitants. Five different dynasties ruled what was then the Kingdom of Siam. In 1767, it was nearly destroyed by the Burmese army, and the kingdom temporarily collapsed.

Today, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws tourists from all over the world to walk among the fantastic remnants of a lost era and wonder about the people who once lived here and called it home.

Gracious avenues are lined with trees now in bloom with delicate pink blossoms. Monks can be seen strolling along them and from the bus, we saw several elephants plodding down the street. I could have stayed here for a week and still not seen everything there was to see. Wish I could have stayed longer.

The site is only an hour or so away from Bangkok and as soon as we left the skyscrapers behind, the terrain gave way to rice paddies and a much slower pace of life that seeks to cherish and preserve the past.

It is humbling to walk here and realize that one day all of our familiar places will lie in ruins, too...

Sign explaining some history of the place.

The buddhas here are still very much venerated. Offerings sit nearby this one and include a bottle of water--a very practical gesture in this hot land.

Sandstone buddha

Information about the sandstone buddha. (Click on it to enlarge.)


  1. Very interesting how the head of the sandstone Buddha is embedded in the tree. Seems like the head would have disintegrated with the body. What wonderful history.