According to wikipedia, “[Ayutthaya] was capital of the Kingdom of Siam, and a prosperous international trading port, from 1350 until razed by the Burmese in 1767. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues.”
We left the Aloft Hotel by private car to go to Ayutthaya for 1600baht. It was the most expensive way to travel but we figured it would save on the hastle of taxis to/from the train station and the long ride by train. It was a good decision as we ended up arriving in time to visit the local market.
We arrived at Kamalar Palace (also called Place) around 15:00 hrs. The property contains around 20 houses that are 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, a kitchenette (fridge and microwave), a dining room and a living room. It was very spacious. The owner, Narung, spent a fair amount of time telling us what was available to see and how we should go about it. We were wary after all the scams in Bangkok but he turned out to be very genuine and also very generous both with his time and resources.
After we settled in we walked about the property and got to meet his prize birds – peacocks. He has one male and two females and about 16 babies ranging from 2 to six months. We met his daughter, Khan, who basically takes care of most things around the place. She was busy feeding the peacocks when her father invited us to go to the market with her to pickup dinner.
We left in a pick-up truck, Colleen, Rob and Hannah with the driver (we’ll call him the Uncle as we never did get his name) and Khan as our guide. It was a great excursion and the highlight of the trip. The Uncle pointed out a Wat in the distance which looked really nice, next thing we know, we are driving to it to get some pictures.
A visit to the local market proved to be very interesting. It was a mix of Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu faiths all selling their own products. Khan was an expert at weaving in and out of the various stalls with Colleen by her side getting a rapid account of what things cost.
Flooding in Ayutthaya
2011 was the worst year in about 2 decades for flooding, but this year was proving to be a challenge. The river boat cruises were shut down and many houses were flooded. On the day we left the banks of the river were reinforced with mud and clay embankments.
Dinner for an Army
We agreed to have dinner at their restaurant which was part of the reason why we went to the market. What we didn’t realize is that we would also help with making dinner. Hannah was first up and made an awesome Pad Thai.
Wat Maha That
Known as the Temple of the Great Relics, it is located in the center of Ayutthaya. Apart from being the symbolic center where the Buddha’s relics were enshrined, Wat Mahathat was also the residence of the Supreme Patriarch or leader of the Thai Buddhist monks. The temple is believed to be built during the 14th century A.D. (the early Ayutthaya period).
Our Second Dinner at Kamalar Palace
The first night was so much fun we couldn’t say no to the second night This time dinner was a Thai hotpot. We ate bacon, pork strips and soup with vegetables and noodles. It was awesome!
The Train to Bangkok
Narong, the owner of the Kamalar Palace said he would drive us to the train station. We left a bit early and he showed us parts of the town. He then drove to a local restaurant and bought three grilled chicken and sticky rice for the train ride to Bangkok. It was a very nice gesture that made us realize that Thai hospitality is second to none.
The train to Bangkok was a fun excursion and quite unique.
Ayyuthaya was an amazing adventure for the whole family. It was great to meet Narong and Khan and experience their hospitality at the Kamalar Palace.