During our visit to Thailand last Christmas, our family signed up for a tour of Ayutthaya. It took us around different historical temples and ended with a nice riverboat cruise buffet along Chao Praya River.
We booked the Grand Pearl Riverboat Cruise, which was recommended by our hotel. A shuttle picked us up and took us to the River City Shopping Complex where the tour bus was waiting.
It took about 1 1/2 hours for us to reach our first stop for the day. On the way there, our guide gave us some background information about Thailand and the royal family. He told us that Ayutthaya was one of the old capitals of Thailand, back in the 16th century. I also enjoyed learning about how the Thai people assign different colors for different days. Our guide explained that most Thai houses and establishments will have a yellow flag displayed next to the Thai flag to honor their king, who was born on a Monday.
I was born on a Wednesday, so according to Thai beliefs, my lucky color is green. (According to Wikipedia, this also means that my unlucky color is pink – which sort of sucks because it’s my favorite color and practically everything I own is pink. Good thing I’m not superstitious.)
Our first stop was Bang Pa In Palace
Our guide put this sign up on our bus and told us to take a picture of it to remind us of our bus number and meeting time
Bang Pa In Palace is the Summer Palace of King Rama V. The guide showed us around and talked more about Thailand’s history. This trip took place 9 months ago so I can’t really remember everything he told us. To make up for it, here are some pictures I took while we walked around:
Lovely pavilion in the middle of the pond
There were many beautiful gardens inside the palace walls
I forgot what this place was, but I think it was the Throne Room
Look at the intricate details on the gate
Outside we saw this little house thing:
I’m not really sure what it was for, but it was open to visitors. It was a little cramped inside and you had to take your shoes off (which is common for most of these places), so my parents decided to skip it.
They had really low ceilings on the first floor
The second floor was more spacious
This is the gazebo where Ezra had her 51st portrait for 2013.
There were a lot of lovely hedge carvings around the palace. Our guide told us that the prince/king likes doing these himself.
This one’s supposed to be a cobra
We found this cute gazebo which looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale
After a exploring the palace grounds, we went back to the bus to head over to Wat Maha That
Quick selfie while waiting for the rest of our group to arrive
On our way to our next location, our guide pointed out these pillars which clearly showed how high waters reached during the flooding of 2011.
When we arrived at the temple, we saw a bunch of these interesting looking tuk tuks :)
There were also some locals there selling some yummy looking ice cream
Before we went inside the temple, our guide gave us a bit of information about the place. He also reminded us to be respectful and showed us this sign which contains things that we are not supposed to do while we were there.
Our guide told us that this temple was built around the 14th century. When the Burmese attacked Ayutthaya, the place was destroyed. A lot of tourists come here to see the ruins.
There were several of these Cambodian-style pagodas around the area