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    Tropical Storm Tour: Thailand Part 11

    Sunday, June 14, 2015
    Ayutthaya, Thailand

    Some roadside ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    Some roadside ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    More colorful signs in downtown Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    More colorful signs in downtown Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    Giant roosters for sale in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    Giant roosters for sale in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    Wat Pakkran in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    Wat Pakkran in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    An elephant ride in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    An elephant ride in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    I rented a bicycle again today and proceeded to get lost over and over again. I just can’t seem to get a handle on the layout of this town. Usually, I’m really good with directions and orientation, but Ayutthaya has me flummoxed. The fact that the map does not list every street name and most of them are in such tiny type that they’re impossible to read anyway doesn’t help much. Also, some streets don’t have street signs, or only have one posted on one corner of a gnarly intersection full of hectic traffic that makes it way too much of a nightmare to cross over to check. And even then, only one street is signed, not the cross street! So, getting lost is easy here.

    An evening prayer service at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bhopit in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    An evening prayer service at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bhopit in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    Buddha images at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bhopit in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    Buddha images at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bhopit in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    A close-up of a Buddha image at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bhopit in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    A close-up of a Buddha image at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bhopit in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    A large chedi at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    A large chedi at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    Crumbling ruins at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    Crumbling ruins at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    I just tooled around all afternoon shooting photos of any interesting or funny thing that crossed my path, as well as roadside Buddhist temples. At one point I even crossed over a bridge and off the island of Ayutthaya. I figured as much as I pedaled down a road for a while and saw mileage signs for far-off towns in the hinterlands. After stopping at a couple of more Buddhist temples, I asked a Thai guy shooting photos where I was and he showed me on my map. So, back I headed toward the island.

    Crumbling ruins at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    Crumbling ruins at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    Crumbling ruins at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    Crumbling ruins at Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    The reclining Buddha at Wat Lokkayasutharam in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    The reclining Buddha at Wat Lokkayasutharam in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    A smaller reclining Buddha at Wat Lokkayasutharam in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    A smaller reclining Buddha at Wat Lokkayasutharam in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    A forlorn scene in downtown Ayutthaya, Thailand.
    A forlorn scene in downtown Ayutthaya, Thailand.

    I ended up at an evening Buddhist prayer service at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bhopit. As I walked toward the temple, I spotted a beautiful woman dressed to the nines, all wrapped up in a traditional golden Thai dress. We smiled at each other. I wanted to ask her if I could take a photo, but chickened out. I thought I might see more ladies dressed like her inside, but no such luck. It was so nice dwelling within the peaceful ambience inside as the local people paid their respects to the Buddha. Then I walked next door to soak in the picturesque ruins of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. Too bad it was overcast all afternoon and evening. Crappy grey lighting always makes outdoor photos suffer. It’s always nice to walk through the ruins no matter what the lighting is like, as photos or even video can never really capture the four-dimensional magic of real life.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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