Temples and Stuff
Thailand is well famous for it's beautiful idylic beach paradise islands but if you've seen that and done it what more is there in a developed country like this.
Well you have some beautiful heritage sites devoted to buddhism, ancient Temples or Wat as they are called in the Thai language of Unesco World Heritage standard although those at Ayutthaya were close to being struck off the list due to the city rapidly building up around the different temples and basically swallowing them up!
Buddha head in tree roots - Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya
This must be one of the more famous Buddhist relics within Thailand known to the outside world at Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya. Nobody really knows how long this stone carved buddha head has been entombed as it were amongst the tree roots of an ancient banyan but it's obviously a very long time!
They do know that this temple was built in the 14th century and later reduced to ruins by the invading Burmese army in 1767. Still nobody is quite sure how the Buddha head got there, there are theories but no concrete evidence!
Reclining Buddha at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Ayutthaya
Another interesting Wat or Temple is that of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. It's pretty immense as far as ancient temples go and was built in 1598 by one of Ayutthaya's greatest kings, Nareusan the Great. Ayutthaya itself was founded as early as 1350 and became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai which I'll get onto later. Ayutthaya was said to be the largest city in the world by 1700 with a million inhabitants. Today it is almost linked to Bangkok being but a couple of hours drive away and it is very modern. A good way to see the temples as they are fairly spread out in this vast city is by bicycle.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
You can stumble across allsorts of temple ruins, stupa's, chedi's, seated buddha's etc as you thread your way through the bustling traffic and onto more qaint back roads in the search of Ayutthaya's ancient heritage.
Banyan roots with shrunken Buddha head
Sukhothai in the lower part of northern Thailand is another Unesco World Heritage Site and much smaller than Ayutthaya with a more relaxed feel to it. Population is just over 35,000 and it's 427 km's north of Bangkok. During the 13 century A.D. Sukhothai was the capital of Siam and to this day Sukhothai Historical Park is a sizeable area littered with nnumerous sites of historical interest.
One of the many ancient temples at Sukhothai Historical Park
Modern Sukhothai is the commercial area 12km's from Sukhothai Historical Park or old city. If you happen to visit you can either choose to stay in the modern city or the old city which would put the histroical park right on your door step so to speak.
Ancient Buddha at Sukhothai
Asian Lotus (Water Lily)
Veering away from the sacred sites Thailand is synonymous with good food wether that's from a decent Thai restaurant or street food you can't really go wrong in Thailand.
Also well known for buddhist monks having such a wealth of buddhist history and tradition, it is still quite common to see in the early morning in bigger cities buddhist monks young and old walking in a line from business to business collecting alms.
Thai Buddhist Monk in Bangkok
And to the heady world of Bangkok which has been covered so much everywhere else that I don't think I need bother to wax lyrical about it. Just a few images should suffice.
Khao San Road
Night Photography at Democracy Monument
Thai style delivery service