Bangkok and Ayutthaya

Golden Chedis
Golden Chedis

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and a regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and has emerged as a center for the arts, fashion, and entertainment. The city is known for its street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its red-light districts.

Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of the modernization of Siam, later renamed Thailand, during the late-19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West.

We took a boat cruise on the Chao Phraya River and connecting Bangkok Noi Canal which contained a lock so we waited for the water level to change. The boat captain gets only $2/trip! Lots of temples along the canal. The boat dropped us off at Ruen Khun Yaai (“Grandmother’s House”) where we had a food demonstration. Jason did the main cooking. Had three dishes (red curry, a loofa dish, chicken and mushrooms).

Ayutthaya (about 50 miles north of Bangkok). Town of about 6,000 people. It is the Ancient Kingdom of Siam and a UNESCO site. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was home to 33 kings from many different dynasties. The capital of Siam from 1353 to 1767, the city was once a place of such fabulous wealth that early travelers described its “2,000 spires clad in gold.”

Brick ruins. Had many, many Buddha and all except a few large statues had their heads removed. It's a very peaceful site. There were two main areas: the temple ruins were for the people (Wat Mahathat) and the royal temple used for religious ceremonies for King and royals (Wat Phra Sri San Phet) was within the Palace Walls. 

We took a short walk to local shop where they make roti sai mai (Thai cotton candy). We entered the shop and went to the basement where various individuals had their own businesses that did different parts of the process.

Bangkok Gallery
Ayutthaya Gallery