|Last year Raoul, one my former students, married in Amsterdam with his Thai boyfriend Aunn. In August they came to Thailand to celebrate their wedding with Aunn's family and friends. We were invited for the party which would be held in Uttaradit, about 450 km north of Bangkok. |
As it was a long time ago that I had visited Bangkok and the famous temple ruins of Ayutthaya and Sukothai, we decided to fly to Bangkok, rent a car at the airport, drive to Uttaradit, visiting a few World Heritage sites on our way. Then, after the party drive back to Bangkok and spend a few days there.
During these eight days I took almost 900 pictures. Here is a minimal selection, later albums will be added with more details.
After collecting our car at the airport, we drove to Bang Pa-In, a former Summer Palace of the Thai kings. Dating back to 1632, but most of the buildings have been constructed in the late 19th century. A beautiful place.
We spent the night in Ayutthaya and explored the town the next morning. There are many dozens of temple ruins, we limited ourselves to three, Wat Mahathat,Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. Impressive, but way too many tourists, busloads of them..:-(
Expecting that Sukothai might be even more crowded, we decided to skip it and visit instead Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai, the other two main cities of the 14th-century Sukothai kingdom.
We found Kamphaeng Phet very impressive. The temples and statues here are contructed of laterite. Strong erosion makes the statues look like modern art (Giacometti!). The reclining Buddha and the two seated ones in Wat Phra Kaeo are so beautiful, contemplating them may easily convert you to (Theravada) Buddhism.
After so many temples we needed a change, so in the afternoon we visited a nearby waterfall in a well maintained park. No rubbish, what a difference with Malaysia! Lots of rain, also the next day when we visited Si Satchanalai. Not easy to take nice pictures. But one good thing, we were the only tourists there!
Later that day we arrived at Uttaradit, where we met Raoul and Aunn, and had a nice wedding dinner with them, their families and many guests
The following day we drove back to Bangkok, a long way, but easy. We stopped at Phitsanulok to visit the Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat with what many people think is the most beautiful Buddha statue in Thailand.
After delivering our car at the airport, we took public transport to our guesthouse Om Yim, where we stayed four days.
We had splendid weather here, a photographer's dream.
We started with Jim Thompson's house, an absolute must for a Thompson fan like me..:-) What a beautiful mansion.
Next was Wat Arun. The following day Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. Really difficult to choose my favourite.
On our last day we chartered a longboat for a cruise along the khlongs of Thonburi.
Then back home, to recover from a hectic but rewarding trip.