Sunday, November 8, 2009


Deciding where to visit on our first weekend in Thailand was not simple, but we chose well. Our choice of the ancient capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, was most excellent. Arriving in the city known as The Venice of Asia because it is surrounded by rivers, you cross into it via water taxi, was beautiful. It was sacked by the Burmese after a 400 year reign as the region's trading hub and the capital was moved to Bangkok where it remains today. Ayutthaya (i-yoo-tee-a) is still a bustling city and has done a remarkable job of ensuring the many Wats (Buddhist Temples) are properly cared for. A number of the Wats are still being used by the monks and have been in continuous use for hundreds of years. Our tour around the city brought us to many of them and they are quite impressive. Images of the Buddha are everywhere, mainly in stone sculpture or bronze statues that have gold leaf covering their entire outside. There is an air of peacefulness in एंड around each of the Wats, similar to when you tour a church in the west.

We were fortunate enough to witness a number of Buddhist traditions, including the draping of cloth over Buddha images, people offering prayers and receiving blessings from the monks. Some of the Wat's are 3 or 4 stories tall and are an awesome feat of engineering when one considers how long ago they were built. We were able to walk around, on, over and we even went under one! It was a workout making it to the top of some and when we stumbled upon a greasy spoon restaurant serving real American hamburgers, we just had to stop on treat ourselves. The burger I enjoyed was delicious and the woman who ran the place has never been to the states, but thought tourists might like a taste of home and boy was she right. We literally ate all of her remaining burger patties (there were 9 people in our group), she closed the place after we left to find more meat. Deb enjoyed a cheese sandwich and fries, which was bliss for her vegetarian diet as cheese is a hard to find commodity over here.

We topped our day off with dinner at a local market where you sit down and shout your order to the vendors that surround the tables, its a free for all and of course delicious! After dinner, we purchased some suds and took an hour long boat ride around the city. Many of the Wat's are lit up at night and it was relaxing way to end a long day of trekking around. Sunday morning we hired a couple of Tuk-Tuk's to drive us out to a floating market and to visit another Wat. Riding in a Tuk-Tuk is like visiting your local amusement park and jumping on the most adrenaline pumping ride there is. These guys make NASCAR look slow and hold nothing back even when male passengers voices raise to soprano level as they zip between trucks packed with livestock and sugar cane. Every time your ride is over you swear you'll never do it again, but there is no cheaper, faster or more entertaining way to get around town!

Our weekend adventure is over, but the adventure that is teaching has begun again! Off to Where the Wild Things Are, we have found them, here in Anuban Dan Chang, grades 1-5!


  1. so glad debs finally got to eat something other than rice! Yay!!

  2. Is it me or does Joe look like he's thinning down? The spiced up food must rip through faster than he can digest it.