Illness Redemption World Trip: Stop #6 - AYUTTHAYA/ BANGKOK, THAILAND
Thailand is a place I've always been intrigued to visit and I'm glad we finally had the opportunity to see this country. Our cruise ship docked at the Laem Chabang port - a huge shipping port that reminded me of our home port, Norfolk, Virginia. We met our tour guide, Mee, from Tickets 2 Attraction Thailand, in a private car and we started our 2.5 hour journey north to the ancient ruins city of Ayutthaya. Cars drive on the left in Thailand...and notice in the photo below that the driver's seat is positioned on the right. The roads were in great condition...probably because of the money the country receives from the numerous toll booths. I was surprised how many people still pay tolls with cash!
Ayutthaya is unlike any city I've seen before. It looked like something out of a history book (which it is). Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. In 1767, the city was attacked and burned to the ground by the Burmese army, forcing the inhabitants to abandon the city. What remains today is now an archaeological site.
At the Ayutthaya temples and ruins, a dress code is required to show respect. No shorts and no tank tops (no shoulders, knees or ankles exposed). It was a scorching hot day, but I was thankful I found these lightweight breathable pants prior to our trip (thank you @Amazon)! ;)
This site is a must visit when in Thailand... however, if you visit bring your own toilet paper. If you need to use the toilet, be sure to have Thai baht coins with you to pay to enter the bathroom. I walked in and noticed there was no toilet paper. I asked the woman who took my baht if there was toilet paper and she replied, "no paper." Ok... it's a good thing I had tissues in my purse. ;)
Next, our tour guide took us to lunch at a cute open-air Thai restaurant with vegetarian options in Ayutthaya. Much to my pleasure, the restaurant had its own resident kitten, cooling itself under the ceiling fans.
The Thai food and drinks were delicious... and extremely affordable!
After leaving the restaurant, we came across these elephants on the street. They are such majestic creatures.
Next, it was time to tour the city of Bangkok. If you've never been there, you will quickly learn that there are a lot of Buddhist temples (Wat)... and these temples are magnificent sites! (These sites also have the same dress code).
We visited the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wah Pho).
The Reclining Buddha, covered in gold leaf, is 15 meters high and 46 meters long.
Ironically, I had just found out that my nomad cousin, Jimmy lives in Bangkok. I asked Mee if he could drive us to say hello to Jimmy and Mee obliged! Talk about a random unexpected visit! :)
After another fantastic day of sightseeing, it was back to the cruise ship.
We learned a lot about Thailand today. Mee also told us:
Thai people especially enjoy boxing.
Biggest export for Thailand is rice.
Second biggest export for Thailand is gems.
When we arrived back at the cruise terminal, we noticed several stops set up, including a Thai Massage pop-up. It was only $20 US for a 1-hour massage and I signed up in a heartbeat. The Thai massage therapist sat on me while massaging my back, twisted me like a pretzel and cracked my back and neck in true chiropractic fashion. It was the best massage of my life - they know what they are doing! I tipped her well. :)
Find out where we visit next!
*** NOTE: You won't see any photos of my immediate family members because I am respecting their privacy. ***