Back in Thailand again with new friends. This time, we're taking a different look in this country by visiting during the wet season. The lush green landscapes (almost) make me forget about the mosquitoes floating about.
We're staying in Bangkok for a few days, and we decided to do a day trip to Ayutthaya, about 85 km north. The ancient city and former capital of Siam was founded in 1350. It was a main trade center for the region, and there used to be 1 million people living in the city during its height. Unfortunately, much of the city was burnt down by the Burmese in 1700, leaving a few remains.
First, we stopped by the Royal Palace then Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the royal chedis next door. The caretakers waved hello as we explored the palace grounds.
Then, we made our way over to Wat Phra Mahathat. Several leaning prangs of Ayutthaya are still intact and the rows of headless Buddhas. This is also the spot where the famous tree grows around the Buddha's head. Thais considered this sacred grounds, so we kneeled in respect in passing.
To end our trip, we rode elephants at the Royal Kraal, as we didn't have enough time to do a multi-day stay at one of the elephant villages. The rides are means for retired domesticated elephants to live out their remaining years in dignity and receive social interactions and exercise. The baby elephants were adorable, so we quickly took a photo with the playfully cute animals.