March 31, 2018
January 5, 2018
Ayutthaya, which is just a one-hour drive north of Bangkok, was the capital of Siam and used to be a thriving city, until a Burmese invasion in the second half of the 18th century destroyed most of it and of the cultural riches it contained. What is left today of the many old temples are mostly ruins, some of them partly restored. Sometimes there are also descriptions and drawings of what the initial structure looked like. The ruins themselves, however, already tell a lot of stories and are impressive through their age, simplicity and the proof they are of how easily beautiful things can be destroyed. They provide a stark contrast to the golden, opulent and highly decorated temples in Bangkok.
After spending half a day in Ayutthaya, it was time for us to move on. The last few days in Bangkok we were debating whether we should next go to the mountainous north of Thailand, or south to the islands and beaches. Finally the north won, so we got on a plane from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s northern capital, famous for culture, relaxation, good food, and the many activities on offer. So our expectations of it are accordingly high…