Biking Ayutthaya – A Photo Essay May 14, 2012January 18, 2017 - daniellekoffler Dave and I spent a couple days biking around the ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand in January. Here are some of my favorite photos from our schvitzy adventures there. Wat Ratchaburana Always look up.In one of the buildings at Wat Ratchaburana, Dave and I walked down a dark steep staircase using my camera flash to illuminate our way. At the base of the stairs, we found a very dead pigeon in front of a very small room. We hopped over the pigeon hoping that whatever killed it wasn’t still down there, to find that we were in a tiny empty cell. At first, it didn’t look like there was much in the room, but then upon looking up and flashing my camera I found these beautiful remnants of temple art. Most of the ruins in Ayutthaya were stripped of their art when the Burmese repeatedly invaded and sacked the kingdom in the 16th century, so it was exciting to find these paintings. Where’s Dave? Many Buddha statues lost their heads during the 16th century Burmese invasions. The ruins look surprisingly ordered though, don’t they? According to a tour guide of a traveler in a book I read, the Thai government reconstructed parts of Ayutthaya before the arrival of U Nu, the first leader of independent Burma. “Why would they do this?” you might ask. Because Thai people are eager to please and make everybody comfortable. They didn’t want U Nu to feel bad about what his predecessors had done to Thailand, so they tried to make it look as nice as possible. Interesting, don’t you think? This is not a happy elephant. I think elephant tourism is terrible. Yes, I have participated in it before, but never again. The elephants we saw in Ayutthaya were not enjoying themselves. They walked on hot concrete and were surrounded by loud traffic. Not ideal elephant conditions. Wat Thummikarat Reclining Buddha of Wat Lokayasutharam Phra Bhuddhasaiyart at Wat Lokayasurtharam is 37 meters long and 8 meters tall. If you enjoyed this post, please follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter.