Day 19, AYUTTHAYA to KANCHANABURI

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Here is how our evenings end: a happy hour to relax, reflect on the day and discuss the next day’s ride. Better with vino! Monica, Bruce and Axel are enjoying our “down time”.

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Our home for the night was the Krungri River Hotel.

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MJ was excited to visit a shrine featuring giant roosters!

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There were large and small fighting cock statues everywhere, and a small temple honoring the Thai prince who wagered on a cockfight with good results for himself and his country.

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This was the prince’s favorite breed so many are featured!

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The Bougainvillea are beautiful; multiple plants together result in a cavalcade of color!

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While passing through a small town we saw what we thought was a cat, walking funny with a long tail. But no! It was a long-tailed macaque!

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Definitely not a cat!

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Ayutthaya has remains of many temples. The grounds were beautiful and we bicycled through them in the cool of the morning.

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At all the important cultural and historical sites, workers are sweeping the grounds–the grass, the dirt, the walkways– and keeping things very neat.

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But sometimes things get out of control and you need something bigger than a broom!

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This is a newer style tuk-tuk, enclosed for the driver! Nice and sleek.

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We saw several monitor lizards lurking in a water-filled ditch we pedaled by.

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Wat Mahathat was built in the early Ayutthaya kingdom. There are large, important stupas like this, surrounded by smaller stupas added over time.

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Buddha head in the Bodhi tree: this head was once part of a sandstone sculpture, first created in the mid-1600s, which fell apart over time. The stone head became part of the roots of the tree, which keep growing, and have elevated the Buddha head.

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He looks pretty comfy here!

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These ladies from Spain asked Tom and Rick to take their photo. There were many tour groups at this site from all over the world.

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Asian openbill. You can clearly see how it got its name!

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Riding among the many stupas, chedis and prangs. This is a prang, characterized by the more rounded top.

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Elephant rides for the tourists.

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See elephant walk movie here.

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MJ and Barb stop to admire the intelligent creatures.

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None of us rode; it is discouraged by many. We also learned about elephant refuges and rehabilitation sites in the countryside.

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As we visited sites, restaurants and markets, frequently we saw striking individuals like this. In Thailand they are called lady-boys.

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We stopped to see this large reclining Buddha.

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Animatedly discussing the weathering of the stone?

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At Wat Phu Khao Thong we came across 500 monks who had walked here from Kamphaeng Phet–where we were just a few days ago.

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There were ceremonies, sermons, and chanting. Many area people were at the temple as well.

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The monks had a campsite just outside the temple. Seems like they had tents created just for them in the right color of orange!

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Tired guys waiting for the monks to preach? Or did they have too much fun last night?!

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Soon it was time for a rest break. The best part are delicious treats of sticky rice or coconut combined with fruits or vegetables.  They are usually wrapped in a palm or banana leaf. And the fresh fruit is amazing!

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Tom poses with a Japanese astro-boy type figure. Our guide Woody grew up knowing this cartoon character.

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Woody takes us on amazing routes, through small side streets–and onto a ferry!

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Our friendly ferry driver.

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This shopper hopped off a zippier boat as we disembarked from our ferry.

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Puppies everywhere! These were lounging just up from the ferry landing.

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A Thai paddywagon  – brand new!

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Lunch featured these freshwater shrimp from the area.

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After lunch we had a two hour van ride to our resort hotel in Kanchanaburi, the Royal River Kwai Resort.

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Those who had time took a quick dip in the inviting pool.

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Another lovely room where we slept like babies . . .

 

. . . but not before having another lovey happy hour and dinner served al fresco!!!

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