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”.
Our home for the night was the Krungri River Hotel.
MJ was excited to visit a shrine featuring giant roosters!
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.
This was the prince’s favorite breed so many are featured!
The Bougainvillea are beautiful; multiple plants together result in a cavalcade of color!
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!
Definitely not a cat!
Ayutthaya has remains of many temples. The grounds were beautiful and we bicycled through them in the cool of the morning.
At all the important cultural and historical sites, workers are sweeping the grounds–the grass, the dirt, the walkways– and keeping things very neat.
But sometimes things get out of control and you need something bigger than a broom!
This is a newer style tuk-tuk, enclosed for the driver! Nice and sleek.
We saw several monitor lizards lurking in a water-filled ditch we pedaled by.
Wat Mahathat was built in the early Ayutthaya kingdom. There are large, important stupas like this, surrounded by smaller stupas added over time.
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.
He looks pretty comfy here!
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.
Asian openbill. You can clearly see how it got its name!
Riding among the many stupas, chedis and prangs. This is a prang, characterized by the more rounded top.
Elephant rides for the tourists.
See elephant walk movie here.
MJ and Barb stop to admire the intelligent creatures.
None of us rode; it is discouraged by many. We also learned about elephant refuges and rehabilitation sites in the countryside.
As we visited sites, restaurants and markets, frequently we saw striking individuals like this. In Thailand they are called lady-boys.
We stopped to see this large reclining Buddha.
Animatedly discussing the weathering of the stone?
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.
There were ceremonies, sermons, and chanting. Many area people were at the temple as well.
The monks had a campsite just outside the temple. Seems like they had tents created just for them in the right color of orange!
Tired guys waiting for the monks to preach? Or did they have too much fun last night?!
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!
Tom poses with a Japanese astro-boy type figure. Our guide Woody grew up knowing this cartoon character.
Woody takes us on amazing routes, through small side streets–and onto a ferry!
Our friendly ferry driver.
This shopper hopped off a zippier boat as we disembarked from our ferry.
Puppies everywhere! These were lounging just up from the ferry landing.
A Thai paddywagon – brand new!
Lunch featured these freshwater shrimp from the area.
After lunch we had a two hour van ride to our resort hotel in Kanchanaburi, the Royal River Kwai Resort.
Those who had time took a quick dip in the inviting pool.
Another lovely room where we slept like babies . . .
. . . but not before having another lovey happy hour and dinner served al fresco!!!