On June 22, 2013 I celebrated my first anniversary with Thailand by going on a day trip to the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya with Sean and some teacher friends. We had a great time traveling by train (3rd class, open air), eating at a local restaurant, and riding bikes to cruise around the ancient ruins.
I was most excited to the see the Buddha head in the bodhi tree at Wat Mahatat, above. The Burmese army attacked Ayutthaya in the late 1700s, and one of their ways of pillaging the Thai capital was to chop off the heads of all their Buddha statues. This head somehow tumbled down just in the right place for the bodhi tree to grow around it and cradle it over the last couple hundred years. I find it especially poignant that it was under a bodhi tree that Buddha became enlightened.
As we rode our bikes back to Soi 2, where we rented them, we got caught up in a monster downpour. I was leading our pack of five when I looked back and saw a sheet of rain racing toward us. Just as I yelled that the rain was coming, the clouds opened up and dropped raindrops on us that were larger and fuller than I have ever seen in my life. Sean, clearly being the most sensible, pulled over, got under cover, and waited out the brief torrent. The girls and I chose rather to scream and continue riding until we got back to the rental place. Needless to say, Sean was a lot drier than us, but we had a blast!
The train ride back was much quicker than the ride to Ayutthaya, which we were happy about. Third class on a Thai train is not the most luxurious mode of travel. However, I don’t want it to be my only time on a Thai train; plans to another Thai day-trip destination are underway!