Temples of  Thailand - a photographic journey

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The Ancient Siam Civilization of

Ayutthaya

Wat Lokayasutharam

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Phra Ram

Wat Yai Chaiyamongkhon

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Na Phra Men

Wat Phra Mongkhonbophit

Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Mahathat

Wat Kasattrathirat

Wat Phu Khao Thong

Wat Phananchoeng Worawiharn

Wat Suwandararam

Chedi Si Suriyothai

Wat Ban Daeng

Wat Phikun Sokkan

Wat Phra Khao

Wat Worachet

Wat Phichai Songkram

Wat Samanakot

Wat Maheyong

Wat Kudi Dao

Wat Khun Saen

Wat Sam Wihan

Wat Mae Nang Pluem

Wat Thammikarat

Wat Chumphon Nikayaram Worawihan

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat Rajaworawihan

Wat Senasanaram Rajaworawihan

Wat Phutthai Sawan

Wat Klang Khlong Sra Bua

Wat Si Pho

Wat Kluay

Wat Ko Kaeo

Wat Song Kuson 

Wat Pa Kho

Wat Khok Muang

Wat Phlapphla Chai

Wat Ratcha Pradit Sathan

Wat Suwandawat

Wat Wong Khong

Wat Kuti Thong

Wat Mai Pak Khlong Sa Bua

Wat Hasdawas

Wat Khok Phraya

Wat Mai Chai Vichit

Wat Choeng Tha

Wat Wora Pho

Wat Wora Chetharam

Wat Ket

Wat Phong

Wat Lanka

Wat Boroma Phuttaram

Wat Som

Wat Chao Phram

Wat Chedi Yai

Wat Luang Chikrut

Wat Wang Chai

Wat Ubosot

Wat Khun Phrom

Wat Ayothaya

Wat Bot Ratcha Decha

Wat Dusitdaram

Wat Chakrawat

Wat Pradu Song Tham

Wat Nang Kham

Wat Luang Phor Khao

Wat Phra Yatikaram

Wat Chumphon Nikayaram Worawihan (Bang Pa-In)

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat Rajaworawihan (Bang Pa-In)

Wat Prot Sat (Bang Pa-In)

Prasat Nakhon Luang (Nakhon Luang)

Wat Mai Chumphon (Nakhon Luang)

 

 

 

 

ayuthaya.jpg (23126 bytes)Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand from 1350 to 1767, when it was virtually destroyed by Burmese invaders. In the mid 1600s is was a major power in Southeast Asia and an impressive site. It had 375 Temples and was larger than Paris or London.

Today, all that remains are still impressive leftovers of the once beautiful temples – pagodas, prangs and many many images of Buddha. A truly special place to visit for those who want to understand more of Thailand‘s culture than just a few street blocks in downtown Bangkok.

Besides the historic district, Ayutthaya as a town and as a province  also has many temples that are still in use and filled with worshippers today. Wat Na Phra Men and Wat Phananchoeng are just two examples of beautiful and intact temples, which date back several hundred years. Though old and beautiful they are not our preferred temples to visit of the hundreds available in Ayutthaya. The reason is simply that tourism has taken it's toll and turned Wat Na Phra Men into a temple museum where one has to pay entrance fees to pay respect to the Buddha with some very unfriendly people greeting the non-Thai visitors. Wat Phananchoeng is still a great temple but it is also a serious business which makes much of its funding from selling (renting) Buddha images. Visiting it can turn into a stressful adventure due to the sheer mass of people visiting here. The constant "advertising" of events and specials over loudspeakers make any decent conversation impossible. Wat Yai Chaiyamonkhon is another example of a temple were every tourist will be taken and where entrance fee has to be paid, while Thai visitors drive around the temple and enter from the backside for free. It was at this temple that one nun lured me into her hut and offered to take her meditating picture for a fee. There are smaller and more "true" temples which teach the word of Lord Buddha and provide a real place of meditation and worship. 

To us, Ayutthaya is always worth another visit which offers another exciting temple to be discovered and we are "thankful" to the People's Alliance for Democracy for blocking the international airport in November 2008, since it provided us with a great opportunity to visit 40 additional temples in this great ancient place. At the same time we hope that they never again fight their political war on the back of tourists and other travellers. 

Ayutthaya is a World Heritage Site and was approved on the list in 1991 for the following reasons (in short words): 

1. Location and city planning

2. Archetype for later establishment of Bangkok's Rattanakosin

3. Unique characteristics without parallel in Asia or the world

4. Architectural styles, which cannot be found elsewhere

5. Paintings and objects of art, which are unique

6. One of the most peaceful and long-lasting civilizations of S.E. Asia

 
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