Ayutthaya: Welcome to Sin City!

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

With a rental car, a silver Toyota limousine, we drove from Bangkok Airport to Ayutthaya, about 90 kilometers to the north. The city is like an island surrounded by rivers. Thus, the flood disaster of the last few weeks hit the area particularly hard.

Mietwagen: silberne Toyota Limousine
Rental car: silver Toyota sedan

We don't know exactly when the water started draining again - but it can't be that long ago. In many places on the streets, mountains of rubbish are still being collected or sandbags cleared away. On some houses we could still clearly see that the floods were about 1.5 meters high.

Restaurantsuche in Sin City

So in the evening we went looking for a restaurant. When walking through the city, we were not quite comfortable in many places. The streetlights were out, it was crawling with stray dogs and no one was on foot. Except for a few open shops, all were dark and barricaded. Some houses had collapsed and the residents lived in tents or we could look straight into the living room through the broken walls. Welcome to Sin City! After wandering around for almost an hour and still not finding a place to eat, we only had a Mars bar from the supermarket for dinner. This market also fell victim to the floods and was only half rebuilt. There were still large gaps in most of the shelves, the only things that were available in abundance were detergent and shampoo!

Ayutthaya Floating Markets

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast in the hotel (the chocolate bar hadn't helped much), we set off for the floating markets. As bad as it may sound, but swimming, actually rather diving, is to be taken literally here. The jetties, where the traders normally offer their goods from their boats, were mostly submerged in the water or destroyed. So we were standing in the middle of a ruin, which hadn't been worked on in any way.

Reste der schwimmenden Märkte von Ayutthaya
Remnants of Ayutthaya floating markets
Reste der schwimmenden Märkte von Ayutthaya
Remnants of Ayutthaya floating markets

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Wat Rat Burana & Wat Mahathat

We then visited four more temples, including the Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. This was the royal temple on the site of the old royal palace in Ayutthaya. In the center of the complex are three well-restored chedis on a raised platform. A Chedi is a tower built in a cyclonic style, which is reminiscent of a bell in the overall picture. Small chapels are attached in every direction, to which steep stairs lead.

Wat Chaivatanaram

Our last temple in Ayutthaya was Wat Chaiwatanaram. The clean-up and pumping work only started a few days ago. The center was still surrounded by water and the areas that were already exposed were dirty and muddy. The unfavorable location on the river in this case was the temple's undoing. Although there is a few meters high, reasonably stable dam wall, it could not withstand the masses.

With a depressing feeling that we had just committed some kind of disaster tourism, we rolled back towards Bangkok. For the original one-hour drive, we needed a total of three hours due to a traffic jam in front of the tollbooth and the confusing layout of the road. We drove in circles for almost 1.5 hours until we finally found the right exit for the rental car return. Completely unnerved we left the day in Twin Towers Hotel in Bangkok fade away

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My name is Christian and I was born in the green heart of Germany and studied computer engineering in Ilmenau, Thuringia. Since 2021, I live with my wife Christin and our son in Merseburg and work in Leipzig as a product manager. What I love about travelling is flying, discovering delicious food and drink, and staying in great hotels. I am a travel enthusiast and always on the lookout for the next adventure. I have been posting about my experiences on the road since 2007.

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