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The Ancient Temple in the Ruins of the Ancient City of Ayutthaya, Thailand

There are so many surprises and so much to see at Ayutthaya's ruins, the ancient capital of Siam for 417 years! It is amazing how many buildings are still intact among the ruins.

Ayutthaya, the ancient capitol of Siam founded in 1340 by King U-Thong, is just 60 miles north of Bangkok. This is one of the most preserved ancient ruins with some original stone buildings still standing.
(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

The interesting Wat Lokayasutharam Buddhist Temple sat surrounded by the partial remains of its former walls. The public were allowed inside if they are dressed properly and after removing their shoes.

Upon entering the temple you immediately notice the large reclining Buddha which almost filled the entire room. Known as the largest Buddha in Ayutthaya, people still visit the reclining Buddha for worship and meditation even though the temple had not been restored.

Several people performed an incense lighting ceremony and kneeled at the side of the reclining Buddha. It was one of the few Buddhas which were not designed in the traditional sitting pose.

The Buddha, called Phra Bhuddhasaiyart, was made with bricks/stone and covered with plaster. Its head was placed on a Lotus and the legs were defined to show the toes. The golden cape draped around the Buddha seemed to add a sense of dignity in this religious setting.

There was a feeling of serenity on the tour as thought experiencing another time while the guide told the stories about their life and customs. Ayutthaya was once a large important city destroyed by the Burmese.

There are over 40,000 Buddhi temples throughout Thailand (2004). Just one hour from Bangkok, while you are in Ayutthaya don't miss their forts, temples, museums, elephant camp, city wall and gate.

Other big stops are the nearby Summer Palace (Bang Pa-in Palace), the Portuguese Village, the Japanese Village, and other sights. Special Events: The Bang Sai Arts and crafts Center holds a special Loi Krathong evening celebration in November including floats, a beauty contest, handicraft demonstrations, exhibitions, and Krathong launching on the river. www.tourismthailand.com