You say Chedi, I say Stupa, let’s call the whole thing off

20
Nov
2006

Seriously, trying to figure out which is which can be confusing. I was told by a guide the other day that stupas are meant to contain a relic of the Buddha, like a tooth or a bowl he used or something. This strikes me as very much in the vein of catholic churches and their obsession with relics. In fact, I have been surprised by how…iconographic the whole of Thai Buddhism seems to me. I guess from my readings I was hoping to find something more abstract, but people around the world love an idol i guess. I find all the imagery really distracting and oftentimes bordering on kitch. Seeing them as cultural, or art objects I can find a great appreciation. Seeing them as divine turns me off.

Anyway, I arrived in Ayutthaya this morning from Bangkok, and I have to say, it was a breeze compared to my last few days. I just went to the train station, looked at the times and bought my ticket. Just like that.

Ayutthaya is an AMAZING place (albeit hotter than hell. Is this REALLY the cool season? wtf?). The ruins are incredible. And I definitely recommend renting a bike as I did, as the whole town is easily accessible in this manner. So, without further ado, I present the pics:


From Ayutthaya

Comments

  1. Jose says:

    Glad to hear you are outside Bangkok, and beginning to enjoy the trip. Keeping all those Wats straight (so to speak)?; there will be a test later!!

    A big hug from LA (where we had record breaking heat yesterday; it was 83 at the beach — not a record — and 96 in the SF Valley, and 90 downtown. Of course, there was little humidity, as is usual here)!

  2. George says:

    I can relate about your sentiments regarding relics. I always found them very creepy, even during all my years of Catholic School. In all this heat, you must be missing the cool weather of Europe. London was cold and rainy yesterday.. what a surprise. Can’t wait to see the next installment of your travels. xoxo