Today we left paradise and headed to the city of Ayutthaya. On the way we stopped by several street vendors. The first place was selling chickens and rats. They were out of snake.
Our tour guide purchased a rat and said that we could sample some for lunch after it was cooked some more. These rats were from the patty fields, but with the accent of the tour guide it sounded more like pedophile rats. I did not try this Thai delicacy, but Paul did. He said it tasted like beef. I wimped out after watching the documentary about rats not too long ago. But I assume there is a big difference between NYC sewer rats and Thai rice patty rats.
I did try the sticky rice made with beans. When I think of rice and beans, I typically think of Mexican food. This tasted like an extra sweet rice pudding.
We also sampled a burrito with what looked like my hair wrapped inside. It was almost too sweet.
We watched the vendors make the burritos and hair by hand. Our tour guide said that it was their version of cotton candy.
A few things happened today that are worth mentioning. First, our tour bus almost got hit by a semi. I wore my seat belt on the bus every time after that. The tour guide said that the country has a problem with the drug speed, especially with semi drivers. They take it so they can work long hours. When they get into accidents, they run off. Not too long after our close call, we saw an abandoned semi tipped over on the side of the road.
Also, when we went to the rat vendor, there were birds and a squirrel locked in cages. The squirrel was really agitated and wanted to get out. I thought that was peculiar. Was it next in line to be cooked? I mean, they eat rat. Why not squirrel? Our tour guide said that the Buddhist people will come and pay money to set the caged animals free. Then at night, the birds fly back into their cages only to be sold and set free again the next day.
The next stop on our trip was to the Summer Royal Palace. It was a breathtakingly beautiful place.
This is where the royalty stayed in ages past. In the middle left of the picture is an area where the royalty could see who was coming by looking through the slated windows, but no one could see in.
Centuries ago, no one was allowed to touch royalty. Then one summer day, the queen had a boating accident. The people watched her drown because if they touched royalty generations of their family would be killed. The king was so heartbroken that he abolished the law.
This lizard found his way inside by the other animals.
I don’t have a lot of pictures by the Royal Palace. Today was the hottest day (over 100 degrees). I was not allowed into the palace with the shirt I was wearing. I had to buy another shirt to wear over my shirt. I already bought the pants I was wearing. First of all, all of the wild pants I bought were not worn by locals only tourists. I think it boldly proclaimed that I was an idiot that didn’t bother to pack pants or acceptable clothing.
To tell you the truth, I was getting very irritable at this point. I never wore so many clothes on such a hot day before. I felt overheated, sluggish, and weighed down by all of the crap I was carrying. Don’t let my smile fool you. I think I was suffering from WAT (What, another temple??) syndrome. At this point in the journey, I was starting to feel a little templed and palaced out.
In the evening we went to see the ruins of the former capital. It was beautiful at sunset.
Look at the back of my shirt. The back has a knitted material that you can see my skin through. Oops. At least I had something that matched the wild pants though.
If you look to my right, you can see the statues of the Buddhas with their heads cut off. The heads of the Buddhas were made of gold and were stolen when the city was raided.
We loved visiting the ruins, but for others it was their backyard.