Ayutthaya’s Ghosts, Familiar and Forgotten

My final batch of photos hail from Ayutthaya, the massive sprawl of modern and ancient city just north of Bangkok. Once a thriving capital of the Thai kingdom, a beacon of intellectual and artistic development, and a bustling center of trade, Ayutthaya met her demise dramatically in 1767 when the invading Burmese army pillaged her temples and riches, stole her Buddhas, and razed her to the ground.

Today the modern sprawl of city streets, apartment complexes, and businesses fill in the massive gaps between Ayutthaya’s far-flung ruined temple complexes. The major excavated ruins are within the central island, hugged by the joining of three major rivers dense with barges and long-tail boats chugging towards Bangkok. I clamored among and over these sites, crowded with day trippers, yet still able to escape the crowds among the boneyards of Buddha pieces, precariously reassembled among the crumbling brick walls. But there’s more to Ayutthaya than these central temples. If you take the time to stay a couple of days, avoid the roaming dog packs, and hop on a bike, the farther-flung ruins off the main island reward the curious and patient with wind-swept lonely perches, local meditation retreats, a temple busting with incense, noise, and people making merit for Chinese New Year, and swampy, lazy back roads cradling forgotten temples left to their ghosts.

To view my photo slide show of Ayutthaya, click on the link: Ayutthaya 2015

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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