Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Feeding the elephants, and a lot of interesting things to see!

It didn't take us long to find two good restaurants that we like here in Ayutthaya. And they're both on the same road as our guest house, so it's really convenient. The first one is a hole in the wall type of place with basic cheap meals and the couple running it are smiling and friendly. They do a stuffed omelet for breakfast that's really nice. 

And the other is a little more upscale, but they have a wide variety of interesting dishes, and still at reasonable prices.

First stop was breakfast, although it was already pretty late in the morning. We need to make more of an effort to get out at a decent hour!

Ruth, waiting at the breakfast place.

Omelet stuffed with some kind of sweet and sour chicken. 

Really nice, and only 60 baht ($1.70 USD, $2.30 CAD) each.

From there, we went for a walk around the city just to check things out. Very few people walk, especially in the heat of the day. We're not normal! Why would you walk when you can take a cheap tuktuk or rent a scooter? But that's just what we do. So the problem is that most tuktuk drivers see a couple of foreigners walking, they assume we must need a ride. So most of them stop to ask.

You would think that this big monument would be at the entrance to town, but it's actually just in a random place in town.

There are ancient temples even on the property of private businesses.

Some kind of newer temple.

It's pretty easy for me to get "templed out". We've been in so many churches, mosques, and temples of all kinds during our travels that it's got to be something special to attract my attention. Ruth still likes to go in just about any of them, but I'm at the point where I'm normally quite happy to wait outside.

Ruth had seen an elephant corral mentioned on one of the maps, so we headed over there. Before we even got there, we could see the elephants!

Why did the elephant cross the road?

They take people on a ride to this viewpoint, then take a photo of the people.

Then back across the road.

It's a busy spot for elephant rides.

When the people leave a tip, the elephant takes the bill in his trunk, and passes it up to the driver.
If you click the photo to make it full screen, then click again to zoom in, you can see that the elephant is passing the bill up to the driver.

It was fun watching them cool themselves off.
The elephant would fill its trunk with water, then spray its underbelly. 
The trunk holds a lot of water!

The feeding area.

The elephants that are taking a break from giving rides are put in the feeding area where visitors can buy a small (50 baht) or large (200 baht) bucket of treats. The elephants love cucumbers and peeled cobs of corn! So we bought a small bucket at 50 baht ($1.40 USD, $1.90 CAD) to give them some treats.

We made sure to give some to each one.

My, what big tusks you have!

They act like they are starving because they love the treats so much. 
But really, they are very well fed.

You could get your photo taken with a young elephant.

Lots of fun, but time to move on.

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit Temple.

Ruth, at the Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit Temple.

This temple contains a large statue of Buddha that is said to have been built in the early 1500's. The structure itself was in ruins up until the 1920's when a restoration project was complete. It has since been restored a couple more times. I found a photo online of what the Buddha looked like prior to the first restoration...

Sometime before 1920.

All kinds of donation boxes around telling you that you will receive good luck when you donate!

We walked back past one of the paid ancient temple areas.
We didn't go in, but again, you can get great photos without going in.

We walked right by these elephants on the sidewalk.
We don't think we've ever been so close to an elephant.

Fancy tour bus!

We went back to the room and cooled off for a while, then went across the road for dinner.

Ruth had a fancy ice tea.

Ruth had the shrimp and cashew stir fry, and I had massaman chicken curry and a lemon soda.

The food was really good. We'll go back there again, but next time I think I'll have the same shrimp dish that Ruth had. As I said, it was a little more expensive than "street food", but still very reasonable. Total bill was 472 baht ($13.35 USD, $18.15 CAD) for the two of us.

Back to the guest house to do some computer work, and then we went out around 8:00pm to see what was happening in the evening. Of course the temperature had cooled off to about 28C (82F) and the sun had gone down so it was quite pleasant. We found a lot of interesting things to see!

A tourist cafe, all done up for Christmas.

We walked back through the nearby night market and sat down for a typical Thai dessert...

Mango and sticky rice.

Thai mangoes are naturally very sweet. They're really delicious and we can picture having this again! We also shared a mango smoothie. 

The mango stand where we bought dessert.

Temple lit up at night.

We came across another busy night market!

These shrimp things were huge!
So many other interesting food items, but you can only take so many photos!


Such a busy spot.
You buy your food or snacks, then sit on a picnic mat.

What a good day. Despite the heat, we still clocked up just over 20,000 steps. It's pretty easy to go through two t-shirts a day though! Temps are topping out at about 35C (95F) and although we aren't letting that stop us, you tend to sweat a lot!

We are enjoying the smaller size of Ayutthaya compared to Bangkok. Lots to see in the area, and we'll have no problem spending five nights here.

Nice deal on this Dokio 110 Watt Folding Solar Panel, plus there is a $40 off coupon showing.

And in Canada...

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