I can't keep the temple ruins straight anymore. So I'll show photos of temples and guess where they are located but I'll probably be wrong.
But what the heck, you won't know the difference - right?
From now on I'll be using Sueann's photos as well as my own. She's a better photographer than I so you may note a general improvement in image quality [that should get me out of the doghouse :-) ].
Soon after leaving Ayuthaya, we stopped for lunch in Lopburi. The image in front of the hotel where we had lunch was a clue to what this small town was famous for:
(Note the monkey walking on the second storey ledge of the hotel.)
After lunch we drove to the center of town which was full of monkeys. Monkeys on the roofs of buildings, monkeys on the sidewalks, monkeys on the utility poles, monkeys everywhere.
Our guide cautioned us about having contact with the monkeys. One scratch and we would be in for the full rabies treatment. So to better observe the monkeys we went inside the building in the background of the photo above. We were in the cage while the monkeys were outside enjoying their freedom.
Leaving Lopburi we continue our drive north and stopped in Sukhothai, the area where Thailand was born. Sukhothia seems to be a huge park preserving historical ruins. Everywhere you look there are ruins of temples and walls.
At Phra Atchana, Wat Si Chum, Sukhothai Historical Park, we visited a most impressive image of Buddha. This image is known for its huge graceful fingers of Buddha:
In Sukhothai we visited a number of historical sites. Here are a few photos:
At some point between Sukhothai and Chiang Rai we stopped at a working temple with a lovely Buddha image:
There was a young novice monk seated on one side of the room who was being photographed with tourists. I agreed to take several photos of a group from our tour. Everyone wanted a photo taken with their own camera. After taking for or five photos, the group urged Sueann and I to sit in on a photo taken with my camera.
Later I had the opportunity to speak with the large man in the upper right hand corner of the photo. He told me he had founded a software company whose product was a system for searching videos based on text and image criteria. Then he mentioned that he had sold the company for "a few hundred million dollars." Anything is possible.
This pretty much ends the part of our tour where we visit ruins. The rest of the tour is much more varied.
Jeff February 4, 2007
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