“You can stand next to or below a Buddha image while having your photo taken but not atop it or in its lap.”

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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat

Of all the temples I visited in Thailand, I think Wat Mahathat is my favorite. It sits in the Ayutthaya Historic Park, at the center of the old kingdom that was the center of Thai governance for 417 years between the 14th and 18th centuries. The model at the site shows a massive complex, but unfortunately it was sacked and largely destroyed by the Burmese in 1767.

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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat

The most famous part of the park is the Buddha head around which a tree has grown. It is certainly an evocative aspect of the site. Since it is rude to stand higher than a Buddha’s head, one must crouch down next to the head for any photos. There are signs everywhere, so I was amazed to see people flout this rule. Our obsession to get the Facebook profile pic or Instagram photo is not making people more considerate, which is more unfortunate than I can say.

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Wat MahathaWat Mahathatt
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat

The Buddha head is remarkable, but I was most impressed with the whole scope of this place. It’s really quite huge, even in ruined form. I also thought the red sandstone was an interesting contrast to the trees and nearby river.

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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat
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Wat Mahathat

Title quote: Travelers’ Tales Thailand

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