Slow boat to Thailand’s temple cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai

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My guide Ling told me that when Thais come to Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, they aim to visit nine temples in one day. “The word nine sounds like the word for progress,” she said, “and they think a quick tour of nine temples might bring them more money.”


Any romantic notions I harboured about Buddhist spirituality evaporated in the humid air.

To see nine temples, even in these two Unesco World Heritage cities, would demand a frenzied, whirlwind tour. This time it might not be best to “do as the locals do”.

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