We ended up in a super nice hotel a bit farther outside of the historical center than we’d planned (that’s what happens when you have to rebook everything and look at way too many hotels in a short amount of time). They ended up upgrading us when we checked in and giving us a suite so we had a kitchen, dining room, front room and two bedrooms each with full baths. It was great! There was also a business center with afternoon snacks, a gym, a great rooftop pool and hot tub and more. We ended up spending the first afternoon lounging around the pool and avoiding the tourist spots altogether. And I took a steaming hot bath for over an hour one night, the first I’d had in months. It was heavenly!
We did leave the hotel eventually though and hit the night market for a smorgasbord dinner followed by a river tour to see the ruins all lit up. The old city was built on a small man-made island (the Chao Praya River ran nearby and was diverted to form the island), with the moat/river used for commerce and as extra protection. Though obviously it didn’t quite work!
The next day we spent climbing among the ruined temples and channeling Indiana Jones. I think I enjoyed the ruined temples better than the functioning ones. There’s a bit too much gilt and gaudiness on the facades for me. You could see the remnants of the decoration on the ruins as well, the carvings and mosaics and plaster where the colored glass would have been stuck but somehow they’re more appealing in that dilapidated state, more humbled and worshipful somehow. What do you think?