We visited the beautiful Wat Yai Chaimongkhon temple. You still get a strong impression of the ruins despite the temple's restoration which began in the 1950s. There were many tourists there but I felt a stillness and peace while walking the grounds. We did a Buddhist ritual prayer, and put gold flakes on the corresponding buddha to the day of the week. We donated a few baht and shook a series of sticks in a cup until one fell out. The one that fell out had a number on it which you took to receive your fortune. Although mine wasn't the best of fortunes I thought some of it worth considering. Pim told me to leave it there go make my own. Turned out my fortune was at the Ayothaya floating market.
One thing that seems to be happening here in Thailand is the "double back." There is so much to see here that it takes time for my brain to process everything. So what happens is that after I walk past a wall of crispy fish skin and glistening pork skewers it takes about four to five other (equally delicious) stands to realize that I need to turn around and go back. I also should emphasize how good the fish skin was with a cold beer, and the pork skewers... after I scarfed those bad boys down I had to ask Pim to go back and tell the guy how incredible I thought they were. She said the secret to most skewers and satay is in the marinade. I asked the guy if I could take a picture and he told me, "if you take a picture of the food, you should take a picture of the guy who makes it!" Should you find yourself here, look for this smiling face amongst all of these tasty, subtly sweet and magical pork wands. Surrounded by snacks at the floating market, I remembered, "hey didn't we come here for river prawns??"
We drove a while, through a landscape of stilted houses and rice fields. By the time we reached Ton Nam River View I was hungry again. Passing through the restaurant seeing fresh fish on coals and half of the dining room floating on the Chao Phraya river, I knew I was in for a real treat. Pim's mom and her friend wasted no time ordering up, as I poured an already icy Singha over ice. Pimmy on my right and the railing on the left was the only thing between me and some playful yellow fish feeding on bits of rice I kept throwing over the edge, to my own amusement. We had some chicken wings, som tom, and some crispy fried anchovy-like sheetfish which tasted great with the fried rice.
All of this in mere anticipation of these glorious river prawns: BEHOLD!
The picture itself is even more than words can explain. The ethereal orange red goop left us in a beautiful moment of quiet indulgence. After a flavor-overload spoonful of the brain juice, we spread the rest out on the tail of the grandaddy of shrimps with the accompanying sauce, a perfect union of lime, chili & garlic. Khun Mae! Thank YOU!
The last thing Pim was raving about before the trip was the silk thread dessert, a specialty of Ayutthaya. We grabbed a bag of this cotton-candy-like treat at the floating market earlier in the day and despite some skepticism I was really impressed with this pandan & black sesame flavored stuffed crepe, especially for it's contrasting textures. Look how excited she is!