I haven’t been to the ancient Thai capitol Ayuttaya (accent on the “yu”) since the 90s, and I hadn’t shot the famous Buddha head embraced by tree roots.The city was destroyed in the 18th century by Burmese invaders- that’s why Bangkok is the capitol today- and not restored until the 20th when the head was discovered. It is a small miracle that it survived. All the statues in the nearby temples were decapitated. How this came to be with the head upright in the tree is a mystery.

I drove from Bangkok early, arriving at sunrise. The ruins are much grander than I recalled. Towers are leaning and the restoration is incomplete, but I loved it, an island of quiet in an awaking city.