About an hour north of Bangkok stands what remains of the fallen Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya. From 1351 to 1767, Ayutthaya was regarded as the strongest power in mainland Southeast Asia, and was the greatest foreign trading capital in the vast region.
I took a private tour from a local friend, which was great because he could explain the history and point out what each fallen structure once represented.
During our walk through the ruins, I was befriended by a group of Cambodian monks. Most of the monks I have crossed paths with have kept to themselves. I was surprised when these guys approached me and asked where I was from. We got to talking, and they invited me to visit their historic temple in Cambodia. They offered to let me stay in their homes as well. I was stoked on the experience and may see them in Cambodia one day.