Ayutthaya (full name: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya) is located in Central Thailand, less than 100 km from Bangkok. Today the city has 70.000 inhabitants, but a long time ago there were more than 1.000.000(!). At that time Ayutthaya the capital of Siam (that's what Thailand was called then). The Kingdom of Ayutthaya traded with countries such as China, India, Nepal, , Portugal, The Netherlands en Spain and was compared in terms of prosperity to a metropolis like Paris. The Kingdom of Ayutthaya came to an end when the Burmese destroyed the city in 1767. Fortunately, there is still a lot to see from this era. Ayutthaya has a historical park (including the old city) which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List state. When you are in Ayutthaya you immediately understand why.
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Day trip from Bangkok?
You can travel to Ayutthaya to spend several days here, but you can also do a day trip from Bangkok. Ayutthaya is located on only 2 hours travel from the capital. For example, if you go on holiday to Bangkok and have your 'base' there, I definitely recommend that you plan a day in Ayutthaya. This way you get a completely different impression of Thailand, !
Staying in Ayutthaya
If you don't have a real plan and are making a tour through Thailand, then I would definitely visit Ayutthaya incl. 1. overnight stay. You have seen Ayutthaya in 1 full day. From Ayutthaya you can also easily get on the night train to Chiang Mai steps.
Things to Do in Ayutthaya
You are going to visit Ayutthaya when you temples and ruins want to view. Apart from the many temples that can be seen, there is not much to see.
Places of Interest: Temples and Ruins in Ayutthaya
The most famous temple in Ayutthaya is the Wat phra mahathat† This is where you will find it most photographed object in the area. You've probably seen this one before. In this temple you can see the buddha head entangled in the roots of the trees with your own eyes. But not only for this reason you should visit Wat Phra Mahathat, the entire temple complex is beautiful and is super central in Ayutthaya. Note: because this is the most famous temple, you will also find most of the locals here who try to sell you souvenirs or offer a tour through Ayutthaya. Such a tour is actually not necessary in this city. You can explore Ayutthaya very well by bike† Yes, on the bike. Map out a route with the temples you would like to see and you will have a great time on such a day.
Did you know that 'What' means temple? That way you immediately know what to expect!
Next to the Wat Phra Mahathat is the Wat Ratchaburana, slightly less known and therefore certainly quieter and perhaps even more beautiful because of that! After these 2 temples you can cycle to the temple complex which is the furthest: Wat chaiwatthanaram† The temple was built in the Khmer style. This temple is so big, you can easily spend an hour in this area. The best thing about this temple is that it is located on the Chao Phraya River. This produces a beautiful picture! Where you can also shoot a beautiful picture is at the Wat phra si sanphet† Here you will find 3 large ruins. When you walk up the stairs you really feel very small. End your day with Wat Yai Chai Mongkolo, a temple where you will probably see the most Buddha images and where you will see monks praying.
- Wat Phra Mahathat: 50 baht
- Wat Chaiwatthanaram: 50 baht
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet: 50 baht
- Wat Yai Chai Mongkol: 20 baht
Don't take an elephant ride!
In Ayutthaya, many tourists take an elephant ride. It is unbelievable but the elephants just walk on the sidewalk, only 10 meters apart with sometimes 4 tourists on their backs (+ another seat). These elephants are horribly mistreated, so don't get involved!
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