The Best Day Trip from Bangkok: Ayutthaya
Just a short drive from Bangkok, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya is worth a visit and especially an entire day trip, if you can fit it into your travel itinerary. The magnificent ruins reflect the second Siamese capital, founded in 1350 before being destroyed by the Burmese in the 1700s. Now, visitors walk among towers and monasteries from centuries past.
A Short Guide to Ayutthaya
An archaeological ruin, Ayutthaya is expansive and there’s so much to see during your visit (which is why a full day is recommended). Here are some of the can’t-miss portions of this unique site.
1. Wat Chaiwatthanaram
The most famous temple in Ayutthaya, Wat Chaiwatthanaram was constructed in 1630 and used as a Buddhist religious space, as well as a cremation site for royalty. This temple is part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, but not considered part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
2. The Reclining Buddha
The Reclining Buddha is just that…a giant reclining Buddha statue. Beyond this, however, is another temple nearby, with walls, floors and pillars still intact. You can find cafes overlooking the temple and the Reclining Buddha, where some still come to make small offerings.
3. Wat Phra Mahthat
This site is highly popular for one unique thing — the large Buddha head that’s been absorbed by a tree and now sits among the roots. No one knows how the stone head got there, but it’s an interesting reminder of the way nature quickly takes over once a society is razed to the ground.
4. Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre
This museum is a must-visit, as it really gives you a background of the scenery. Consider stopping by before you explore the rest of the remains, as it definitely helps you to understand what it is you’re looking at and the people who would’ve lived here.
When it comes to getting to Ayutthaya from Bangkok, it’s relatively easy. You can drive (or take a taxi or car service) via several routes. The train rides are also a great option, as they’re both scenic and very affordable. Buses do service the route, though this can be a very long and tedious ride. Additionally, one unique transportation option is the cruise boats, which are very popular with tourists and provide a scenic trip.
Once there, consider renting a bicycle to get around the expansive space, or hire a tuk-tuk.
All Photos Captured by Local Lens Photographer Suri in Ayutthaya