The Ayutthaya Kingdom existed in 1351 to 1767. During this time it was the trading capital of Asia boasting with palaces, ceremonies and huge floats of merchant boats from all over the world. It was attacked by the Burmese army who burned the city to the ground and forced the inhabitants to abandon the city. Today, situated only 80km north of the vibrant city of Bangkok, lies the ruins of a once flourishing city. No words are needed when moving between the fallen walls…
How To Get To Ayutthaya
From Chiang Mai
- Take a flight to Don Mueang Airport (DMK). Catch the local train to Ayutthaya. The railway station is right next to the airport and can be reached by walkways. Tickets can be bought at the ticket counter. We paid 33 Baht for a family of four. Alternatively you can book a van, taxi or train tickets in advance. Book here.
- Travel by taxi, van or train. Book here.
Getting Around In Ayutthaya
Most of the historic temples and ruins are clustered together, still some of the sites are just too far apart to visit on foot. These are your options:
Rent a bicycle
These can be rented from most hotels. On the sidewalks you will also find bicycles displayed for rental. The traffic is quite daunting at some instances, so be prepared. Some of the temples are located a small stretch away from the historic site, so you might need to put in a few kilometers.
Rent a scooter
As mentioned, the traffic can be quite intimidating at times. If you are not a confident scooter rider familiar with Asian riding styles (they all have their own traffic rules and styles), this option is not for you.
These guys are all over town and are very eager to offer you the “best” deals ever. Be sure to negotiate and bear in mind that entrance fees to the sites are not included.
What to See
The Ayutthaya temples are situated at different sites over the town. Some you can view for free, some has an entrance fee of 50 Baht.
A Buddhist temple in the Ayutthaya Historical park, well known for its large prang which was recently restored. This temple was built in the 1400’s by King Borom Ratchathirat II at the place where his two brothers killed each other for the vacant throne. Lots of treasures have been found here.
Wat Phra Ram
It is thought to be built in the 1300’s on the grounds where the cremation of the first King took place.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Built in 1350, this was the holiest temple in the kingdom. Being part of the royal palace, it was only used by Ayutthaya’s kings. It once housed a 16m tall Buddha covered with gold which melted when the Burmese set fire to the temples.
Chai Watthanaram Temple
This temple is situated beside the Chao Phraya River; you need to drive some distance to reach it. It was constructed in 1630. It was a royal temple where princes and princesses were cremated. This must’ve been the most beautiful temple! Wait for the sunset to get the greatest shots. Unfortunately a lot of tourists!
We stayed within walking distance to the Ayutthaya Historical Park. We can definitely recommend our budget hotel The Avail. It was spacious and clean, friendly staff and surrounded by restaurants and a mini-market.
IS IT WORTH VISITING??
Absolutely. Ayutthaya is an ancient city with lots of historic stories waiting to be discovered. It was such an overwhelming experience roaming between these ruins. There is an indescribable silence which you will only understand once you have visited these sites yourselves.
We only had one day to visit Ayutthaya’s ruins which was more than enough for my kids. Traveling solo or as a couple, allow yourself 3 days to visit all the sites Ayutthaya has to offer.
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