- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
- Unesco World Heritage
The ancient city of Ayutthaya is a good one hour bus ride from Bangkok. The city is encircled by the waters of the Chao Phraya, Lopburi, and Pa Sak rivers which form an island upon which most of the remains of the city can be found. The other temples are located on the banks, including the magnificent Wat Chai Watthanaram, the architecture of which is reminiscent of the temples of Angkor in Cambodia.
The city of Ayutthaya was classed as aWorld Heritage Site by UNESCOin 1991. I decided that the best way to see the city was to hire a bike to cover the distances between all the different temples more easily and to save time and energy! To get a good idea of the hidden treasures of the city, I spent two days there before continuing my trip through Thailand. After a hard day’s sightseeing, what better way to spend the evening than with a delicious bowl of noodles and an ice cold Chang Beer in the covered market?
Ayuttaya is right next to Bangkok, so it's entirely possible to take a single day excursion there. If you enjoy archaeological sites, then Ayutthaya is clearly a must see during your stay in Thailand. But as for me, it isn't the ruins of old temples that attract me. I like Ayutthaya because the setting is nice and wooded, and Thais often have picnics in the area.
I avoidriding an elephant, because it's too touristy and a little controversial for me because of the conditions of these animals' lives. I recommend simply going for a bike ride, a walk, or calling on a tuk tuk to see the many temples that make up this historic park.
Among my favorites is the Wat Chai Watthanaram, nestled on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, which offers especially spectacular colors at sunset. Few people know it, but Ayutthayawas also a commercial trading spot with the first Europeans to settle in the area, as evidenced by the Portuguese church and the ancient Japanese village.