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Ayutthaya makes an excellent full day excursion from Thailand, and is a fascinating walk-around for those interested in archeology, Thai Buddhism, and the history of Thailand.
Ayutthaya was founded by King U-Thong in 1350 along the Chao Phraya river, Ayutthaya was the capital of the Thai kingdom at its most powerful. In 1767, it was conquered and sacked by the Burmese, and today only the ruins of its prosperity remain. A modern city of the same name was founded a few kilometers further east.
Ayutthaya was once known as “Ayothaya,” referring to the capital of King Rama King Naresuan defeated the Burmese and changed the name of the city to Aytthaya or “the undefeatable city” Among Thai cities. It is also known as Ayotaya, Ayothaya, Ayudhya, Ayutaya, Ayuthaya and Ayuttaya.
The cheapest way of reaching Ayutthaya is by train. All north and north-east line trains leave from Bangkok’s Hualamphong Train Station and stop in Ayutthaya. It takes around 1.5 hours. Ayutthaya’s train station is to the east of the central island. To get to central Naresuan Road, walk straight ahead from the station and take the cross-river ferry. Buses operate every 20 minutes or so from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit) directly to Ayutthaya. Allow at least two hours for the trip. The central Ayutthaya BKS bus station is on the south side of Thanon Naresuan next to the Chao Phrom Market.
A convenient minibus service operates from the Victory Monument square in Bangkok
We recommend renting a bicycle. There are also plenty of tuk tuks. Most of Ayutthaya’s sites are on the western half of the island, while the modern city is on the east. The temples with entry charges are usually in ruins, so there is no dress code. Working temples tend to charge no fees.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the largest temple in Ayutthaya and has a row of chedis. It’s housed within the grounds of the former royal palace, and was used only for royal religious ceremonies. Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopitah is next to Wat Phra Si Sanphet and houses a large bronze cast Buddha image.
Ancient Palace is mostly low-lying ruins set in large grounds. Wiharn at Wat Thammikarat Wat Thammikarat is a working wat, but also contains the ruins of a large chedi and a huge wiharn which has a large tree growing picturesquely out of the side of one wall.
Wat Ratchaburana (Naresuan Rd) stands out for having a large prang recently restored to its original condition. Wat Mahathat Wat Phra Mahathat across the road from Wat Ratburana, is a large temple that was destroyed by the Burmese.
Phra Chedi Sisuriyothai Phra Chedi Sisuriyothai is a white and gold coloured chedi built as a memorial to a previous queen.
A luxury villa or serviced apartment in Bangkok is your best option, with shuttle buses running from the Victory monument. Try looking for accommodation on Sukhumvit Road.