We visited the Ayutthaya temples on a cultural day trip from Bangkok. It’s a highlight of any Thailand visit. The tour to the ancient capital of Siam includes a trip by riverboat, a must-do activity when you’re in Bangkok, with close-up views of the temples and historic sites that line the Chao Phraya River.
The Unesco World Heritage site of Ayutthaya is 53 miles (85 km) north of Bangkok. Ayutthaya was a thriving Siamese kingdom from 1350 until 1767, when it was captured by the Burmese. Today, Ayutthaya is know for its spectacular ruins and temples. Many of its temples are still intact, such as Wat Phra Sanphet, Wat Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Panangcherng and Wat Chai Mongkol, known for its large bronze statue of the Reclining Buddha. You will also see the summer palace of King Rama IV with its mixture of Thai, Chinese and Gothic architecture. The palace is a well-preserved ‘museum’, providing a glimpse into a time when Thailand was known as Siam.
If you decide to to go on this full-day guided excursion from Bangkok to visited Thailand’s former ancient capital, you can do a tour by van and return to Bangkok by boat. During the boat cruise from Ayutthaya you will see temples such as Wat Arun lining the Chao Phraya River. We chose to take a van back to Bangkok since we had already seen Wat Arun the river, and we needed to be back in Bangkok before sunset to head north to Chiang Mai.
Below are some snapshots of our adventures in Ayutthaya.