Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand from from 1351 to 1767. Known as the Golden Age of Siam, it was the period when Thailand was at its richest and most powerful. It fell from the Burmese invasion in 1767 but remnants of its past glory are found in the architectural ruins all over the city. The Historic Park has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991.
Today it is a popular day trip destination of visitors coming to Bangkok. It is easily reachable by renting a taxi, taking train, or bus. Detailed directions going to Ayutthaya —> click here
We were deciding between this and Damnoen Sanduak. While it must be delightful to take photos of the colorful and busy floating market, culture/architecture is always my priority coming to a new place. Luckily Ayutthaya has elephant park that I used to lure my sisters to agree. We hired a taxi to take us to Ayutthaya, around, and back. The price was 1000 baht + 300 baht for toll fees. I think it’s a fair price enough.
Elephant is the national symbol of Thailand. It played a special role in Thai history and religion. Modern day elephants though, have little use and is facing a significant decline in number. I saw a few fund raising drives organized by different groups for its conservation.
Our first stop is the Elephant Ride Park in Thanon Pathon. We were very excited seeing so many elephants up close and on the loose! We couldn’t wait to ride one and didn’t waste a moment. The ride costs from 200 baht (10 min) on a short loop around the ruin of Wat Ket. It’s quite bumpy and not very comfortable, so 10 minutes is just fine for the experience and photo op. ;-)
The park (forgot to get its name)also has shows by 2 baby elephants. You can take a photo with them for 40 baht and they can do all sorts of tricks. Very cute!
World Heritage Sites
After lunch, we started visiting the sites. There are over 50 sites to visit, but we only have time for 3 key temples and monasteries. It would be so interesting to stay a couple of days and explore the other temples and ruins. If you do plan to spend one more day. You can check hotels around Ayutthaya
Really special walking inside these walls. It’s just so amazing to be standing on the same ground, very spot, and touch the walls those people been to 7 to 8 centuries ago. I felt like being transported back in time.
Wat Yai Chaimongkhol
Wat Chai Watthana Ram