Imagine a sprawling, sweeping metropolis filled with over a million inhabitants. This was the city of Ayutthaya during the 1600s, when it was the glittering capital of Thailand. The onetime “Venice of the East” was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. The city was burned to the ground, leaving behind only some monasteries and the remains of other buildings.
Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was a tremendous center of commerce and a focal point for art, religion, and politics. Head over to Wat Phra Si Sanphet, a temple you may recognize thanks to its three chedis, or towering, bell-shaped buildings. This temple once connected to the royal palace, though the connecting buildings were destroyed; today, you can wander through its crumbling red walls and marvel at what must have once been.
Get ready for your Ayutthaya tour in nearby Bangkok, which is about 50 miles south of the ruins. In Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya by boat, train, or rental car. Once you’re in the vicinity, you can explore the area on foot, or rent a bike. For some true local flavor, hire a tuk-tuk (a motorized, three-wheeled cart) to carry you from place to place.
A number of markets are set up outside the ruins, so you’ll find plenty to eat after a long day of exploring the ruins. Sit back, enjoy some food, and watch as the sun sets on the ancient buildings.
What do you hope to find during your Ayutthaya sightseeing?
Visit our Ayutthaya travel guide page for more information or to plan your next vacation!
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