Ayutthaya used to be the trade and political capital of Siam, as Thailand used to be called, and it was believed to be the most prosperous city in all of Asia at the time. It now lies in unnet ruins after been sacked by the Burmese, not once but twice, with the second and final time being in the 1700's.
Travelling in Thailand Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya
If you’re visiting Thailand and are spending any time in Bangkok or are travelling up to Chiang Mai or the north, take a day or two to stop off and visit the UNESCO World Heritage
Today Ayutthaya is a bustling modern city which is uniquely Thai in flavour. Tourists don’t tend to visit the new part, rarely staying overnight but head for the picturesque ancient ruins which sit at the heart of the town. Ayutthaya Historical Park is well worth a visit and is an atmospheric combination of stone temples, ancient trees, the old Royal Palace and the Royal Chapel. Hire a tuk tuk driver to take you round all the sites - there are a lot - or hire a bike and follow no fixed plan and instead cycle and wander aimlessly as the mood takes you.
Photo Opportunities Galore
There will be photo opportunities galore - crumbling chedis, headless Buddha statues (the Burmese showed no mercy!) and an iconic Buddha head lying entwined in the roots of a great tree. You’ll also find elephant rides dotted through the area (great fun as long as you don't get motion sikness) – but be warned if you take a photo with one, you will be expected to pay the handler.
Ayutthaya is a very place to get to - just simply take one of the frequent trains from Bangkok's main Hualamphong station - the journey is a pleasant one and takes around 2 hours. If you’re in one of the older style trains you can pull the sash windows down and let in the breeze. Don’t be surprised if the doors aren’t shut and local men and boys are sitting on the steps dangling their feet just above the track rushing underneath! You can also take the bus from Mo Chit terminal or book a boat cruise but for convenience and a fun and cheap yet scenic journey, I think the train wins every single time.