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Plan a Day Trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya!

Updated on August 1, 2012
The famous detached Buddha head that’s been entangled in the roots of a tree
The famous detached Buddha head that’s been entangled in the roots of a tree | Source

Ayutthaya is an easy day trip from Bangkok, located just 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the capital. Founded in 1350, it was once the splendid capital of Siam (Thailand's ancient name). Today, visitors to the World Heritage Site find captivating ruins of palaces, temples and religious monuments that make Ayutthaya a compelling and unforgettable day trip.

History of Ayuthaya

Ayuthaya was founded in 1350 by King U Thong of Siam who declared it as the capital of his kingdom. The city served as the prosperous capital of Siam for 400 years during which it thrived by dominating trade in Asia and by being the center of trade between Siam and European countries such as Portugal, France, and Holland. By the 1700s, the city’s population is said to have reached one million inhabitants, making Ayuthaya one of the world’s largest cities at that time. In 1767, the Burmese invaded, burned down and destroyed Ayuthaya, leading to the collapse of the kingdom.

UNESCO Video About Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya elephant
Ayutthaya elephant | Source
Atop a lighthouse-looking tower at the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
Atop a lighthouse-looking tower at the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace | Source

Things To Do on a Day Trip to Ayutthaya - Wat Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya Historical Park – Located just outside of Ayutthaya island, this park has many ruins and the famous detached Buddha head that’s been entangled in the roots of a tree.

  • Wat Chaiwatthanaram, one of the best-known Buddhist temples, the central prang is 35 meters (115 feet) high, with four smaller prangs. Religious ceremonies were held here and royalty was cremated here.
  • Along the way to Wat Chaiwatthanaram are 120 sitting Buddha statues, which were once painted in black in gold.
  • Wat MahaThat, built in 1384, now you can see crumbling stupas, rows of headless Buddhas and the famous detached Buddha head at the entrance to the temple.

Elephant Rides – You can explore Ayutthaya’s ruins on elephant back with the Ayutthaya Elephant Camp which provides tourists and volunteers the option of elephant rides, shows, and feedings.

Bang Pa-In Summer Palace – A royal summer residence dating back to the 17th Century. The architecture beautifuly blends Thai, European and Chinese styles. There are beautiful gardens, monuments, an artificial lake, and a Chinese throne hall.

Sites along the boat-ride back to Bangkok
Sites along the boat-ride back to Bangkok | Source
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How to Get to Ayutthaya

You need to decide whether you want to go to Ayutthaya on a private tour or a group tour with a boat ride back, and how much you're willing to spend. I chose the latter and I'm glad I did so because I had a great tour guide and the boat ride back to Bangkok was beautiful. A group tour usually begins rather early, with a pick-up from your hotel between 6am - 8am.

If you prefer to do a private tour, you need to decide how you will get there. You can:

  • Hire a car and driver
  • Rent your own car
  • Go by train, which is the cheapest option, costing 15-20 Baht (50 cents) for a 3rd class ticket and 265 Baht ($8.50) for a 2nd class ticket
  • Take a bus from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (at the Moh Chit LRT station), which costs 60 Baht ($1.90) and buses depart every 20 minutes. This bus makes many stops along the way
  • Take a minibus from Victory Monument square, which costs 70 Baht ($2.25) and it goes directly to Ayutthaya

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When the Burmese invaded in 1767, they chopped off the heads and right hands of statues, believing that this would weaken their enemy's power
When the Burmese invaded in 1767, they chopped off the heads and right hands of statues, believing that this would weaken their enemy's power | Source
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That's what? Chicken butt! Yes, seriously, a vendor outside of the Ayutthaya Historical Park was selling chicken buttocks skewers (yes, as in the hiney)... it was tasty!
That's what? Chicken butt! Yes, seriously, a vendor outside of the Ayutthaya Historical Park was selling chicken buttocks skewers (yes, as in the hiney)... it was tasty! | Source
Don't forget to take off your shoes when entering a temple!
Don't forget to take off your shoes when entering a temple! | Source

Recent Flooding

Ayutthaya has recently been in the news because of the devastating flooding that's affected the area. The rain began on October 4th and lasted for over an entire month, submerging the historic area, with flood waters reaching 3 meters in some areas. Thailand's Ministry of Culture's Department of Fine Arts has reported that over 100 monuments have been affected by floods.

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    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Another great hub about your travels. You have been to so many interesting places. I really loved the pictures with this one.

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks, Travelwyse and homesteadbound! I hope that Ayuttaya is okay and will still remain looking as I seen it over a year ago. I'm afraid though that after months of rains, officials are now saying that there may permanent damage to the hostoric area. Hopefully not but we shall see.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 5 years ago from North America

      Como estash Chica,

      Very interesting and informative Hub with nice pictures about Ayutthaya. I love Thailand and Thai people. Now Thailand Bangkok is like my second home.

      Last time I visited Thailand & Tokyo, Japan in 2008. I usually stay in Bangkok and then travel to other places.

      I visited Huahin and Bangsan last time, rest of the time I spent in Bangkok, enjoying the Thai foods, fruit, shopping and Thai massage everyday.

      I really enjoyed your Hub, keep writing good Hubs. I will return to read more of your Hubs.

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Ola Mr. Nice! Sorry that I didn't reply sooner to your comment and I just want to thank you for your comment. I also really enjoyed Thai food, shopping and especially daily massages when it Thailand! How can you resist, right? They're so relaxing and relatively cheap. It's so nice that you've gotten to enjoy Thailand multiple times - I also hope to make additional trips to the wonderful country.

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