Ayutthaya is the oldest city and the second capital of Thailand after Sukhothai. The place where the famous Mortal Kombat was filmed. It is a huge open-air museum with temples, palaces, statues, ruins and heritage of past centuries.
The trip by car from Bangkok will take 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on traffic congestion. The old city is surrounded by rivers that create an island out of Ayutthaya. Leave your car in the parking lot and take an amazing journey through the ancient world.
What to do:
- it's better to leave at dawn to catch the gentle rays of the sun on the ancient ruins;
- take a boat trip along the island. The river offers a great view of the temples;
- walk through an ancient park with beautiful ponds and miniature temples;
- ride elephants and make a wish;
- make a sacred amulet tattoo, which will be consecrated by a monk;
- stay until evening to enjoy the cozy atmosphere when the ancient architecture is illuminated by lanterns and night markets are open (try the local food).
The temples in Ayutthaya are of two kinds: traditional cone- shaped and flat-top towers (prangi). Many Buddhist statues have been left headless since the Burmese attacks and treasure thieves. But Thais continue to honor these sacred sites by scattering flower petals and burning incense.
The first place where all tourists go is the temple of Wat Mahathat. On its territory there is a world famous tree, the roots of which encircled the head of the Buddha. Next to the temple is a beautiful park.
The former royal residence of Wang Luang is now a ruin overgrown with greenery and flowers. Do not miss the temple of Wat Lokayasuttharam with the reclining Buddha at 42 meters. Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the 3 chedis from Mortal Kombat. Nearby are the remains of the royal palace, with inscriptions on the foundations.
There is a very beautiful temple on the opposite side of the river, Chai Wattanaram. It looks especially picturesque at sunset.
In order not to turn the trip into a lot of temples, you can visit interesting museums that tell the history of the city:
Thai Boat Museum, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum (you can see ancient artifacts, woodwork, bronze and stone, statues, ceramics, jewelry and more), Chantharakasem National Museum (exhibition of King Rama IV, objects of art, architecture, weapons, life by the old city river).
- It is best to come to Ayutthaya for one day early in the morning, when there are no crowds of tourists and it is not so hot;
- You can rent a bicycle on the island to have time to see the main sights;
- At the end of this trip, have dinner at a restaurant on the river or at the evening market (open from 6 to 9 pm).