Bangkok is a hive of activity, with people, traffic, markets, street vendors, scooters and tuk-tuks. But if you want to get out of the big city, take a day trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya and you will be amazed at the historical sites there.
This was my first visit to Bangkok, travelling with Tourism Thailand for Women’s Journey 2016 – Thailand through her eyes. Coming from a small country town in Northern Victoria, my first impression was one of feeling overwhelmed, however it was quickly replaced with fascination, wonder and awe for the vastly different way of life in this bustling city.
If you’ve ever been to Bangkok, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Some of the things to do in Bangkok include taking a tour of the Grand Palace, Thonburi Palace and the Royal Barge Museum. But Ayutthaya is home to plenty of historic landmarks in Thailand too.
Bangkok to Ayutthaya
What To See on An Ayutthaya Tour
Ayutthaya is about 50km north of Bangkok (85 km) and is not something to be missed.
Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and is the second capital of Siam (the former name for Thailand).
By 1700, Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world, however, in 1767 the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya and burnt nearly the whole city to the ground, leaving it in ruins.
In short, the people of Ayutthaya were forced to abandon the city and to this day it remains as a large archaeological site full of rich history, memories and relics from the past. Here are some places your Ayutthaya tour might include.
1- Wat Phanang Choeng
We visited Wat Phanang Choeng, a Buddhist temple which is located in Ayutthaya.
It was actually built in 1324, 26 years before Ayutthaya was officially founded.
Walking around this area, I was awe-struck just thinking about the history behind the walls, imagining what must have happened, while the sweet smell of incense wafting around everywhere takes your senses back to a place that recognises on some level a past history.
One that is so rich and full of life, invoking a sense of nostalgia, it’s impossible not to be deeply touched by it all.
Legend has it that this Buddha image, shed tears when the Burmese overtook Ayutthaya.
2- Wat Maheyong
Following on from there, Wat Maheyong is located just outside the city in the Hantra sub-district of Ayutthaya.
This Buddhist monastery was originally thought to have been built in 1438, during the reign of King Borommarachathirat II.
Wat Maheyong underwent a major restoration project in 1709.
It and took somewhere around three years to complete.
All that is left now though is the ruins of the temple, which again are spectacular to see.
It will leave you in a world full of wonder of a time that is beyond us, and hard to fully comprehend; something that will be etched in your mind and have you thinking about for days, if not months and years to come.
3- Ayutthaya’s floating markets
From there you can head to the Ayutthaya floating markets to get a bit of a shopping fix.
Like Khlong Lat Mayom and other floating markets in Bangkok, Ayutthaya’s floating markets are a hub of activity.
There is well over 200 different shops offering clothing, art, souvenirs, and of course, plenty of food!
4- Candy Floss Street
On the way back to Bangkok, you would be remiss to pass by Candy Floss Street.
We were treated to the Thai way of making candy floss, and how sweet it is!
Candy Floss, but not as we know it. Wrapped in a sweet Roti crepe, it is pure sugary bliss.
Initially, we were a bit unsure of it, but that was quickly surpassed with the sweet deliciousness that leaves you craving more.
Getting from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
Bangkok to Ayutthaya Tour
Ayutthaya is only about an hour’s drive from Bangkok.
The most convenient way to get from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is to book a day tour as day tours cover Ayutthaya’s main historical sites, such as the ruins and temples.
Bangkok to Ayutthaya by Minivan
You can also get to Ayutthaya by taxi and minivan if you prefer to explore independently.
Minivans for Ayutthaya leave from Mo Chit Bus Station and are an affordable and a way to experience how many locals travel.
Minivans don’t leave until they are full of passengers, so if it’s a slow day you might find yourself waiting awhile.
Another negative is minivans usually drop off or pick up passengers at different places along the way.
The journey might take around an hour and is usually faster than a public bus.
Bangkok to Ayutthaya Train
There’s a regular train from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok to Ayutthaya.
Getting to Hua Lamphong Station is accessible via the MRT (subway) as Hua Lampong train station is at the MRT station.
Buy your ticket from the counter and beware of scammers.
You can check out the Bangkok to Ayuttaya train schedule here.
The train journey takes around two hours and you can choose to travel in first, second or third class (no reserved seating).
The Ayutthaya ruins are across the river on the ferry.
Bangkok to Ayutthaya Bus
If you’re on a budget, take the public bus between Bangkok and Ayutthaya from the Northern Bus Terminal near Moh Chit BTS station.
The Bangkok to Ayutthaya bus trip can take up to two hours.
For more things to see in Bangkok check out these posts: