Step outside the hustle and bustle of Bangkok with a quick journey to the lost city of Ayutthaya. A short bus or train journey will have you right in the centre of the former capital of the Siam Empire – now primarily in ruins.
I actually spent 4 days in Ayutthaya, but found that it was too much time for this sleepy town. There are also plenty of day trips available from Bangkok, but to me those are a little too rushed and too scheduled.
I have condensed my trip into 2 easy-paced days.
Taking a mini-bus from Bangkok’s Victoria Monument station is the quickest and most cost-effective way to Ayutthaya. The journey takes less than 1.5 hours and is fairly comfortable. I would recommend leaving in the early morning to make the most of your day.
For full details on the journey and finding the mini-buses, visit my article.
Day One in Ayutthaya
After stopping at your hotel/hostel to drop off your luggage, your day begins.
1. Explore Sukhothai Historical Park (Old Ayutthaya)
Located in the center of Old Ayutthaya, the national park is home to multiple Wats. Most notably is Wat Maha That, built in the 1300s, this Wat hosts one of the most photographed items in the area – the Buddha head in the Banyan tree. Many people will explore this area by rented bike or scooter. If you’re uncoordinated like me, you can also opt for walking – just make sure you have bottled water on-hand!
Cost: 150b to enter the park and it’s temples for the day.
Time: 2-4 hours depending on your interest levels.
2. Smell the flowers
Just accross the street from Wat Maha That (and a little to the right) are a variety of flower stalls. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the flowers and the cute garden decorations.
3. Grab some lunch and take a break
After exploring ruins for the majority of the day, it’s time for a break. There are a variety of Thai restaurants in the area offering great food, so explore and see what tickles your fancy.
At this point, it’s also probably check-in time at your hotel. Take a moment to relax and refresh – you’ll need it after spending the day in the Thailand humidity.
4. Enjoy a sunset boat tour
Your accommodation will be able to help you arrange this boat tour with transportation to/from included in the price.
Once onboard, your captain will stop at three different Wats for you to see. Entry is additional, but at a very low cost and many of these Wats are more easily accessed by the river. Allow yourself to relax your tired feet while you enjoy this leisurely tour.
Cost: 650B (Currently around $20US)
Time: Approx. 2 hours
4. Dinner and a night cap
If you’re staying in Old Ayutthaya, I would recommend dinner at Grandparent’s Home. There is a wide range of really good food at a low cost. Just down the street, you’ll find live music and cheap drinks at the Junk House cafe & bar (located next to Stockhome Hostel).
Additional suggestion: If you’re not burnt out from the day, go and visit the Ban Lan Night Market. Selling local favourites, such as chicken feet and bugs, it’s a really interesting (if not stomach-churning) experience.
Day Two in Ayutthaya
1. Hop on a Tuk Tuk and be escorted around the city.
This was my favourite way of seeing Ayutthaya. For a really low price, a driver will take you to all of the major sites. He will provided suggestions, but you can also customise your day based on what you want to see. Be sure to avoid the sites you saw yesterday on the boat tour, unless you want to see them again.
Cost: 200B (currently around $7US) per hour.
TIP: Be sure not to miss the Ayutthaya Floating market – my favourite experience of this day.
For more information on taking a Tuk Tuk, see Tuk-Tuking my way through Ayutthaya.
2. Get a Thai Massage.
While travelling through Thailand, I tried to get a massage in every city. Long days of exploring can leave your muscles tired and the stretching provided by a traditional massage is really helpful. As your hotel to recommend a location that’s good nearby.
Price: AED200 if you’re not looking for anything too fancy.
3. Head back to Bangkok or your next destination.
Heading back to Bangkok is as easy as getting there – just hop on a mini bus or take a train.
Alternatively, from the Ayutthaya train station you can head north to destinations like Chiang Mai.
If you’re interested in reading more about Thailand, take a look here.
I hope you find this article useful in planning your upcoming trips! Happy travelling and please let me know what magic you find in Ayutthaya!