Ayutthaya – full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, is the former capital of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province in Thailand. Located in the valley of the Chao Phraya River. It was formed by a former king U Thong, who went there to escape the epidemic of smallpox. Hm, it’s good to be the king. I didn’t know all that, and I will never remember it. That is what Wikipedia is for. But I do know that it’s a national treasure of Thailand and it is well worth a visit while in Bangkok.
Ayutthaya is about 40 km North of Bankok. I think it took us a couple of hours drive from the hotel and we had a compulsory stop somewhere on the way for souvenirs. We went there by bus, and came back to Bangkok by boat which was a nice change and very pleasant.
The bus picked us up right from the hotel so that was easy. I am pretty sure that we could’ve found a cheaper tour, but saving a few Baht was really not our goal here. I think all up, the whole trip cost maybe 100$, and that included lunch on the boat.
The ruins were impressive, but the ruins are what’s left of that spectacular city. Sadly Ayutthaya was destroyed by Burmese in 1767. It was estimated that at that time there may have been up to a Million people living in Ayutthaya. This would make it one of the biggest cities in the world at that time.
Another stop in our day tour was the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace. Or the Summer Palace, formerly used by the Thai royal family as their summer residence. These were not ruins. This was a palace that had been beautifully restored and it looked amazing.
We had a great day visiting these sights. It was very hot in the ruins. Easily 40deg. Well, that is one of the reason I managed to lose a few kilos when we were in Thailand.
Below are a few images from that day-trip to the ancient city of Ayutthaya near Bangkok.