FASCINATING AYUTHAYA THAILAND
Bangkok is wonderful. But let’s face it, it’s also a huge and contemporary metropolis. After spending some time in Bangkok I needed a break. It was time to get out of town for awhile. That’s how I found myself on a mini-bus heading northward toward Ayuthaya.
Ayuthaya, Thailand is located about an hour north of Bangkok. Between 1350 and 1776 it was a large cosmopolitan city and the capital of Siam. The center of the city was populated with over 400 temples. Ayuthaya’s importance faded after 1776 when it was over run by invading armies from the west. Today the temples in the city center are in various stages of ruin and restoration. The area is truly impressive. In 1969 it was named as a Unesco World Heritage site.
Ayuthaya is a great day trip form Bangkok. A ticket for the mini-bus from the bus station in Bangkok costs 60 Thai Baht (currently $1.69). Roughly an hour later you’ll be dropped off near the center of Ayuthaya. From there you can hire a local Tuk Tuk to take you to visit whatever grouping of temples and sites you would like. Tuk prices depend somewhat on your ability to negotiate. I spent most of the day exploring the area by Tuk Tuk at a cost of 500 Thai Baht (currently @ $14.28). If you are content to limit your visits to the central temple area you can also rent bicycles and enjoy some exercise as you explore. Keep in mind, it tends to get rather hot in this part of the world.
There are many, many temples in the Ayuthaya area. You will certainly not be able to visit them all. Even seeing all of the more well know temples will leave the best of travelers “templed out.” Best to do some research and pick several primary sites you would like to explore. Then take your time and enjoy your visit.
Wat Mahathat is one of the more interesting and expansive sites in Ayuthaya
Sandstone Buddha head entangled in a bodhi tree’s roots / Wat Mahathat
Giant reclining Buddha – Wat Lakayasutharam
My Tuk and Driver. Tuk Tuks in Ayuthaya have a slightly different look to them than I have encountered elsewhere.
Portions of expansive temple grounds – Wat Chai Wattanaram
Volunteers help keep temple grounds looking good.
Many travelers spend several days exploring the city of Ayuthaya. There is much to see. But a day trip to Ayuthaya will give you a very good sense of the place, it’s history and it’s remarkable temple areas. For me it was a perfect and well timed break from the hustle-bustle, rapid pace of Bangkok.
VISIT FASCINATING AYUTHAYA ……………. AND ENJOY THE ADVENTURE!
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© 2017, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.