In Thailand there are over 40,000 temples and in the Historic City of Ayutthaya there are 250 temples. Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom and has been classed a UNESCO World Heritage center.
When you visit Pra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (full name for Ayutthaya), you will feel like you are transported back in time.
There were 32 kings and 5 dynasties. It was then taken over by the Burmese and the army burned everything in Ayutthaya. Subsequently there was a war and the Thai people won. The General decided to take the Ayutthaya people from Ayutthaya to Bangkok; near the Temple of the Dawn. Then he decided to move east and build the Grand Palace.
We took a day tour to Ayutthaya for convenience but it is easy enough to go on your own. Some even suggest bike riding through the ancient city! The tour we took brought us to the highlights of Ayutthaya.
~Bang Pa-In Palace (Summer Palace)
The Palace was revived by King Rama the IV. Today it is still used by the King and Queen as a residence and for holding functions. The palace is a large compound of buildings each serving it’s own purpose.
~Wat Maha That
This is one of the oldest Buddhist temples. This is where the famous pictures of the Ayutthaya ruins are photographed. It is the restored ruins of the Buddhist monastery. History has it that this was surrounded by castles and moats.The head entwined in tree roots is also found here.
The Reclining Buddha statue spans 37 meters long and is located outdoors.
The historical city itself is free to enter but there is an entrance fee for the temples. It is usually a small fee. This was all covered in our tour.
How Long to Spend There
Half a day to a day will allow you to see the highlights at a relaxed pace. Ayutthaya is couple of hours out of Bangkok so you will need to account for travel time. Just remember it gets very very hot by lunch time so try and see most of the sights in the morning.
There is a public bus or train from Bangkok, catch a metered taxi, river boat or take a tour. While was slightly more costly via tour, it wasn’t that much more. It was certainly more interesting and convenient.Our tour included a chartered bus ride from Bangkok city to Ayutthaya. We returned to Bangkok via a cruise down the Chao Phraya River which was included in the tour. The boat was White Orchid River Cruise and included a Thai buffet lunch.
What to Wear
There is a dress code for Bang Pa-In Palace. You need to cover your shoulders and knees for both males and females.
If going for a full day, wear clothing which is suitable for the palace but also light. It gets hot then very hot then very very hot! Wear a hat to keep your face out of the sun. The dress code at Bang Pa-In Palace is not as strict as the Grand Palace but is enforced. There is clothing available for rent if required.For the day, I wore a black and white floral print A-line high waist skirt with a black frill short sleeved top tucked into the skirt. I added a colourful metal necklace and a burst of red lipstick to brighten up my outfit. These were all my usual summer clothes which I had in my closet. My new favourite hat was taken out for a day again!