During my last visit to Bangkok, I took a day trip to the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya. About an hour (well, technically one hour, but more like three due to traffic…) outside of Bangkok, Ayutthaya existed from 1350 – 1767 when the Burmese invaded and took the city.
In its heyday, Ayutthaya boasted three palaces and 400 temples. Today the city has grown around the ruined temples and crumbling chedis.
At the height of its power Ayutthaya was said to be just as grand as the European capitals at that same time. It’s easy to see that the ancient capital was massive, but the ruins that are left – a shadow of what once was. While it can’t compare to the temples of Angkor or Bagan, there’s still a lot to see – perfect for a day trip – especially for anyone who appreciates some good temple-hopping.
I really didn’t know much about Ayutthaya, or what to expect, before I went. I originally had seen a picture on a postcard three years ago, when I first came to Thailand for a two-week holiday, of the famous Buddha head wrapped in a tree trunk at Wat Mahathat and it stuck in my memory. I knew that
if when I made it back to Thailand I wanted to see it in real life – that was my true motivation for trying to get there. And it was beautiful.
Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
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This is so beautiful Alana!
Bigger than Constantinople and Beijing in 1700?? Would love to have a better understanding of the early grand histories of SE asia! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_cities_throughout_history
There was supposedly so much gold on the palaces, temples and chedis that you could see it miles away…
3 Comments on A Day in Ayutthaya