Sweet, historic little Ayutthaya is one of those towns that I pretty much recommend to every single friend, relative, or reader who I’ve ever advised on a trip to Thailand. With its incredible sights, slice of small town Thai life, easy accessibility, and manageable size, it’s hard to imagine anyone who would be immune to its charms.
Plus, you can truly do it on any budget; and no matter where you end up on that spectrum, the bang for your baht it incredible. I’ve now experienced both — my first trip in 2012 was on a mega budget (and with a major heartache.) Still, I’d loved the town. This time, I was returning all loved up and ready to splash out.
Many travelers to Thailand treat Ayutthaya as a day trip from Bangkok, which is understandable given the short distance between them. But those with a few days to spare will find a peaceful slice of Thai history and culture to explore — and get to experience a much richer side of the destination. Both my trips were two nights and two days, which I found to be the perfect length of time. If you’re wondering how best to plan an Ayutthaya itinerary for two days, this guide should help.
What To See and Do in Ayutthaya
Visiting Bang Pa-In Royal Palace
On this trip, Ian and I had arrived by boat, off a lush overnight river cruise from Bangkok down the Chao Phraya. Conveniently, the cruise docked directly in front of Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, once the beloved summer palace of Siamese royalty. Originally built in 1632 and revived in the late 1880s, the palace shows a fascinating mix of Asian and European influences.
Bang-Pa In Royal Palace is about a twenty minute drive straight south of Ayutthaya, which means if you’re coming from Bangkok, it makes sense to stop here en route. Bang Pa-In even has its own train station! There may be a left luggage room at the station, but if not, simply leave your bags at the ticket counter of the palace — that’s what we did and they were more than happy to hold them for us. When you’re done exploring, simply hop back on the train for one more stop, or take a taxi the rest of the way.
Ian, while always very happy to humor my whims, is definitely of the more “chill and eat as much food as possible” variety of tourist than an “obsessively chronicle local sightseeing opportunities in the stifling heat” type. The day we arrived at Bang Pa-In was approximately ten billion degrees, and as we paid admission, opened the map of the massive palace gardens and started walking in, Ian turned to me in a panicked voice and said, “we’re just going to do a lap, right?!”
To this day, it’s one of our favorite catchphrases. We did a tad more than just a lap, though we kept it pretty snappy — I found the European style in the interiors of the palaces to be fascinating for a country so staunchly proud to never have been colonized, and was absolutely smitten with the endless colorful gardens outside.
We explored on foot, however I later learned you can rent golf carts to cover the extensive grounds, which would have been pretty entertaining. That will set you back 400B for the first hour and 100B for every subsequent hour, while admission to the palace is 100B each (about $3USD)… [ Read more in source website https://algr.in/GuideToAyutthaya ]
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