Ayutthaya was Thailand's capital city before Bangkok and was once the richest and most powerful city in all of Asia. The main tourist map shows nearly 60 sites of interest, many of which are ruins but does include other attractions such as parks too. While you can walk to most of the main attractions, some are a good few kilometres away and it can be an effort to get there on foot. So after a few days of solid walking, I decided to hire a pedal bike for 30baht (60p) per day which made getting around a lot easier
. The ruins are definitely the main feature and highlight of Ayutthaya and its hard not to imagine what this city would have been like in its golden age long ago. Other activities I did included a long tail boat ride around the city on both the Pasak and Chaophraya Rivers visiting three Wats (temples). These were Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Phutthai Sawan and Wat Chaiwatthanaram. The boat tour finished with our group been dropped off at the night market where we all got some food and talked the evening away. Another day I visited the Ayutthaya floating market which is a lovely market full of stalls and wooden buildings connected via bridges all floating on a body of water. While I didn't buy anything, it was still fascinating to walk around. There are also many other places of interest spread all over the province of Ayutthaya should you decide to travel outside the main city. On the final day I travelled north on the train to the next province of Lop-Buri. I have added the details of this daytrip into a separate blog entry.
I spent just over a week in the main city of Ayutthaya. I stayed at a very nice place called P.U guesthouse that had some really helpful and friendly staff (especially Ning). During this stay I've seen countless places over a lot of days. As I’m sure you can understand, once you’ve seen this many ruins, they all begin to look the same. It's taken a lot of time and effort to cross reference and arrange all these photos and their titles to match what I actually saw. Anyway, I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
I arrived in Ayutthaya from Bangkok and straight away I knew I was going to like this place. It's weird, but when you arrive at a new location, you almost get a sixth sense of whether you're going to like the area or not. Ayutthaya is a great place and I would have loved to stay longer, but I've got to start making my way north towards the border (Laos or Burma) as I’m due for my second VISA run in a little over a month.