Located just a couple of hours north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya city is a beautiful attraction that is home to sacred temples and palaces dating back hundreds of years. This must-see attraction was founded in 1350 in the Chao Phraya River valley and was once the centre of the global diplomacy and commerce and home to over one million people. Today, Ayutthaya is now an archaeological ruin and UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts tourists from all over the world. Wandering through the awe-inspiring and once-thriving ancient metropolis will make you feel as though you've stepped back in time.
During the 17th and 18th century Ayutthaya was larger than London and Paris combined and was considered the "Venice of The East". The city was known as the centre of trade between local merchants, Europeans and Chinese selling produce and fabrics and weapons. In 1967 the Burmese invaded and conquered the city, destroying many of its towers, temples and monasteries. However, over time many of these structures have been restored. Today, Ayutthaya is one of Thailand's most popular tourist attractions that houses over 400 temples and religious statues including the 42 metre long reclining Buddha. There is also a 19m golden Buddha within the complex as well as are also hundreds of headless statue's which gives off an eerie atmosphere.
The Historic City of Ayutthaya can be accessed via taxi, bus, boat or train. From Bangkok, trains depart several times a day from Hualamphong station with prices ranging from 20-250 baht. Buses depart more frequently, leaving every 20 minutes from Moh Chit and will take around 2 hours depending on traffic. Additionally, you can take a river cruise along the Chao Phraya River, with many tour companies offering day trips to Ayutthaya. Upon arriving at Ayutthaya, you may be charged a small entry fee of around 50 baht to enter the major temples. Alternatively, you can purchase a temple pass for 220 baht which includes access to six major temples.