Your Ayutthaya Tour From Bangkok departs at 0630h (6:30am). Hotel pick-up is available from most central Bangkok hotels.
On the day of your tour, plan to meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled pick-up time. Please present your confirmation voucher to the guide before starting the tour.
Your air-conditioned mini-bus will whisk you off to visit the ancient city of Ayutthaya, which lies 76km (46 miles) north of Bangkok. For 417 years, it was the capital of southern Thailand (then known as Siam). In the 16th century, awestruck foreign traders described it as one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the East.
By 1700 BCE, Ayutthaya was the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. At its peak, it boasted three palaces and hundreds of temples situated on an island threaded with narrow waterways. Sadly, this golden age came to an abrupt end in 1767 when, after a 15-month siege, the town was sacked by the Burmese.
The cultural and historical importance of Ayutthaya has been recognized by UNESCO, who have given it World Heritage Site status.
Your tour begins at Bang-pa-in (the Summer Palace). Built in the 17th century and restored in the 19th, the palace architecture is a fusion of both Southeast Asian and European design. Stroll around the majestic buildings and vast gardens, set about a grand ornamental pond.
Your guide will then lead you through the evocative ruins of the once-magnificent city, including rows of headless Buddhas – a legacy of the Burmese invasion.
Most of the remains you will see are former temples and palaces because these were the only buildings made of stone at that time. You will see Wat Yai Chai Mongkon – a meditation temple built by Ayutthaya’s first ruler in 1357. It is famed for the huge statue of the Reclining Buddha inside the temple compound and for the large Chedi (pagoda or stupa) that dominates the skyline. The Chedi was built in 1592 to celebrate King Naresuan’s single-handed defeat of the then Burmese Crown Prince after an elephant-back duel. Buddha statues of all sizes are dotted around the temple compound.
Another highlight is Wat Phra Sri San Phet. Built in the 14th century, this was the largest temple in Ayutthaya and was used as a temple-cum-palace by several Siamese kings.
You will also visit Wat Mahathat, in the center of Ayutthaya, to see one of the most famous and most photographed attractions in the ruined city – the Buddha’s head nestled in between the roots of a fig tree.
A Thai-style set lunch is included in your tour. At the end of the excursion, you will be dropped back at your hotel in Bangkok.