Without a doubt, Ayutthaya is worth visiting. It is an ancient city rich in history, culture and stunning architecture that showcases the splendor of its former glory as the capital of ancient Siam.
Located just an hour away from Bangkok, Ayutthaya makes for a perfect day trip or even a weekend getaway. I’ve had the pleasure to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site twice and each time I was left in awe of its beauty and significance.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide to help you make the most out of your visit to Ayutthaya and understand why it is definitely worth experiencing.
Why Is Ayutthaya Worth Visiting?
1. The Historic City Of Ayutthaya (aka Ayutthaya Historical Park)
Although Ayutthaya is just a normal city, people typically refer to the historic city of Ayutthaya (Ayutthaya Historical Park) when talking about it. This is because the city itself was once a flourishing trade and political capital of Siam (now known as Thailand) from 1350 to 1767.
During its golden age, Ayutthaya was considered one of the wealthiest cities in Asia and served as an important hub for international trade, attracting merchants and travelers from all over the world.
The city was also a center of cultural exchange, with influences from various civilizations such as Khmer, Indian, Chinese and European.
Unfortunately, Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese in 1767 and was left in ruins. However, its remnants still stand today as a testament to its glorious past and serve as a valuable reminder of Thailand’s history.
2. The Magnificent Temples
One of the main attractions in Ayutthaya is its numerous temples or “wats” as they are known locally. These temples vary in size and style, but all showcase exquisite craftsmanship and intricate details that reflect the cultural diversity of the city.
Some must-see temples include Wat Mahathat with its famous Buddha head entwined in tree roots, Wat Chaiwatthanaram with its impressive Khmer-style architecture, and Wat Yai Chaimongkol with its towering golden stupa.
You can even participate in traditional rituals and ceremonies at some of the temples, giving you a deeper understanding of Thai culture and Buddhism.
One of the best ways to see the temples is by renting a bicycle and exploring the city at your own pace. It is one of our favorite things to do in Ayutthaya.
3. The Floating Market
Another unique experience in Ayutthaya is visiting the floating market. Located on the outskirts of the city, this market offers a glimpse into traditional Thai life and commerce.
You can take a boat ride along the canal while admiring the colorful vendors selling their goods from long-tailed boats. The market also offers delicious local food and souvenirs that you can purchase while on the water.
4. The Local Market (Chao Phrom Market)
For a more immersive cultural experience, make sure to visit the Chao Phrom Market in Ayutthaya’s city center. This market is bustling with local life and offers an authentic glimpse into everyday Thai living.
You can find everything from fresh produce and spices to traditional crafts and souvenirs at this market. It is also a great place to try some authentic Thai street food and interact with the friendly locals.
5. The Peaceful Atmosphere
One of the things that struck me the most about Ayutthaya is its peaceful atmosphere. Despite being a popular tourist destination, the city has managed to maintain a serene and laid-back vibe.
You can easily spend hours wandering around the temples, admiring the architecture and soaking in the history without feeling rushed or crowded by other tourists. It is a great escape from the bustling city life of Bangkok.
Visiting Ayutthaya FAQs
What Is Ayutthaya Known For?
Ayutthaya is known for its rich history as the former capital of Siam, its magnificent temples, and its traditional floating market.
Can you Stay in Ayutthaya?
Yes, there are various accommodation options in Ayutthaya for those who wish to stay overnight. These include hotels, guesthouses, and homestays.
How Far Is Ayutthaya From Bangkok?
Ayutthaya is approximately 80 kilometers north of Bangkok. It takes around an hour by car or train to reach the city from the capital.
Is Ayutthaya a Day trip from Bangkok?
Yes, Ayutthaya can easily be visited as a day trip from Bangkok. However, if you have more time, I would recommend staying overnight to fully explore the city and its surrounding areas.
Which is Better Sukhothai or Ayutthaya?
I personally like Sukhothai a bit more than Ayutthaya because it’s less touristy. The ancient ruins are spread out across lush green fields, making it feel more like a peaceful countryside retreat. However, Ayutthaya is much easier to visit from Bangkok.
Is One Day Enough for Ayutthaya?
One day is enough to see the main sights in Ayutthaya, but if you want a more relaxed experience and have time to explore the lesser-known areas, I would recommend spending at least two days there.
So, Is Ayutthaya Worth Visiting?
So if you ask me, Ayutthaya is definitely worth visiting. It’s an incredible place to learn about Thailand’s rich history, see its magnificent temples, and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. I personally have been twice and each time I wouldn’t hesitate to go back again.
It is a perfect destination for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and learn more about Thailand’s incredible past.
So, make sure to add Ayutthaya to your Thailand itinerary when planning your trip!