1st day, The Pinoy Explorer’s 15-day Thailand Challenge.
Never-ever go to Ayutthaya!
Known for being the Siamese kingdom which existed in 1351-1767, AYUTTHAYA was friendly towards foreign traders- Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians, Japanese, Persians, Portuguese, Spaniards, Dutch, and French, permitting them to build villages outside the kingdom.
Tips and advices: RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO SPEND LESS THAN 600 BAHT (17 USD) IN AYUTTHAYA!
During the 16th century, this kingdom was known as the biggest and wealthiest cities in the East. “The court of King Narai (1656–1688) had strong links with that of King Louis XIV of France, whose ambassadors compared the city in size and wealth to Paris.In foreign accounts, Ayutthaya was called Siam, but many sources say the people of Ayutthaya called themselves Tai, and their kingdom Krung Tai “The Tai country”- wikipedia.org
Wooosssshhhhhhhh! So much of that! But thanks to this short historical background, at least I am informed! Hahaha 😛
Such a great place, as I personally describe it, this ancient city feels really like alive once you get there. You can feel that you are in another world or the world of the anothers. I can’t certainly give the right phrases to describe Ayutthaya. In short I was totally amazingly amazed (wooooh sweating!) So, please, never-ever go to Ayutthaya without going to these 5 destinations! ( I hope I didn’t piss you off.. 🙂 )
Since I strongly recommend you checking out Ayutthaya, here are some of the attractions we have checked that you might feel visiting too especially that we did not have much time to spend in this kingdom.
In a nut shell, Ayutthaya is not so big but not too small too. Though you can actually roam around one day using a rented motorcycle or bike, you might ran out of time especially if you’re into photography and into appreciating history. If you do, better stay 2 days to fully discover what Ayutthaya is.
1. WAT MAHATHAT.
This is a must visit place in Ayutthaya, I consider this area as a summary of the whole ancient city. This is a wide area wherein you can roam around and be amazed with amazing structures from the past. In this area lies the most fascinating icon of Ayutthaya: the image of the Buddha’s head entangled within the roots of a Banyan tree. Rumors said that the head was hidden buy some thieves for later retrieval.
Devastated in 1767, this temple holds a prominenet place in Ayutthaya’s history. Royal ceremonies were held here and according to beliefs, the main chedi holds the relics of the Buddha. This is the most touristy and most popular tourist destination in Ayutthaya. A minimal entrance fee is required for both Thai and foreigners.
Me and my friend enjoyed this place so much that we have almost forgotten about the other destinations in Ayuttahaya. Don’t forget to bring your hat’s and wear your sun screens on as it might get too hot in the place.
What I love: Fascinating scenes! Overwhelming ambiance. Everything is well preserved and taken cared of. Just breath taking!
What I don’t like: The overcharging of entrance fees. Thai citizens pay 10.00 baht but foreigners pay 50.00 baht (I guess it’s really all over Thailand, but believe me it’s worth it) if you want to get inside the compound, please secure your ticket because policemen roam around and inspect tickets, if you don’t have, you’ll be forced to pay them without receiving tickets.
2. WANG CHANG AYUTTHAYA.
The elephant ride experience! Elephants have an important part place in the history of Ayutthaya even all over Thailand. You can see huge elephants here, like super huge elephants carrying tourists passengers offering you a one of a kind tour around the area. There are so many elephants for hire for the entire day.
Elephants are so normal in Ayutthaya giving them equal treatment as they cross or walk the highway. If Elephants cross the street, vehicles stop to give way for these huge creations. Amazingly, Elephants get used to this kind of environment and live normally with so many crowd. If you have time, you can get in the Elephant and experience a fun ride. Fee: Thai: 200 Baht, Foreigners: 400 Baht
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What I love: A memory to keep. Elephants are well trained, very friendly, drivers (I’m not really sure how to call them) are friendly and they secure that the trip is safe.
What I don’t like: Elephants look so unfree (well almost of the animals now) I pity these animals as they carry heavy loads of passengers everyday. If you don’t like riding on, just take photos with them.
3. WAT LOKAYA SUTHARAM.
Ayutthaya’s reclining giant Buddha. Over the years, reclining Buddhas are generally naturally photogenic and impressive. This a must-visit Buddha measures 42 meters in length , covered with plaster and made of bricks. Going here, you can notice that this Buddha is wearing a faint smile with its head resting in a lotus flower like structure. Tourist can offer prayers and flowers as a respect to the Buddha. Flowers and candles are available in the area.There are also souvenir shops fronting the huge statue. Around this, are fascinating views of remains from the past which include other temples; Wat Wora Pho and Wat Wora Chetaram.
What I love: Naturally photogenic, huge enough to capture, toilets are available in the souvenir shops (hahaha very important), paints are fading naturally which adds value to natural and antique look of the statue.
What I don’t like: seems like this area in not well maintained, maybe because it’s free for everybody. I mean no entrance fees. 🙂
4. WAT THAMMIKARAT
This temple has been restored several times already to give way for the Buddhist’s monks. Though new buildings were constructed, there are still many structures remain as ruins of the past. A large bell-shaped chedi encircled by huge number of lion figures or singh can be found in situ. The chedi at Wat Thammikarat also features some multi-headed Naga. There are traces of smaller monuments and fallen spires around this central chedi. This temple is very easy to locate.
What I love: So many activities to do inside the temple such as offering prayers, lighting candles and incense, etc,. Located just beside the road, very near to many eateries.
What I don’t like: Very open to the sky. No huge trees to give shade during noon time, very hot weather can be experienced.
5. WAT KHOK MUANG
Well this place is very simple and almost forgotten by tourists because of its simplicity. In short aside from a tower like-temple standing beside a huge tree, ther’s nothing more on this place. I have to include this in my list because going here feels so private since very few people go here despite its accessibility.
It is just located beside the road near to Thai Boat Musem and Wat mahathat. Vehicles are parking beside the street and sometimes covering this mini wat. It is a perfect area for photoshoot. (well you don’t have a choice but to take photo with the structure since it’s standing alone hahaha). If you have time, better check this area, calm, and peaceful. The huge tree gives shade also for a good stop over.
What I love: Very few people come to visit, you can own the place and take photos without thinking of others, only one standing temple;no headaches where to take photos, so shady which is good for a stop over rest.
What I don’t like: Not maintained area, may litters scatter on the ground, grasses around are quiet tall too. But in a positive aspect, grasses can give great touch in your photos.
In general, Ayutthaya is known for being an island of palaces and pagodas, canals and waterways like a Venice of the East, attracting tourists, adventurers, travelers, diplomats, merchants and others. Knowing this, you can explore the island’s cultural heritages, arts, and so many attractions like boat tours, elephant feeding, floating market and so many to mention.
No doubt, Ayutthaya is truly a UNESCO heritage. So? Never ever go to this ancient City without exploring its wonder and nature!
Do you have experience with this park or planning to visit? Talk to us! If you want us to feature your places and trips, email us! Pinoy the explorer will be happy to expose your adventures!