W/ Canary Travel Thailand
I’ve spent a lot of time in Bangkok over the years. Mostly buzzed by this city’s controlled chaos and the comforting balance of Asian and Western elements. It is one place, for me anyway, that is difficult to leave. Most backpackers, tend to explore the crazy parts of town, Khao San Road, Soi Cowboy and everything else in between. Unless you’re living here or visiting on business, Bangkok is typically used as a place to have a few nights out, and is the port that you begin or end your travels.
However, Bangkok has some great nearby cities and towns to visit also within 2-3 hours. Hua Hin is a popular seaside town, relaxed and pleasant. Kanchanaburi is a peaceful, waterfall-rich town that is also popular for a couple days of relaxation. Ayutthaya however, is a historical and cultural kingdom, with incredible ruins, centuries old still scattered around its city centre and environs.
After being picked up at a bright and early time of 7:15am, a mini bus will eventually collect you and take you to Ayutthaya. With traffic, it will take approximately 2.5 hours. Our guide, Rin was managing three different buses of 45 people in total. She was extremely helpful and very enthusiastic to make sure we were all ready and listening to the itinerary.
Wat Yaichainongkol – 9:30am – 10:15 (45 mins)
Our first temples of the day were quite varied. It’s possible to wander off into the surrounding gardens, for some quiet time, or head up for some scenic temple views. The place is a bit of a maze, including many shrines and is one of the more interesting mazes of the day.
Wat Mahathat – 10:30am – 11:10am (40 mins)
Second set of temples of the day allowed us to roam for 40 minutes. Right in the centre of Ayutthaya, temples were still standing, destroyed and with many of the buddha’s heads cut off. Situated on flat green grass, there is plenty of space to peruse with little shade. We also got to see the Buddha head in the tree roots here. I had to get in quickly to beat the crowds for this picture, the tourists seem to love it!
Wat lo ka ya sutha – 11:30am – 11:45am (15 mins)
15 minutes is long enough, as these ruins are fairly small. With a reclining buddha as the entrance, all that is left is one erected temple with merely grounded ruins surrounding.
Wat phukhao thong – (11:55am – 12:20pm) (25 mins)
Last before lunch, this Chedi temple is all there is to see. As you wander around its circumference you really get an ideal of the size of this structure. Phukhao Thong was under renovation when I visited, so a quick lap was enough here.
Lunch is included and boasted the following menu. To our delight, there was fresh fruit available also. Drinks had to be bought yourself. WIFI and toilets were available.
- Kai pad preaw wan (Chicken sweet and sour)
- Khai jreaw omelets (Egg omelet)
- Pad pak ruam mit (friend vegetables)
Viharn phra mong kolborphit + Wat phra si san phet (1:00pm – 2:00pm)
Before we were free to roam, we arrived here and were told of our time limit we had. Unfortunately, there were elephants nearby and it was possible to ride them. Not one of our group took this opportunity, as word spreads about how riding elephants is a cruel activity. I made this aware that there are campaigns against elephant ridings, especially with travel companies in the western such as Intrepid Travel. These temples were the most impressive. Spread out on an island separated by river waters, there are many to view with your eyes and lens that will capture the imagination.
Bang pa-in summer palace (3:00pm – 4:00pm)
The final visit of the day in Ayutthaya was to the Summer Palace. This huge mark of land, is for the monarchs to come and enjoy time away from their duties and the craziness of Bangkok. The area doesn’t just hold one palace, but many, all immaculately kept. The land itself is perfect, with lakes, clean paths and walkways. Entering you instantly feel away from the noises of the outside world. The dress code must be adhered too, shoulders and knees must be covered. You can hire elephant pants as you enter if completely necessary. I managed to walk to many of the more important temples, including the house where the royals stay and the statue of the late king. You can even hire a cart to get yourself around for an extra 400baht! We had one hour here before we set off back to Bangkok, arriving at Khao San at 6pm.
- Ayutthaya is a place with barely no shade, so when the heat is on here, it can get extremely hot.
- Bring SPF, a hat, shades and plenty of water.
- Make sure you’re camera, Ayutthaya is a photographers heaven!
- I would recommend wearing trainer shoes than flip flops, because you can still climb the ruins that may require better footwear.
- Read the captions! Each temple is unique and has its own story.
Canary Travel Thailand is situated on Thani Road, next to Rambuttri Road and two over from Khao San Road.
Canary have over 30,000 Facebook likes and have been a reputable travel agency for a long time in Bangkok.
In addition to trips to Ayutthaya, Canary provide also provide other day trips in and around Bangkok. These include Muay Thai and the Floating Markets. They also provide transport to the Thai islands and to Thailand’s rich north. If you are looking for a visa, for example Myanmar or Vietnam, they can arrange this too.