Bangkok to Ayutthaya Tour

Bangkok to Ayutthaya Day Tour.

An old city with a great Buddhism heritage is Ayutthaya north of Bangkok a history showcase of Thailand or as it was known before as Siam. It makes sense to visit the Bangkok National Museum before making the day tour to Ayutthaya because it will get you some background knowledge first.

Here is living Thai Buddhism and what is still to see from pagodas, monasteries plus art and other interesting remains. Today Ayutthaya is dominated by factories of Japanese companies such as Honda and other and they only make Consumer monuments such as cars.

The next best and somehow similar place in the country is Sukhothai. Somehow due to the vicinity to Bangkok Ayutthaya functions as a synthetic drug distribution center because almost every week the newspaper report that they found a a car courier with millions of synthetic drug pills from Myanmar. 

Amazing Ayutthaya

Travel in Thailand is usually not bad it won't matter if it is on the road-ferry a bus ride or using the aircraft everything works quite well, a third class tour with the railway is different. But on the other hand they can also do very good train trips as it clearly happens with the Airport link or the BTS, this are all trains too both have been built by German's Siemens. 

Third class train travel is just the right starter to get into the mood since it won't take more than one hour and half hour its no problem and as we know a place is found even in the smallest hut. 

Ayutthaya river and canals tours. 

This is interesting around the old city core which is built on an island in between three rivers. The city is not particularly big and most interesting is the island surrounded by three rivers as visible in the old map below.

ayutthaya river cruise

There is also a new part which is about ten minutes with the motorbike taxi and grouped around the grand square, that's the place to go in the evening. It also is interesting to visit one of the restaurants floating over the rivers that's in the old town but first step is almost always to book a Bangkok to Ayutthaya day tour via a travel agent or do it yourself by taking the bus at Morchit Bus Terminal or the train at Hua Lamphong Station in central Bangkok.

In general when you book a hotel try the river resorts it' somehow nice to open the window view the ships on the water, actually there is an amazing busy river ship traffic moving up and down north south. Sometimes the city is also named "Venice of the East" and indeed there are a couple of similarities but on a much lower scale and beauty. Although the time of origin built has similarities.

Pagoda ruins
Ayutthaya Map
Buddha statue at Ayuttaha

Ayutthaya temple pagoda and monastery ruins.

Other structures are still some in good conditions and continuously renovated which means there is a lot to see, on top of it there are some museums and so on if you are really interested it will keep you easily busy for a few days. 

Since there is also an active nightlife and excellent food available that is definitely a very interesting and educational destination. Just imagine the glittering roofs of the Buddhist monasteries shimmering gold leaves on the stupa (pagoda) and a great surrounding where people still can see the grandeur of the not so far away distance.

Buddhism in Thailand
The battle for Ayuttaha starts
History awareness
Buddha is watching

A trip by Train bus or a river cruise.

Road transportation to Ayutthaya is not easy to find, there are only a few vans (from Victory Monument) and bigger buses from the Mo Chit terminal and as usual, in Thailand, it is not clear at all where they actually start. 
An excellent option could be by ship but it needs to hire one, there is no regular river travel between this two cities, for more use a travel agent but they only do groups. Now, what is the best? 

Hua Lamphong Train Station  main hall Bangkok

Take the train it's also the fastest and best connected since the Bangkok MRT terminal is just underneath the Hua Lamphong rail station and connections are almost every half hour since Ayutthaya is right beside the tracks to the north means almost every train to the north passes the city.

Daytrip from Bangkok
Bang Pa In Station
Costs are almost nothing, only Baht 15,- in 3. class, that's the price of 2 cigarettes. The tour is an interesting experience by itself because it shows the living conditions of the people who are at the very low-income end. 
The Train Station Outside

The Train Station

After leaving the outskirts of the capital large tracts of paddy fields panorama open, people planting rice, some water buffalo are around and a continuous stream of traveling salesmen and women rush through selling food and drinks in the wagons.

The people sit very close and many must stand. They are totally ignorant to elderly, handicapped or even pregnant women or kids. I saw with my own eyes the Thai military guy of about 20 years in his uniform sitting there totally ignoring about 70-year-old women who could hardly stand, (about 2 meters from him) and had 2 kids with her, they just don't care.

Hit the Bangkok Train to the north

Women usually care better but guys almost never, most have a total wrong social and education. This extreme selfish and unsocial behaviors is one of the major problems in the country. 

I you have a bigger group, hire one of the river shipsthis are not some longtail boats, just real ships and they carry you anywhere on the river, somehow like houseboats dedicated to just what you want. 

Is not the newest coach
You can bring some more people with you at your convenience, maybe having fun with a dozen of Thai bar girls you met yesterday at Patpong or Soi Cowboy (no yoke).

But be careful because the agent who find the vessel for you will try to put a hefty commission on it which finally you pay, so have a look around for an owner directly, to find one here is no problem but from Bangkok to Ayutthaya it's difficult. Alternatively, you can book a place on a tour ship, they bring you there and back. If you like to book this in the capital ask the concierge of the hotel they know how to handle it and block cheating. 

Since the train journey finally ends up somewhere in northern Thailand there are plenty of people ready to make the long trip with huge luggage and food means it might be difficult to find a seat when traveling in the third class. 

But the real problem here is that the train moves through the capital on street level and since Thais are often ignorant to any traffics light it won't matter what color, they just stop their cars on the tracks at every crossing although there are road barriers and red lights. 
They just move in so the barrier cant be moved down. They have no benefits from because the gridlock prevents them from moving anyway, but they just ignore this because they are here and they think every one of them is the only individual in the universe, others are not existent.

Arrival at the hotel with river view

View from the hotel

Right behind the Ayutthaya train station are some hotels which are very convenient because they are built at the riverbanks and the main road to the new city is also only about 50 meters away. The day trip is only the first part of the journey and most of the tourists get off here.

Ayutthaya History Tour.

What to visit? Several museums famous monasteries pagodas and temples maybe rent a long-tail boat for a river / canal ride around. Since there are several large Japanese companies manufacturing in the vicinity (among them Honda Cars) there is even a substantial nightlife.

The Temples and monasteries are the main attractions and a river cruise on the canals around the old city should not be missed, its about one hour with a longtail boat and costs around Baht 500,-, which is reasonable, this cruise shows the laid back river life.

There are no bullock carts anymore, real rural county with oxcart etc. can be seen and experienced in neighboring Myanmar at Bagan. Actually the then Burmese army conquered and destroyed Ayutthaya in the 18. Century because of this the capital was moved to Bangkok which has a strategically better location.

Ruins of old Ayutthaya

Today the place is more or less divided into the old, which is on the island surrounded by rivers and new which is a few minutes away with the car or motorbike taxi. 

Ayutthaya's start up was around 1350 AD.

At that time Ayutthaya's trading increased with a higher density and the town became a trading hub between the north of Siam and the ocean which was much closer to the city than now. Goods where shipped from the north on three rivers, the Chao Phraya, Pasak and the Lopburi, they were stored and shipped again over sea, the seashore of the Gulf of Thailand was much further north as it is today.

Freight came even from China and Japan and goods were moved south on huge barges which were unloaded at the city which actually was built on an island encircled by the aforementioned rivers.

Ayutthaya River Tour

A Ayutthaya river cruise

It always needed a river cruise to the island which was different to the tours of today which are more culture oriented to temples and pagodas plus the historical park.

Goods traded where metals such as copper and tin, hardwood and other wood products, ivory, elephants and more. At that time there was a huge demand for elephants from India.

India absorbed most elephants from neighboring Burma and Thai elephants were moved from the city down to coast off Chumphon and traveled over the Isthmus of Kra to the Andaman Sea coast. The Isthmus of Kra is the narrowest piece of land between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. 

The buyers of these goods came from the Netherlands, England, France, Portugal and other countries. There is also some indication of busy trading since several ships sunk during storms in the straits of Malacca which were found in recent years off the coast of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Most of these sunken ships carried a load of Chinese and Thailand produced goods which were often ceramics and porcelain. Ceramics came from northern Thailand and silk, porcelain plus celadon from China.

There are plenty of industrial plants, hotels and other touristic and industrial infrastructure around the old city.

Behind the station

The railway station.

The railway station is conveniently located close the island and several hotels means no need to do a lot of walking. In the evening the best is to take a motorbike taxi and do the trip to the new town center with lots 

Elephant Tour

Ayutthaya Pictures

This stupas are part of the historical park with plenty of monuments and ruins. This old remains are real gigantic.
of restaurants and bars, some with bar girls plus massage, karaoke and more.

Here are Ayutthaya pictures on several subjects in larger format they offer a better view on what's going on in this ancient and also new city. Beside of being the capital of Thailand of rather Siam it is now one of the biggest industrial zone after Bangkok which is only around 100km to the south.

There are many Japanese factories producing a wide spectrum of goods, among them is the Honda car factory and many other. Because of this there are a lots of Japanese people in town and they are fueling a interesting nightlife with plenty of things to in the night.

A Bangkok Ayutthaya train ride is only about 2 hours and the right method to warm up.

The historical park is a very interesting showcase into the past with various monuments, pagodas,

Ayudhya temples, Buddha statues and more.

Bangkok to Ayutthaya

Bangkok Ayutthaya is probably the best daytrip out of the capital which is to the south. Take the underground or subway for the trip to Hua Lamphong train station.

From there a one hour shaky third class train ride brings the people to this ancient city to the north.

The train let you look into the living rooms of the people living along the track and opens a wide panorama over the vast tracks of of paddy fields which starts at the periphery of the capital.

Ayutthaya historical park

allows a glimpse in the glorious past of the old city at that time the city was one of the most famous for trade between Europe, Middle East and China plus Japan. Ayutthaya was very similar to Venice, brisk trading and built on a island, parts of Venice are also built on islands.

The fall of Ayutthaya came when the Burmese army conquered the place in 1767 and burned it down, destroyed temples and took most of the inhabitants as prisoners to Burma.

The Burmans were besieging the city for 14 month after the attack came, palace and temples were looted and partly destroyed.

They took one of the kings as prisoner to Bagan, the other king (there where 2 brothers who shared the throne) escaped and was found dead 10 days later.

Here historical perspectives are overwhelming

Bagan Myanmar can match

Bagan Burma Myanmar
Sukhothai is in a similar ligue
Sukhothai is similar

Not many destinations in Asia give a true glimpse into the about 800 years comfortable discovering within a day trip.

In Thailand it's Ayutthaya and further north at Lopburi and Sukhothai. Plus Bagan and Mrauk U in Myanmar and the temples of Angkor.