In February 2020, just on time before the explosion of the pandemic worldwide, I was in Thailand. I have visited Bangkok and some areas around, to go, then, for a few days in the famous island of Phuket.
It was my first, and last until now, trip to Asia, and so it was a totally new experience for me in all meanings.
I have to admit, Bangkok is not my cup of tea for several reasons, starting from the extreme dirt. However I loved visiting the temples and learning more about the culture and the belief over there.
Anyway, in this article I want to focus on a specific day of my journey.
Together with a few colleagues (it started as a work related trip) we went to Ayutthaya, the ancient city. Founded in 1350 it was an important centre of trade and diplomacy, unfortunately it was destroyed in the !8th century, and now we know it as the archaeological site close to Bangkok.
Ayutthaya is a Unesco world heritage site, and of course it is also protected by Thai law.
What can we see there?
Basically a lot of temples and Buddha statues of different periods and created with different materials too. Some are more impressive than others, but the full visit (or at least what you can get in one day) is worth every single minute. The most famous one is the Wat Mahathat Temple. It is definitely impressive to see the face of Buddha through the branches of a tree, even though I expected it to be bigger.
I liked in particular Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, you can climb the stairs (there are a lot so be prepared) and from the top admire the long lines of buddhas all around. Once we arrived, we had the luck to listen to a prayer of some buddhists, it was emotional.
Chedi Phukhao Thong is another high temple, the highest and it is located a little bit further than the rest of the complex. Once you climb it, you have a really amazing view of the city around you.
Other attractions are the Reclining Buddha statue, of about 40 metres, not the only one in the ancient city but the biggest. Also in Bangkok there is a temple with a huge reclining Buddha as well, the Ruins of the Temple complex.
Do not book a visit online, prices are ridiculously high!
How did we arrive in Ayutthaya and visit the area?
We have simply asked some info to the hotel which has informed us about public transportation to get there from Bangkok. Of course it depends where you are staying, the bus stop can be different. Anyway, after a bit of struggle (the english level is not that high in Thailand and people give you info even if they’re not certain because of the mentality. It is, in fact, not polite to say no and don’t help), we understood which bus we could take to get out of the city at the Mor Chit terminal at Kamphaang Phet 2 Road, and the bus driver, indicated us where to stop to get this other semi-public minivan which would have brought us to the ancient city. Once we got there we could rent a Tuk-tuk to bring us around the temples and, depending how much time available you have you can visit more temples with different prices.
For the admission ad the tour we paid about 200THB (more or less 5,91€) and in some temples, to visit the inside it was needed an extra fee of about 60THB (1,50€)
Is there a Dress code?
There is not exactly a dress code but you are required to be respectful. So bring something to cover your shoulder and if you wear shorts, make sure they are not too short. Also, don’t forget to bring with you some socks, in the temples you must go without shoes, and I am not a big fan of putting my bare feet on a non so clean floor.
These are rules for all the temples everywhere not only in the ancient city.
Have you ever visited Thailand and what is the palace you liked the most?
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