Ayutthaya – a must do on any Bangkok itinerary

After a heady Friday night in Bangkok, the best thing you can do is to head down to the historic city and UNESCO heritage site of Ayutthaya just 85km north of Bangkok.

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One of the many ancient Buddhist statues sitting against the walls of Wat Mahatat

Situated along the ever-so-important Chao Phraya River, this former capital and seat of the empire of Siam was founded in 1350 and once boasted of richly decorated giant towers and grand Buddhist monasteries before it was destroyed by the Burmese in the late 18th century. Though much smaller compared to Angkor Wat and Borobudur, Ayutthaya is no less significant. Its remains today continue to draw and awe archaeologists and tourists alike. Rows of Buddhist statues line the inner walls of the many wats where the Siamese people of old paid homage. Large monuments fill well-kept leafy foregrounds, leaving it to your imagination how magnificent Ayutthaya must have been during its glory days as the then key trading port city of the region.