Ayutthaya Thailand – Legends and Legacies

Ayutthaya was the capital of the Thai kingdom from the 14th to the 18th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Legend has it that the gilt decorations on Ayutthaya’s many temples reflected sunlight that could dazzle you from 3 miles away.

Today one can walk around the red brick ruins that are surrounded by wide grassy spaces and imagine the opulent grandeur of a bygone era. The three museums here provide all the relevant insight and information to help you create an image of what Ayutthaya was like in its heyday. This ancient city is located a mere 80km north ofBangkokand is perfect for a day trip from the modern capital.

On the way, it’s a good idea to visit the

Bang Pa-In summer palace

. You can walk around the landscaped gardens and appreciate the blend of Thai, Chinese and turn-of-the-century European architecture.

 Bang Pa-In summer palace

Once you arrive in Ayutthaya, there are a few must-see places. One stop that you must make is to see the reclining Buddha statue at

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon

. Although this is an ancient temple, it is still in use today. You can enjoy the formal gardens and saffron-draped Buddhas that feature in so many photographs of the region.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon

Another temple that is popular with visitors is

Wat Phra Mahathat

. Here you will see the famous image of a stone Buddha’s head entwined in bodhi tree roots.

Wat Phra Mahathat

Wat Phanan Choeng

is the oldest and most vibrant working temple in Ayutthaya. It houses an impressive Buddha image dating from 1324 that reaches a staggering height of 19 meters.After enjoying the atmospheric ruins of Ayutthaya, you can cruise down the Chao Phraya River back to Bangkok.There are several popular tour operators, but the most stylish option is to cruise in a converted teak rice barge where you can enjoy a night or two in plush surroundings.

Emma Flemming

As well as being a contributing writer for LuxeInACity, Emma is a teacher, freelance writer and has her own blog. She has four university degrees and qualifications in English, Psychology and Education. Over the years Emma has enjoyed travelling to and experiencing luxury in several countries. Apart from travelling and writing, her interests lie in art, yoga and trying out new dining hotspots. Emma lives in South Africa and when she is not writing, can be found scuba-diving in the Indian Ocean.