|Day Trip||Time||1-4 pax||5-8 pax|
|Ayutthaya / Day trip||8.00-17.00||3,500||3,800|
Have a ride on an elephant. Elephants are Thailand’s national symbol and Ayutthaya is home to many elephants that you can ride around the city’s sights. Mahouts (elephant keepers) will always be in tow so you won’t be expected to direct the animals around yourself. If an elephant ride leaves you wanting more, visit one of the city’s elephant camps where you can get up close and personal with these inspiring animals.
Bang Pa-in Palace
If you tire of seeing ruins and are looking for a little more modern regality, head to Bang Pa-in Palace, dating to the 17th century. Also known as the Summer Palace, this royal residence is one of the best-preserved compounds in the area. The buildings feature several architectural styles, including traditional Thai and Chinese structures, and there’s also Phra Thinang Utthayan Phumisathian – a two-story Victorian style mansion. Another interesting spot is Ho Witthunthassana, the three-story, tower-style building used for scoping out the countryside and watching for royal elephants.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
On the eastern outskirts of Ayutthaya stands the exceptionally interesting Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, its massive chedi rising from a square base surrounded by four smaller chedis. The wat, built in 1357 under King U Thong, was assigned to monks of a particularly strict order trained in Ceylon, members of which still live there. To find this wat, cross the Pasak River and take the Bangkok road, turning right about 300 m beyond the railway.
Immediately across the road from Wat Ratchaburana stands Wat Mahathat, which tradition claims King Ramesuen built in 1384. The central prang here is one of the old city’s most impressive edifices. In about 1625 the top portion broke off, being rebuilt in 1633 some 4 m higher than before. Later it collapsed again and only the corners survived. In 1956 a secret chamber was uncovered in the ruins; among the treasures found inside were gold jewelry, a gold casket containing a relic of the Buddha, and fine tableware.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the loveliest but also the most historically important temple in old Ayutthaya. Its three large chedis and numerous smaller ones make this wat – also known as the King’s Temple – one of the most impressive sights in the ruined city. Two of the large chedis, the eastern and central ones, were built in 1492 by King Rama Thibodi II to house the ashes of his father and elder brother. His own ashes are interred in the third chedi, built in 1530 by his son and royal successor, King Boromaraja IV.