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Ayutthaya: The Ancient Capital of Siam

If you love history and culture, you'll love Ayutthaya, the ancient city of Siam. You can find everything you need to plan your trip at You Know, the ultimate guide to the land of smiles. Whether you're looking for cosy hotels, transportation here as well as what to do. Discover the amazing heritage of Thailand!

Do not come between January & May,
Agricultural burning makes the area hard to see, also the air quality is extremely hazardous.



Ayutthaya was a historic city and kingdom in Thailand that existed from 1350 to 1767. It was the capital of Siam for about 400 years and one of the great powers of Asia. It was founded by King Ramadhipati. Ayutthaya was a cultural and economic centre that had trade relations with China, India, Persia, and Europe. It was also a religious hub that had hundreds of temples and palaces. However, Ayutthaya was destroyed by Burmese invasions in the mid-18th century, leaving behind ruins that are now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Ayutthaya is famous for its many temples, which are the main attractions for visitors. Not regular temples but ancient ruins that tell the history and culture of this former capital of Thailand. You can admire the architecture, the sculptures, and the atmosphere of these sacred sites.

Here are some of the main ones to visit:

Wat Maha That

One of the most amazing sights in Wat Maha That is a Buddha's head entwined with a tree's roots. How did it get there? No one really knows. Some people think that the tree grew around the Buddha's head after the temple was sacked. Others think that a thief hid it there in the early 20th century when the temple fell apart and looters came looking for treasures. Maybe the thief forgot about it or couldn't retrieve it. If you want to snap a photo with it, you have to kneel down to its level. Standing above the Buddha's head is considered rude. The temple dated back to the 14th century.


Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchaburana is a historic temple that dates back to 1424 when King Borommarachathirat II built it to honour his two brothers who died in a fight over who would be the next king. The temple has a secret underground chamber that was once filled with gold statues and other treasures, but most of them were stolen in 1957 by some greedy robbers. Only a few of the stolen items were found and are now displayed in a museum near the temple. Later, archaeologists dug up more amazing Buddha figures from the chamber which are safely stored.


Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a stunning and majestic temple in Ayutthaya, built in 1603 by King Prasat Thong to honour his mother's home on the riverbank of Chao Phraya. This temple stands out among the other Ayutthaya temples for its Khmer-style architecture. Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a sacred place where the main prang is said to contain relics of the Buddha.


Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Phra Si Sanphet is a sacred temple in Thailand that dates back to the 14th century. It was built by King Ramathibodi I, the founder of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, and expanded by his grandson King Ramathibodi II, who added three large stupas to enshrine the ashes of his father and brother. The temple was the largest and most important in Ayutthaya and served as a royal chapel and palace. The three stupas, which are the distinctive feature of the temple, were severely damaged by the Burmese invasion in 1767, but have been partially restored and remain a symbol of the ancient glory of Ayutthaya.


Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

One of the most remarkable sights in Ayutthaya is the temple of Wat Lokayasutharam, which was founded by King U-Thong in 1357. The temple is famous for its enormous reclining Buddha statue called Phra Buddha Saiyart, which measures 7 meters in height and 37 meters in length. Some superstitious visitors believe that placing a coin on the feet of the Buddha will bring them good fortune and blessings. A visit to this temple is a must for anyone who wants to experience the beauty and tranquillity of Ayutthaya's ancient temples.


Baan Hollanda

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Japanese were among Ayutthaya's most active foreign traders. They established their settlements and trading posts along the Chao Phraya River, where they built warehouses, factories, churches, and residences. 

Baan Hollanda Information Centre showcases the history and culture of the Dutch community in Ayutthaya.

This museum glimpses into Ayutthaya's rich and diverse heritage and the economic and diplomatic relations between Siam and its foreign partners.


Japanese Village

Japanese village supplied samurai mercenaries to the kingdom.  The village now has two buildings that show how these two countries were connected in the past. You can watch a video and see an exhibition about their relations in the first building. You can also learn about Okyasenaphimuk, a Japanese man who became important in Ayutthaya, and Thao Thong Kip Ma, a woman who was famous for making desserts and is called the Maestro of Thai Desserts, in the second building. And don't forget to check out the Japanese garden by the river. It's a nice place to relax and enjoy the scenery.


The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum exhibits artefacts from the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya. The museum was established in 1961 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who donated the land and funds for its construction. The museum houses a collection of gold, bronze, and stone Buddha images, as well as jewellery, pottery, coins, and other relics from the Ayutthaya period. The museum also displays some of the treasures recovered from the crypts of Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Mahathat, which were looted by treasure hunters in 1957. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on Mondays, Tuesdays, and national holidays.

Ayutthaya is renowned for King River Prawns, which can be found along U-Thong Road.


You can also try the local delicacy of Khao Tom Pla, a fish paste mixed with herbs and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. This traditional Ayutthaya dish is available at many street food stalls and local restaurants.


Also, you must not miss trying the sweet and colourful roti sai mai, which is candy floss wrapped in thin pancakes.

Also! The savoury boat noodles soup with meat and herbs

and the sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes is known as khao lam!


 Ayutthaya is a city that is rich in history, culture, and gastronomy. Whether you are looking for traditional Thai cuisine, international dishes, or street food, you will find many great places to eat in Ayutthaya, including various restaurants, cafes, markets, and stalls throughout the city. If you are a pub-goer, I recommend the Brown Ale Pub, which serves high-quality burgers.

Seafood Dish

AYUTTHAYA: Thailand’s Rich Historical Heritage. Temples, Trade, Hotels, and Local Eats! 🏯🍜


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There are many ways to get public transport to Ayutthaya from Bangkok, including:

Train - There are frequent trains departing from Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport and Hua Lamphong Station to Ayutthaya Station, which take approximately 1-2 hours depending on the type of train.

Bus - Buses depart from Ban Phan Thom, Phra Nakhon in Bangkok to Ayutthaya. The journey takes around 1-2 hours depending on traffic.

Minivan - Minivans take around 1 hour to reach Ayutthaya.

Taxi or private car - Taxi or private cars can be hired for a more comfortable and convenient journey but can be more expensive than the other options.

To explore your choices and book your tickets online, simply use the Asian Public Transport link below.

Taxis from airport


Ayutthaya City: This is the main area where you'll find most of the historical attractions, such as the temples and ruins. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops in this area.

Riverside: If you prefer a more scenic and peaceful setting, staying along the river is a great option. There are many guesthouses and hotels along the riverbank that offer stunning views of the water.

Leaf Pattern Design

Looking for a unique way to experience Ayutthaya? Consider checking out the short-term rentals available in this historic city. Traditional Thai houses are available.

By staying in a short-term rental, you'll get the chance to live like a local and immerse yourself in the culture of Ayutthaya. This is a great opportunity to make your visit to Ayutthaya even more memorable. Use the form below to explore the short-term rental options available.


In Ayutthaya, most tours involve visiting the historic sites and some also include the floating market. These are typically one-day tours, so be prepared for the extreme heat.

Deep jungles of North Thailand


Lop Buri

Nakhon Sawan - Bang Mun Nak



Lampang - Chao Son

Chiang Mai

Driving option: Khao Yai

If you are looking for a memorable and enriching travel experience, you might want to consider customising your own tour to the north of Thailand. This tour will take you on a fascinating journey through the historical and natural wonders of central Thailand, before ending in the lively city of Chiang Mai.

You will begin your tour in Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam, where you will marvel at the ancient ruins of temples, palaces, and monasteries that testify to the glory of the past. Then, you will travel to Lop Buri, a city with a unique Khmer-style temple and monkeys that live among the locals.

From Lop Buri, you will head to Nakhon Sawan and visit Bang Mun Nak, a town that preserves the traditional wooden architecture and culture of Thailand. You will enjoy the authentic Thai cuisine and hospitality as you explore this quaint town.

Your next destination is Phitsanulok, the birthplace of King Naresuan the Great, one of the most revered monarchs in Thai history. You will visit Wat Maha That, a temple that houses one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. Then, you will continue to Sukhothai, the first kingdom of Siam, where you will admire the beautiful ruins of the Sukhothai Historical Park.

After Sukhothai, you will visit Lampang, a town known for its exquisite ceramics and rich heritage. You will learn about the history and culture of this region and see how the locals make their pottery.

Your tour will conclude in Chiang Mai, the cultural capital of northern Thailand. You will explore the vibrant city and its historic temples, as well as enjoy the nightlife and shopping options.

This tour is a perfect way to experience the diversity and beauty of central and northern Thailand. You will discover the amazing history, culture, and nature of this region and create unforgettable memories.


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