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A Modern Tour of Ayutthaya Thailand: A 3-Day Historic Tour of a Bygone Era Frozen in a Timeless City

Posted by Ayer Chengtrakun on

Ayutthaya tour package

Day 1  Highlights:

  • Enjoy a picturesque trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
  • Have a welcome drink and meet your Tuk Tuk driver
  • Visit the famous Ayutthaya Historical Park
  • See the tree hiding the precious Buddha Head
  • Take in the view of the Reclining Buddha
  • Learn how to make the local street-food favorite- Roti Sai Mai
  • Have lunch at a  riverside cafe
  • Visit the Aranyik Knife Village and Talad Klang Pue  Kaset Tagon
  • Respectfully observe the rituals of the monks Wat Maheyong
  • Enjoy dinner at a local market
  • Relax at your hotel

Day 2 Highlights:

  • Visit Wat Khun Inthapramun,standing amongst rice fields
  • Learn about melon farming and harvesting
  • Try basket weaving from an expert
  • Visit an ancient but thriving market, Wiset Chai Chan Market
  • Enjoy a delicious local lunch
  • Observe or partake in an Intimate Buddhist ceremony
  • Be introduced to drum making at Tambon Ekkarat Village
  • See the many unique dolls at Ban Bang Sadet Court Doll Centre
  • Enjoy cocktails and food at a river restaurant

Day 3 Highlights:

  • Enjoy a magical temple tour by boat- stopping at  various sites along the river.
  • See various UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • See the intricate craftsmanship at the Srijaroen Boat dockyard
  • Enjoy a mouth-watering lunch
  • Say goodbye to Ayutthaya with a final Temple Visit

As the morning dawns, a soft mist rises from a sleeping city, like a veil pulled back to reveal the past.The first glow of sunrise touches the large river winding through the ancient city, revealing streets already bustling with hungry locals buying Pad Kra Pow, boiled eggs and steamed matcha buns from never-sleeping food vendors. Suddenly, as the last licks of mist drifts away, you shift your gaze from the locals to the ancient giants revealed by the glow of the morning sun. You suddenly realize that you are surrounded by giant temples-relics left standing from an era long ago. It is like history has been frozen in time, and modern life has just flourished around it.

Ayutthaya might just be an hours idyllic train ride from Bangkok, but the nostalgic reach that this city has, figuratively separates them by decades. This is Ayutthaya Thailand, home to various UNESCO World Heritage sites, surrounded by glorious temples, rice-fields and flowering bougainvillea. A city in which modern Thai culture lives seamlessly next to the romance of the ancient  Siam era- and now you are about to  explore the ancient city by tuk tuk, on foot and by boat.

Day 1 : Experiencing The Romance of Ancient Ayutthaya by Tuk Tuk

Your tour truly starts in Bangkok, because the trip to Ayutthaya,whether by boat or train, takes you through the beautiful countryside, shedding the noise and bustle of city life as the rice fields, and little villages roll past.

Ayutthaya is known for its classic train station, and thus we recommend a trip by train at least once- either to start your trip or to end it.

A warm welcome drink will be enjoyed as you arrive in the city and then your tuk tuk tour starts with the most well known historic site- Ayutthaya Historical Park. A 289 ha Island park made up of beautiful prang and buddhist monasteries, surrounded by 3 large rivers. Evidence of the former capital's splendor lies in the remnants of its former glory, showcasing a mixture of artistic styles and traditional architecture. The fact that the mural paintings, architecture and designs of the temples drew on Thai traditions, while still incorporating artistic influence from China, Japan, India and Persia,made this city a diplomatic favorite,but also an artistic gem.

Perhaps the most talked about and photographed relic in the park, is the Buddha Head in the tree, found on the shady, lush grounds of Wat Maha That. This famed Buddha relic can be found within the trunk of an old tree. It is such a curious sight, as if time is trying  to engulf the resisting buddha, pulling it back in time.

As the tuk tuk continues to transport you through the temple-lined streets, and majestic elephants slowly graze past modern traffic, you will be shown the reclining buddha at Wat Lokayasutharam. Covered in traditional buddhist orange, this giant buddha seems to grow in size as  you approach, sleeping amongst ruins and fallen relics.  Viewing architectural and religious masterpieces from a former time, has a serene beauty due to  the paintbrush of time, and the stained colours and markings of each statue, prang and stupa, makes them unique and gloriously mesmerizing.

By now you would have noticed various food stalls during the first part of your tuk tuk tour. Perhaps you wondered why certain stalls saw long lines of locals and rich city folk lined up, eagerly waiting for some kind of delight. See, Ayutthaya is not only known for its architectural wonders, but also for this sweet and colorful delight, called “Roti Sai Mai.” A paper thin green, pink, purple, or brown pancake stuffed with wispy, colorful strands of sugar, likened to a textured cotton candy. These traditional desserts are sold in car fulls, as people from Bangkok and surrounding areas drive out simply because this city has the best Roti Sai Mai in Thailand. Before lunch, you will learn to make and sample your very own, a cooking and taste delight that you will never forget, or experience elsewhere.

As you enjoy lunch at one of the lovely riverside cafe’s, you can enjoy the view of barges and riverboats lazily floating between temples and heritage sites. You might see local families teach their boys to fish, or see an elderly gentleman resting in his hammock across the river from you. The river is like a bloodline for this city and most other Thai cities, and thus is always  filled with local activity.

After visiting two local markets, namely the Aranyik Knife Village and the Fisherman's Market famously known by the name Talad Klang Pue Kaset Tagon, you will be escorted to Wat Maheyong to observe the peaceful meditation sessions of the Wat’s monks. Every temple in Ayutthaya will reflect peace and stillness, however, this temple is specifically tranquil because it is a favorite amongst monks who want to learn more about meditation. As the red brick walls of the ordination hall welcome you in, there might be a cool breeze blowing, adding to the calm and beauty of the temple and the Buddhist rituals you have the privilege to observe.

Before heading to your hotel, you will have the chance to visit the local market for dinner. This bustling market is located in the center of Ayutthaya and though it is smaller than some of the large markets found in Thailand, it is truly local, with teachers, and other members of the small countryside city can be found buying dinner here every night. You will be shown to a little noodle shop for dinner, and then feel free to enjoy dessert at the market-it has wonderful varieties of foods and snacks and sweet things. Look for the Korean-chicken stall to enjoy some sweet and sour delights, or the sweet potatoes and bananas wrapped in foil, slowly baking to perfection on the hot coals.

Enjoy the rest of your evening winding down at your hotel, and let the chants of local temples, and the stunning flying-foxes entertain you during the early evening hours before your first slumber in the city of ruins.

Day 2 : Exploring Unique Heritage Projects in Ayutthaya’s Countryside

You will find that waking in the ancient city of Ayutthaya is quite special, as the morning brings the sounds of birds singing in the many riverside trees, and the beauty of sunrise is just different when glowing on historical relics. So whether you wake in full view of temple ruins from your suite at Sala Ayutthaya, or from a peaceful night’s sleep at Woraburi or Kantary, you will feel like you have woken in a lost city.

Day 2 is filled with activities which appreciate the local crafts of this ancient city. First you will lose yourself at Wat Khun Inthapramun, a countryside temple surrounded by rice fields. This temple is also the resting place of the longest reclining Buddha in Thailand, which makes this visit even more unique.

Next you will journey to a melon farm in Ayutthaya countryside. The Ayutthaya countryside is surprisingly beautiful, and you will see shades of pink, orange and white because of the bougainvillea that bloom so freely on crumbling walls. Depending on the season, trees hanging heavy with yellow and pink flowers shower their colours onto the roads, and in between the natural splendor the local life flourishes. Grandmothers are seen racing around on their scooters, and school children buy snacks from street-side vendors. Your journey to the melon farm will be a  magical experience, and if you keep your eyes open, you will collect little memories to take with you forever.

The melon farm industry is relatively new in Ayutthaya, as many former rice farmers switch to growing this sweet fruit instead. Here you will learn about the process of melon farming, from field to table, and hopefully sample some of the nectar-like fruit in the process. Nothing quite matches the experience of tasting sweet melon on a heated Thailand day, and this visit and tasting experience will be perfect during the late morning heat.

Next you will try your hand at basket weaving. If you have had the pleasure of exploring a bit of Thailand before this tour, you will have seen many stunningly intricate basket designs sold at markets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. So have a seat and let the expertly practiced hand of a local weaver teach you a skill as old as the mountains, and then try it yourself.

Before lunch you will walk around the Wiset Chai Chan Market, a market older than the eclectic city of Bangkok. This Thai-Chinese market is filled with symbols of both cultures, and vendors love displaying this culture mix by wearing clothes and accessories that highlight both.

Walking and tasting is the name of the game, as this market has many Chinese cultural dishes, such as century eggs and various Chinese pastries next to traditional Thai desserts. At this market, various traditional Buddhist donation buckets are sold. If you wish to present one at the temple the next day, you  are welcome to purchase one here.

After lunch  you will experience an intimate Buddhist monk ceremony. In the modern world, rituals are fading away between the rush technology causes and busy schedules. As humans we often forget what peace and stillness such practices bring, making this moment of quiet observance, blissful and replenishing.

Once you have basqued in the stillness of the monks’ presence, you will be taken to a very unique village, referred to as the Tambon Ekkarat drum-making village. The tradition of passing along a carefully crafted skills set from one generation to the next, allows ancient arts and techniques to be revived in modern times. The passion that drives excellence is very evident in the reviews written about this unique village and its beautiful drums.

Keeping to the theme of craftsmanship, the next stop will be the Ban Bang Sadet Court Doll Center. Housing various beautifully designed court dolls and Thai sculptures, is a traditional high-raised Thai house. The purpose of this Court Doll house is to provide income to the local villagers, as commissioned and implemented by the Queen, in 1976. This visit will show you how these intricate clay dolls are made and if you have not bought a souvenir yet, this will be a perfect choice. The experience is one of colour and culture as all designs are based on the beauty of traditional Thai designs.

To end this perfect day you will return to the river for sunset cocktails and delicious food at a specially selected restaurant.

Day 3 : Gliding Through Ayutthaya From Monastery to Royal Temples

One of the most romantic elements of ancient Ayutthaya is how the 3 rivers slowly snake throughout the city’s temples, gently curving along banks upholding ruins and reflecting the beautiful golds and whites of the more modern monasteries. On most days the endlessly blue skies of Ayutthaya adds to the magic of this reflection.Therefore a guided river-temple-tour is a “must do” on the last day of this tour.

Situated on the banks of the river Mueang (Khlong Mueang), this beautiful temple with its Khmer-style prang has an active monastery hidden behind the historic temple buildings. The prang displays intricate details and the faded shadow-like colours of the walls and chedis add to the mystery of the temple's origins. The ordination hall is an enchanting site in itself, and its walls are adorned with ancient paintings depicting various Buddhist legends. During your visit you will walk to the active monastery on the same grounds and if you wish to, present the donation bucket to the gracious monks who care for these beautiful grounds.

Your day will also include visits to Wat Klang Bang Phra, constructed during 1630. Once back on the boat you will glide down the river to the royal temple Wat Chaiwatthanaram, a temple of Angkorean-style, built by the King Prasat Thong in honour of his mother. This temple is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and for good reason. There are very few visual pleasures as breathtaking as the sight of  this large temple, standing confidently rising up from the river bank as your boat approaches.

Due to the isolated location of this ancient temple, and its red clay-like colour,it feels like you have left modern times and have traveled  to another era. What adds to this feeling is the many beautiful locals who dress in traditional Thai clothes in order to wander through the gardens and open hallways of this temple. This location is truly remarkable and your guide will fill in the gaps where your history knowledge evades you, painting a picture of the bygone era of riches, splendor and enchanting beauty.

Taking a quick break from the temple-themed tour, you will visit the Srijaroen Boat dockyard. As much as temples form part of Thai history, so do traditional boats, and even during the modern era, a long boat expertly handled by a local Thai man or woman, is a certain marker of Thai Culture. Thus, appreciating the skill of crafting and repairing these slim, agile boats is one every visitor to Thailand should have.

After a last delicious lunch, you will say farewell by way of your last temple visit- Wat Niwet Thamma Prawat. Beautiful yellow walls laced with white, and a hall allowing filtered light through its colourful stained-glass window, this temple is unlike the traditional temples in Ayutthaya, due to its resemblance to catholic architecture. A nod to western-style, this last visit unites two different cultures, by tying together only the most beautiful elements of both. A perfect ending to your 3 days Ayutthaya tour, setting you up for your return to Bangkok.

What To Expect from this Tour of Ayutthaya

As with all of our tours, customization is a high priority for us, as no tour should be the same. We want to provide a service and experience that reflects who you are and what you will enjoy, without deflecting from the Thai-Cultural experience. Thus we hope you will feel free to discuss your tour with us and that you will trust our knowledge and guidance as we set together your dream tour.

This tour will provide three hotel options, which include the river-side  Sala boutique Hotel, the famous Kantary hotel or the classic Woraburi Resort and Spa.

We also provide an expert guide with both fluent English and German speaking ability. We know how insightful the right guides are and we are proud to present the highest standard of professionalism and knowledge.

If We Like It, You Will Love It

We are passionate about creating your perfect tour, so send us a message so we can help you experience Thailand in the most unique way- your way.

If you enjoyed this tour, please tag your photos using the hashtag- we would love to join in your experience in a visual way.

Need some more travel inspo, or want to add to your trip? Take a look at our Cultural Heritage tour which explores the nuances of Thai culture through elements such as a hot-air balloon ride over rice-fields and a visit to the Long-Neck Tribes of Chiang Mai.

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