Thailand Trip: The Local Taste of Ayutthaya (1-Day Trip from Bangkok & Itinerary)

There are two things I always do when visiting Thailand: eat local food and temple-hopping! As Indonesian, I find Thai food matches my taste as it is quite similar to my home country cuisine. Also, do I need to explain to you that temples in Thailand are incredibly stunning? If you are into both of those things, then Ayutthaya is a city you can not miss.

Ayutthaya is a city in Thailand, located only 80 KMs north of the capital city Bangkok. It was the second capital city of Siamese Kingdom from 14th to 18th century (the first capital city is Sukhothai). Ayutthaya was full of beautiful palaces, temples, and monasteries.

Unfortunately in 1767, the Burmese (Myanmar) army attacked the city and burned Ayutthaya all to the ground. The city was abandoned then and never rebuilt. The Siamese Kingdom moved to a new place you know now as Bangkok.

Ayutthaya, you’re a beauty!

If you see any beautiful ruins with chedi-shaped made of red bricks on the internet, there is a big chance of it could be Ayutthaya. I love that it was very different than any other places I visited in Thailand before. The historical story is beyond. You couldn’t help but wonder how majestic the city was in its prime time when you explore the area.

Ruins of Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is very reachable from Bangkok, it will take you probably just an hour or two depending on the traffic. You can either take private or public transportation to go to here. If you have limited time in your trip, you can do a day-trip to from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, just like I did with TakeMeTour!

TakeMeTour is the largest online marketplace for local tours & activities in Thailand. But what makes TakeMeTour different than similar marketplace is they provide local expert to guide you! I find this very refreshing and unique, because no one can tell you the real stories and experience of a place better than the locals, right?

This is the Ayutthaya tour that I booked from TakeMeTour! Click to see the details!

TakeMeTour: Explore Ayutthaya Temples and Enjoy Home-Cooked Tom Yum Kung at Shrimp Farm

07.30 AM – PICK UP FROM HOTEL IN BANGKOK

My day in Ayutthaya started around 7.30 AM from my hostel in Khaosan area, Bangkok. Meet Mai, the local expert for our trip in Ayutthaya! She is the sweetest and the friendliest person, I will tell you more about her later. Promptly, Mai and the driver Lung Kai (Mai told me lung means uncle in Thai), drove us to Ayutthaya.

The journey took us only an hour by car. I found this very time efficient, because if you use the public bus it will take you around 2 hours and you have to go to Mo Chit bus station first.

Our car-drive from Bangkok to Ayutthaya!

08.30 AM – ARRIVE AT AYUTTHAYA & WAT PHANAN CHOENG

First stop is Wat Phanan Choeng. Wat Phanan Choeng is a Buddhist temple made in 1324 AD, even before the founding of Ayutthaya. Here you can find a 19 meter high seated Buddha. It is the biggest seated Buddha in Thailand and also very popular among both locals and tourists in Ayutthaya.

The entrance of Wat Phanan Choeng
The giant seated Buddha statue inside

All made by hands from hundred years ago!

Wat Phanan Choeng is one of few temples in Thailand with Chinese influence. In the area, lies a shrine made by the king for his bride, Chinese princess Lady Soi Dok Mak.

Chinese shrine dedicated for Princess Soi Dok Mak

Mai taught me how to do the Chinese fortune telling. I’ve seen people do it, now I can do it too! Yay!

09.30 AM- WAT YAI CHAIMONGKHON

Wat Yai Chaimongkhon is one of the landmarks of Ayutthaya: a chedi standing high covered with yellow fabric. It was built by the king to celebrate his winning against Burmese army (Myanmar), hence the name Wat Yai Chaiyamongkhon: The Great Temple of Auspicious Victory.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

It is the same chedi like in 50 Baht!
I went on weekend, so there was quite a lot of crowd that day
Go up to the principal chedi and you will find this inside!
Throw your coin and test your luck! My brother got his coin in, btw!
The Wat Yai Chaimongkhon complex

If you ever heard of the reclining Buddha statue in Ayutthaya, it is located also in the area of Wat Yai Chaimongkhon.

The reclining Buddha
Non-stop beautiful spot!!!
Hundreds of rooster statue!

10.30 – WAT MAHATHAT

One of my favorite visit in Ayutthaya!

Wat Mahathat used to be the royal temple of Ayutthaya Kingdom. After the Burmese attack years ago, it was severely damaged by fire and abandoned. Wat Mahathat then became a large site of ruins. The most popular spot is probably the Buddha head trapped in tree roots.

Beautiful ruins of Wat Mahathat

Notice the headless Buddha statue? It is said that when the Burmese conquered Ayutthaya, they chopped off all the Buddha statues’ head because it contained gold. They brought the gold to Yangon, Myanmar, and used them to build the famous Shweddagon Pagoda.

 

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I have new found love in Thailand and it's Ayutthaya! ❤️🇹🇭 . Ayutthaya used to be the capital city of Siamese kingdom from 14th to 18th century. It was full of beautiful palaces, temples, and monasteries. Until 1767, when the Burmese army (Myanmar) attacked the city and burned it all to the ground. The city was never rebuilt. the Siamese kingdom moved to a new capital city you know now as Bangkok. . The history is bittersweet, but the ancient city of Ayutthaya is indeed beautiful and nothing short of amazing. Ayutthaya is only an hour or two from Bangkok by car, so yes you can do a day-trip here! Just like I did with @takemetour_thailand guided by their local expert. Full blogpost of my Ayutthaya trip is coming up! 💻 . #LocalTableTH #AmazingThailand #OpentotheNewShades #TakeMeTour #Ayutthaya

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I never knew ruins can be this beautiful.

The famous Buddha head trapped in tree roots

 

12.00 – WAT SUAN LUANG SOPSAWAN

On our way from Wat Mahathat to Mai’s shrimp farm, we found this beautiful temple named Wat Suan Luang Sopsawan. We stopped for a while because I really wanted to take picture of this white chedi! So gorgeous with gold on the tip of it.

Wat Suan Luang Sopsawan is a temple dedicated for Queen Suriyothai. She is well-known for sacrificing herself in the battle between her husband King Maha Chakkraphat and the Burmese army.

13.00 – MAI’S SHRIMP FARM

We know that one of the best ways to learn about a country’s culture is through local food. For that reason, Tourism Authority of Thailand along with TakeMeTour is collaborating on a campaign to let you see Thailand through the eyes of the locals named LocalTable.

Get to know Thailand through its gastronomy!

Through LocalTable, you will get to experience the local gastronomy like no other: straight from local’s recommendation restaurant, or even from the local’s very own home! Like what I got in Mai’s family shrimp farm.

Mai’s shrimp farm was located a little outside of Ayutthaya, so it took some time to get to the farm. Fortunately the car ride was really comfy, I dozed off in the car on the way there! Hahaha. I couldn’t help but get a bit tired after exploring the temples.

Mai’s shrimp farm

At Mai’s shrimp farm, you can learn about the life of Thailand local shrimp farmers. In Indonesia we call this traditional method of shrimp farming as ‘tambak udang’. I’ve heard about ‘tambak udang’ all my life but never witness it myself, so this experience was actually my first time!

We got the shrimp!

Beautiful lotus pond
No, I wasn’t planning to jump LOL
The shrimps are stored in a mini pond
Look how big it is!

My brother and Mai. I was too scared to hold the shrimp lol

After showing us around her farm, Mai cooked us a meal with ingredients from her farm and garden. Let’s see the cooking process!

Cooking time!
Freshest ingredients

The signature tangy-ness of Thai food comes from the freshest lime
Some of the spices! Just in case you are curious
Tom Yum Kung is on its way!

Here’s the resuuuuult!

Tom Yum Kung! I love all the dishes but this one is my favorite!

I don’t know the name of the dish, but it is made out of fish! It is almost like ‘otak-otak’ in Indonesia but spicier and more tender
Grilled fish!

I gotta say Mai’s cooking skill is superb. She didn’t use any recipe, she just go with her guts! But the result? Amazing taste! This is what I called the real local homemade cuisine.

And it’s hereeeeee! The chef and the eater hehe.

16.00 – BIG BUDDHA and HELL-LAND

Before going back to Bangkok, Mai took us to visit Big Buddha statue near her farm. It was the biggest Buddha statue I’ve ever seen!

Near the Big Buddha, there was a unique place called Hell-Land. It is an rather strange area, I’ve never seen anything like this before. The place was full of disturbing, scary, and brutal sculptures. The whole area depicts of what is likely to happen in hell.

Welcome to the disturbing Hell-Land!

The intention of this place is well though. It is made to ‘remind’ people to do good in life, so they could avoid face these ‘things’ happen to them in hell.

16.30 – BACK TO BANGKOK

Then we went back to my hostel in Bangkok. FYI, Bangkok traffic could be bad around these hours, especially on weekdays. Again, I was grateful we were traveling by car so I slept the whole way back to Bangkok! Mai is too kind, she even provides scarf and neck pillow for us in the car so we’d be comfy the whole journey. We arrived at my hostel around 6 PM.

And that’s a wrap of our day trip in Ayutthaya! I had a fantastic day, and I think what makes me enjoy the trip the most is because I’m guided by the local. From Mai, I can get to know Ayutthaya from local’s perspective. Getting to know the local shrimp farm life, tasting the local culinary, they were all priceless experiences.

Thanks to Mai, I had a wonderful day in Ayutthaya!

My previous trip in Thailand, I was just roaming the city with the help of mighty Google in hands. It wasn’t bad, but let me tell you: guided by locals is THE BEST way to explore a city!

I will definitely book another experience through TakeMeTour next time I’m in Thailand! I’m eye-ing the Mango Sticky Rice Cooking Class just because I love mango sticky rice so much lol. How about you?

TIPS & TRICK

  • Most of the destinations in Ayutthaya are temples, so you have to follow the dress code. Wear something that covers your knees and shoulders
  • Some temples require you to take off your shoes when entering. Better wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on
  • All tickets are included in TakeMeTour, so no need to worry for extra expenses!
  • Ayutthaya could be really sunny and hot! That’s coming from me, an Indonesian! I think the best transportation to go around Ayutthaya is by car. You can use scooter, but prepare for the heat. Bicycle is a no-no for me unless you go early in the morning or after 3 PM

 

 

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