Founded around 1350, Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Throughout the centuries, the ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia and even the world. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. Many international merchants set sail for Ayutthaya, from diverse regions as the Arab world, China, India, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands and France. Merchants from Europe proclaimed Ayutthaya as the finest city they had ever seen. Dutch and French maps of the city show grandeur with gold-laden palaces, large ceremonies and a huge float of trading vessels from all over the world. All this came to a quick end when the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya in 1767 and almost completely burnt the city down to the ground.
I would say, the above explanation about Ayutthaya is enough to make sure people don’t miss out when they visit Bangkok.
And it’s an easy day trip. There couple of ways to get to Ayutthaya, taxi (about 900bath), mini van from the Mo Chit bus terminal (60bath pp, about 1,5 hour), or via train (free early morning, but else 15bath for foreigners).
In our case we took the minivan at 8.30am and train back in the evening, but many people do the other way around as it allows you to arrive early and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery from the train.
Once in Ayutthaya, our recommendation is to rent a motorbike (250bath/day, inclusive full tank of petrol) as some of the sites are quite far apart.
As with any Thai city, there are plenty of spots to eat, we had some amazing street food, found a good coffee, and enjoyed many amazing sites.
Last advice – take sunscreen and a hat – as when the sun comes out it can be quite warm !