Head about 86km north of the bustling capital bangkok and you will reach Phra Nakhon Si Ayuthaya - Sacred City of Ayodhya. Between 1350 and 1767 Ayuthaya served as the capital of royal Siam. For over 400 years this was the base of royal power.
Ayuthaya is a great place to escape to from the bustle of Bangkok. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting many visitors who wish to explore the many historic temples (wats) that are scattered throughout the city. It is possible to visit some of the more central Wats on foot - Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mongkhon, Wat Ratburana, Wat Phra Mahathat. Other options are to hire a bicyle or a tuk tuk. If walking or cycling it is a good idea to avoid doing so during the hottest part of the day! Some ruins lie further afield and it is possible to take a long-tail boat along the river to see these. At some of the Wats an admission charge is payable, usually 20-30B.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Ayuthaya Historical Park was the main reason for my visit. The condition of the ruins varies and some are more picturesque than others. Wat Mongkhon Bophit boasts one of the countries largest Buddha images, cast from bronze in the 15th century. Wat Phra Mahathat is a 14th century example. The prang ( Khmer style tower) stands impressively amidst the ruins.
What's really great:
Wat Mongkhon Bophit
It is a good escape from Bangkok and can be visited in a day - lots of walking or hire a bicycle.
Wat Suram Dararam
Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Phra Mahathat and Wat Ratburana
Outside Wat Phanan Choeng
I only made a day visit to take in the wats so i can't make any recommendations!
Again only visited to see the wats. Best to check them out in Lonely Planet!
Wat Ratburana - i think!
Wat - under construction. More to follow..................................