If you are located in Central Thailand and want to plan a relaxing weekend getaway, you should place a visit to the city of Ayutthaya at the top of your bucket list. Ayutthaya is located on an island, approximately an hour north of Bangkok. This city encompasses true history. Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was once the prosperous capital of the Kingdom of Siam, before it was moved to Bangkok in 1767. It is home to the Ayutthaya Historical Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), which contains ancient ruins, palaces, Buddhist temples, and more!
When I visited Ayutthaya, I stayed in the Pratu Chai subdistrict. I spent the weekend at a small hotel, which amazingly had bicycles for the guests to use for free. Ayutthaya is a fairly small city and it isn’t difficult to get around. However, I found the location I chose to stay at to be extra convenient. Every attraction I wanted to visit was a short bike ride or walk away. I spent the weekend temple hopping - from Wat Phra Si Sanphet, to the subdistrict of Tha Wasukri, then Wat Phra Ram, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, and so on.
One of my favorite sites in Ayutthaya is Wat Maha That - home of the Buddha head embedded in a Banyan tree. Another must-see site is Phra Buddha Sai Yat (Reclining Buddha Sai Yat). The cool thing about this one is that it is “open 24-hours.” There are no actual temples or buildings at this site, as the statue is located on open land. Although, there are other statues to visit located in the same area. Reclining Buddha Sai Yat was located a short 5-minute bike ride away from my hotel. I woke up early on Saturday morning, hopped on my bicycle at 6:30am and rode over to the Reclining Buddha just in time to catch the sunrise. It was so peaceful. I would highly recommend a visit to this magical city to any traveler.