Experience the heart and soul of Thailand while visiting Ayutthaya, the former capital of the nation. Founded in 1350, this once thriving central of the country now consists of ancient ruins and temples. Recognized by UNESCO, as an international historical site, this ancient city has become a treasure for the world to enjoy.
Whether you stay here for a week or a weekend, Ayutthaya promises you a memorable experience of an authentic Thailand. Nestled in the valley of the Chao Phraya River, Ayutthaya offers couples a taste of charmed, rural life. With a mellow vibe and pleasant locals, Ayutthaya is a must for travelers who want to relax after visiting the bustling city of Bangkok. Couples can explore massive monasteries, or get alone time in a cozy bed & breakfast.
Animal lovers can even get the unique experience of visiting an elephant conservation camp where these gentle giants revered in Thai culture walk, play and even paint! Couples can ride them through the jungle for a truly unforgettable honeymoon experience. With the spirit of “Old Thailand” still strong and rushing through every sun-soaked day, Ayutthaya is a honeymoon destination that brings couples back to simpler times…it’s a sweet return to the basics of romance with a couple’s romantic getaway to Ayutthaya.
- WAT PHRA SI SANPHET: Located in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, this national historic site was once a monastery. The site is a testament to Thailand’s deep roots in Buddhism. The three main stupas hold the remains of Thai royals. The Temple of the Emerald in Bangkok was modeled after the Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. Today, it has been partially restored to its former glory, preserving a portion of Thailand’s ancient history. The ruins of the site leave much to be discovered by visitors. Audio guides are available for history buffs that want to learn more about the rise and fall of Ayutthaya. This is a great place for photo ops!
- VIHARN PHRA MONGOL BOPIT: This temple was originally built in 1670 but after a fire, it was rebuilt during the 20th century. Today it holds a massive golden Buddha statue that makes the location a tourist hot spot for non-religious travelers and spiritual devotees alike.
- WAT PHRA SI RATTANA MAHATHAT (WAT YAI): This picturesque Buddhist temple sits alongside the Nan River. Its holds Phra Buddha Chinnerat, a golden sculpture heralded as one of the most beautiful depictions of the Buddha in the world. The Buddha Chinnarat National Museum, located within the temple’s grounds, houses an array of Sukhothai period art. Festivals often take place in the surrounding area, making it a hub for cultural gatherings.
- PHRA CHEDI SURIYOTHAI: The tragic yet romantic story behind this ancient relic will only make you appreciate the monument all the more. It was built in honor of Queen Suriyothai, King Mahachakraphat's wife, who died while saving her husband during wartime. Although historians have questioned this story in recent years, it remains a staple of Ayutthaya culture. Gilded in luxuriant gold, the Chedi Suriyothai is a majestic sight and the physical expression of a classic Thai legend.
- ROYAL ELEPHANT KRAAL & VILLAGE: For animal lovers, the Elephant stay at the Royal Elephant Kraal & Village is a must-see while staying in Ayutthaya. The Royal Elephant doubles as a resort and rehabilitation center for elephants. The Elephant stay teaches visitors how to care for these amazing creatures, which are a key element of Thai culture. It is a memorable and unique experience that will not only be a blast, but leaves couples feeling like they’ve made a difference in the lives of these enchanting beings.
- BANGSAI ART & CRAFT CENTER: If you find yourself marveling at Thai art, theatre and architecture, you'll want to visit the Bangai Arts and Crafts Center and Village. Visitors will learn how Ayutthaya farmers use handmade crafts in their everyday lives. Marvel at hand-woven silk, wood carvings and baskets or be more hands-on and learn to create some of the objects yourselves for a unique honeymoon date! Classical Thai dances are also performed periodically on the premises, adding an extra layer to your cultural experience.
Tips and Advice
- CURRENCY: Baht. Check here for current exchange rates.
- LANGUAGE: Thai. Many people in the big cities and at hotels speak English, but bring a phrase book and try some basic Thai! Even if you can't be understood, locals usually appreciate the effort.
- ELECTRICITY: 220 V/50Hz; Plugs A & C.
- GETTING THERE: Ayutthaya is a 2-hour drive from Bangkok. The estimated travel time from New York City to Ayutthaya is 25 hours. From L.A., it takes approximately 15 hours. Major flights typically fly into the international airport at Bangkok, so ask your hotel to help you arrange transfer to Ayutthaya.
- GETTING AROUND: The major train system in Thailand is generally reliable and efficient. Other common modes of transport are Tuk Tuk, bikes and scooters, speedboats, mini-bus and taxi. These are good options for getting to Ayutthaya a well as traveling around once you're there. Talk to your hotel to find out which is best for your travel situation.
- CLIMATE: Like most of Thailand, Ayutthaya has a tropical climate. It comparable to weather in Miami year-round. Ayutthaya experiences three seasons: hot (March-May), rainy (June-October) and cool (November-February). April tends to be the hottest month. The cool season is peak tourism time due to the milder weather, but prices are higher.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- LOOK BOTH WAYS: Be wary of stray dogs and cars when walking or biking through the city. Traffic laws are seldom followed and drivers can be unpredictable.
- KEEP BUGS AT BAY: Bring mosquito repellent, and plenty of it!
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