Sawasdee torn chao (good morning) all!
Its a well known fact the capital of Thailand is Bangkok – locally known as “Krung Thep Maha Nahkorn” or shortly as “Krung Thep” (meaning city of angels). However, that wasn’t always the case. In 1767 post-war with Myanmar, the capital moved from Ayutthaya to Thonburi, and then to what is now Bangkok in 1782.
If you’re into a bit of history, and exploration of majestic ruins that reflect the past splendors of a fallen city, then you’ll love a day trip to Ayutthaya! A 1 to 2-hour car ride, depending on traffic transports you to a completely different era of Thailand. You’ll soon realize after arriving that the city is filled with old and new temples.
Wat Mahathat (วัดมหาธาตุ)
As one of the most prominent, and largest ruin sites in Ayutthaya, this temple is a popular destination for those seeking to appreciate gigantic monasteries and prang (richly carved tall towers). Not only do the architectural structures of these remains reflect the modern engineering feat of that era, but it also takes you back to a more simplistic time. You could almost imagine a lively city back in the 1700’s with communities walking on dirt paved roads, and using these temples for social congregations.
Not quite a sanctuary, but more so a humane rehabilitation center for retired and baby elephants – Elephant Stay can provide that much needed gentle beast contact you’ve been craving to experience in Thailand. Tourists can get close and personal with the elephants, and can even volunteer to become a care-taker on an extended stay period. Further information can be found here: www.elephantstay.com
How to get there:
As Ayutthaya is well outside of Bangkok, your best bet is to rent out, or join a minivan service that take tourists on a daily basis to major attractions in this city. Feel free to talk to the hostel’s front desk for help. Most minivan services will cost from 60-100 baht per person for a one-way trip.