We caught a local bus to Ayutthaya which is about 150km’s away from Kanchanaburi as the crow flies. Ayutthaya is about 70km’s north of Bangkok and is the capital of Ayutthaya province in Thailand. The city was founded in 1350 by King U Thong and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. During1767 the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, resulting in the collapse of the kingdom. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya historical park, which is recognised internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ‘new’ city was re'founded' a few kilometres to the east.
We managed to find a nice place to stay and after strolling the streets of the new city arranged a night tour of the old city by tuk-tuk. An old chap and his wife took us with their beautifully painted tuk-tuk to all the major sites. Sunset from the immaculate Chedi Phukhao Tong with the monument of King Naresuan the Great lying below it was just awesome. There are so many awesome places to see that it’s almost overwhelming squeezing them into a few hours. Highlights included the Royal Elephant Kraal and Wat Yai Chaimongkhol which has a monumental reclining Buddha made in 1357. A bell-shaped pagoda here rises 60 metres.
The next morning after breakfast we took a round-trip on a long tail boat via the canals dissecting the city to see some more sights and also visit some of the temples in daylight.