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The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

Known for its beautiful beaches and coral reefs, Phuket is one of the most beautiful and popular islands of Thailand. The wide beaches of Phuket welcome plenty of tourists from around the world and these beaches offer you the perfect place to sit, enjoy, and a wild night party. You can also indulge in various kinds of water-based games like surfing, snorkeling, and jet-skiing. Apart from the beaches Phuket is also known for its natural reserves providing home for many exotic wild animals like tigers and elephants. The thick green forest covers and the turquoise blue water sets the perfect background as you will get the perfect opportunity to shop and eat from the various street stalls.

Attractions in Ayutthaya

From beautiful beaches to fascinating viewpoints, from wild party destinations to rum distillery the attractions in Phuket are bound to give you an unforgettable experience.


Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay

The coastal area located in the north-eastern part of the island of Phuket decorates itself as the most heavenly island bay that you can possibly imagine. The limestone cliffs surrounding the bay is simply mesmerizing and with the dense forestation grown on them, it makes for a beautiful sight to savor. The bay is rich in various kinds of fauna whilst the two neighboring islands of James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are definitely worth visiting. The boat trips are quite charming whilst you can come up close to the natural beauty of the colossal limestone boulders. The rocky islands and the greenery will give you a kind of romantic charm which you will not find anywhere else.

Phi Phi Island


Phi Phi Island

With its stunning beauty and spectacular location it is not a surprise that Phi Phi Island was once featured in a Hollywood movie featuring Oscar Winner Leonardo DiCaprio. Rising like a steep medieval fortress the Phi Phi Island is known for its fascinating limestone cliffs and beach-front thick dense jungle. Quite far from the madding crowd of Bangkok the Phi Phi Island gives you a kind of peace and calm that you can savor for a considerable amount of time. The surrounding water of the ocean is crystal clean thereby allowing you a great sight of the marine mammals and the sea turtles. Phi Phi Island also has many charming restaurants and resorts where you can relax and have a great time.


Karon Viewpoint

Karon Viewpoint

Also known as the 'Three Beaches Hill' this apt vantage point offers a fantastic view of the three of the most beautiful beaches of Thailand-Karon Beach, Kata Noi, and Kata Yai. If you are facing north, after reaching the viewpoint, then you can savor the most serene view of the entire island with the glimpse of almost all of the natural beauties of the place. There is a glimpse of the bit of emerald hills along with the distant view of the neighboring islands. Then you can also see the white waves crashing on the coral reefs whilst the sandy beaches will call you from a distant to have a relaxing time on the shore. The viewpoint offers a perfect opportunity to take few of the best photos of your lifetime.


Patong Beach

Patong Beach

The largest beach of Phuket, Patong, not only offers a great view and a relaxing time but also at the same time it is the place for tremendous amount of fun and frolic. It is never dull here in Patong as you have options to enter into various water-based activities. If you are bored of sun-bathing your entire day then you can go for a jet-skiing or a surfing adventure out in the water. The happy vibe of the beach never perishes as you will find plenty of foreigners gathering here from day to night. The place is also famous for its various food stalls, an enthralling nightlife, and of course the colorful markets with noisy hawkers.

Wat Suwan Dararam

Built around the early 1700's by godfather of King Rama I this temple is an important monument marking the expansion of the Chakri dynasty. This temple is relatively newer when compared to the other shrines of the city of Ayutthaya and the building itself is surrounded by three small lakes. The temple has underwent many restoration works and now it is suitable for the visits by the foreign tourists. You can witness many old paintings which depicts the tales of the dynasty and their relationship with the Buddhist religion. There are certain murals inside the temple which also narrate the tales of Lord Buddha's struggle with Mara in his path of getting enlightenment. There are also paintings of the battles of King Naresuan with the Burmese invaders.
Wat Suwan Dararam
Bang Pa-in Palace

Bang Pa-in Palace

If you are thinking that the city of Ayutthaya is all about wats and shrines then think again. This magnificent 17th century palace is now a major tourist attraction in the old capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Which was once considered as a summer palace for the royals is now an exhibit for the tourists to see the different architectural styles of this palace. In some parts you can see the traditional Thai architecture whilst in others there are visible Chinese influence. However, the most interesting part is the Phra Thinang Uthayan Phumisathian which is a two-story building built in the Victorian style of architecture. The three-story tower known as the Ho Witthunthassana is used for looking at the surrounding countryside and the royal elephants.

Foreign Quarters

Back in the ancient times Ayutthaya used to be quite a cosmopolitan hub with traders from all over the world coming and settling in this ancient Kingdom of Siam. That is why you can still see some significant European influence in this charming Thai city of Ayutthaya. The foreign quarters are very close to one another as you can find the old French, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British buildings lining the narrow alleyway, allowing you to take a leisurely afternoon stroll for exploring the area. The European influences have made way for many churches in the area and one of the most of significant one is definitely the St. Joseph's Church. This church was built back in the year 1666 by the French settlers of that time. On the other side of the Suan Phlu Canal there are also some Japanese quarters and settlements in Ayutthaya.
Foreign Quarters
Elephant Stay

Elephant Stay

Ayutthaya has this lovely Elephant Stay facility which allows the visitors to spend three nights close to these magnificent beasts. Thailand's love affair with elephants started with the royal families of Ayutthaya and in this stay you can feel the connection between the animal and human beings and see how the elephants are being fed and bathed. There will be supervisors and assistants, helping out throughout your trip as you yourself can come up close to many baby and adult elephants. All the elephants staying here are trained by the royal families and they find a peaceful retirement home in the form of this nice stay. The organization is a non-profit one who is dedicated to the conservation and maintenance of the royal elephants.

Million Toy Museum

In a city which is known for its ancient relics and shrines it is quite odd to find a toy museum. However, no matter how strange it might sound the Million Toy Museum of Ayutthaya has a fine display of various kinds of old and new toys which both the children and the adults can enjoy. Though it is quite evident that the name of the place itself is an exaggeration as it does not actually house a million toys but spread across the two floors the museum do definitely have around few thousands for sure. The toys, stored in this place, are not only from Thailand but also from around the world. So you can find different kinds of cars, some old McDonald's toys, some plush toys among many others. The museum is founded by Thai writer Professor Krirk Yoonpun who still visits the place every weekend to read stories to the children.
Million Toy Museum
In the Spotlight

The restaurant scene of Ayutthaya is pretty diverse and each of them has a multi-cultural reference. From chic European decor to old traditional set-ups the restaurants of Ayutthaya are incredibly varied in their design and offerings. Whilst some of the eateries here are serving traditional Northern-Thai cuisine from ingredients from the river and the sea, there are other cafes and bars which are presenting themselves in most Westernized fashion possible. So, according to some it is a direct clash of culture but to a tourist it presents itself as a perfect blend. Due to its enormous history the food scene of Ayutthaya is a bit confused but in a happy kind of way.

Ban U Thong Restaurant : : Ayutthaya is known for its jumbo sized river prawns and there is no better place to taste those sweet things than this restaurant by the riverside.
It is a basically a riverside terrace kind of an arrangement where you can order all sorts of seafood delicacies. It is a traditional Northern-Thai outlet where you can order many kinds of foods and the menu is written in both Thai and English and they also have added pictures of the items making it easier for the tourists to order. So whilst you are on it you should definitely order the jumbo prawn grill recipe because it is the most popular item on the list.
Ban U Thong Restaurant
Coffee Old City
Coffee Old City : : Located just outside the Ayutthaya Historical Park this fascinating eatery is like a heart of all the restaurants in the ancient city.
The moment you enter you will feel the warm and cozy vibe of the place with plenty of locals and foreign tourists hanging out in a relaxed kind of a vibe. Most of the people come here for the scrumptious Pad Thai served in this outlet as you can find various Western items being served here as well. The coffee here is excellent and it is a perfect sip if you have just come out after exploring the Ayutthaya Historical Park on a cold winter evening. Apart from the coffee there are other vary delicious Thai and Western comfort foods.
The Summer House : : The name itself has a happy appeal adhered to it and nestled by the banks of the river a visit to the Summer House will definitely make you happy.
This Western-style eatery cum cafe also serves Thai food but with a twist. The menu comprise of both hard-core traditional Thai food and also some cool and delectable fusion food. For instance you can order the Tum Yum spaghetti which is definitely a direct combination of the East and the West. Needless to say that the overall decor of the place is quite charming with various swanky seating arrangements like beanbags and wooden pallets replacing tables.
The Summer House
Bai Plu :: The The restaurants of Ayutthaya are always a contrasting mix and whilst on one hand you have trendy and Westernized eateries on the other hand you will have places like Bai Plu
which are purely authentic and rigidly traditional. With the view of the shrines and the temples you can sit and relax in this place and feel a glimpse of the life that ancient Siams used to live. The restaurant has a peaceful appeal to it and the traffic noises and the honks will not pester you once you come and grab a seat here. The place serves authentic Thai food from Pad Thai to various pork and seafood recipes which you can enjoy.
Kauy Tiew Pak Wan : With rustic wooden furniture and nice decor, this place is one of the few Muslim eateries at Ayutthaya.
A visit to this place will open your eyes (or shall we say taste-buds) to a whole new culinary experience of Islamic foods influenced blending well with the tangy and spicy Thai food. There are plenty of soup options as you can dig your forks and chopsticks into some of the best noodle recipes with vegetables and tasty meat options. The vibe of the place is pretty authentic and the staffs are super-friendly. You can taste the famous boat noodles in this place which are normally sold in floating sampans. Read less

The currency accepted in Ayutthaya is Thai Baht and they will not accept any other currency barring this. Ayutthaya is an extremely cash dependent economy and even bigger hotels and malls expect to get paid by cash. There are many FOREX offices in the Bangkok airport or any big hotels in Ayutthaya where you can convert your currency and aquire your desired amount of Thai Baht. However, you should be happy to know that Ayutthaya is one of the most affordable destinations of Thailand and even a leisurely trip to this place will not burn a hole in your purse. The shoppers, the small markets, the tour guides, and taxis do not accept any kind of digital payments making it highly important that you carry enough cash.

Special Tips

  • Ayutthaya is relatively much less expensive than Bangkok or other places in Thailand and you can have a nice time if you are carrying 10,000 to 20,000 Bahts per person.
  • A meal at the local food-stalls will cost you around 60 to 80 Bahts per person, depending on the item you choose whilst a mid-range restaurant will also not cost you around 750 to 800 Bahts per person.
  • The local transportation cost, for a day, will come to around 150 to 200 Bahts per person.
  • Most of the temples and ruins have an entry fee of around 200 Bahts per person whilst the entry to the wats will charge you around 50 Bahts.
  • On average a guide will charge you 30 to 40 Bahts depending on the duration of the trip.
  • A river ferry trip will cost you 20 to 30 bahts per person.

Entertainment & Event

The city where the monitor lizards roam safely with people welcomes you with smiles and wonders.

  • Flora and Fauna

    Ayutthaya is rich in its flora and fauna with lots of national parks and forestation. Regarded as an UNESCO World Heritage Site this place has many evergreen and deciduous forestation which are actually quite dense. The virgin rain forests of Ayutthaya is home to many plant and animal species. It is no surprise that the forests of Ayutthaya is a home to more than 300 elephants and you are sure to encounter a lot once you come to the national parks. However, a majority of the elephants are not wild here in Thailand so they will mostly be accompanied by humans.

    On the other hand what is not tamed is the dwarf deer and the various barking deer. There are also many Sambar deer in these forests. It is likely that you will also encounter these beautiful creatures on your trip to the national parks of Ayutthaya and they are pretty harmless. The forests are also the home to many horn-bills as you can see these crested birds a lot in the area. Apart from that there are many sorts apes roaming around the forests of Ayutthaya. The likes of white-handed gibbons, langurs, thesus monkeys, and Pig-tailed Macaques are found in plenty around here.

  • Festivals

    For a city which is so rich in history and traditions it is unlikely that it will not have a whole bastket of festive offerings for the tourists to enjoy. The Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair is certainly a celebration that the tourists can enjoy. In order to celebrate the recognition of Ayutthaya as an UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1991 an annual festival is being held, every December, for a week. Then there is the Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre Fair which is being held at the end of January. This exhibition is quite a good one and plenty of foreign tourists come here regularly to buy some souvenirs.

    The Wai Khru Bucha Tao Ceremony is another unqiue celebration which goes on in Ayutthaya. This is a festival of all the blacksmiths and the Aaranyk knife-makers of the some villages surrounding the city, paying tribute to their masters. Like other parts of Thailand the Songkran festival is also celebrated widely in Ayutthaya and also the Bang Sai Loi Krathong festival is quite a treat for the tourists. A long boat race is being held during the month of November along with many other folk entertainments at the Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre.

  • Culture

    The contribution of Ayutthaya in the overall history of Hindu and Buddhist literature and cultural development is immense. That is why the place also has a connection with the development and growth of the Indian culture. It was since the 13th century to the end of 17th century that this city flourished as the capital of the Kingdom of Siam. That heritage is still relevant in the overall culture of the land. Once you reach this place you will get a feel of peace and tranquility as the people here still value the history and the heritage of this city. Unlike any other Thai destination this place is hardly crowded with a noisy crowd of tourists and as a result you can savor some exotic experiences when you come to Ayutthaya.

    The people here are friendly by nature and they are hospitable. Buddhist is still the major religion of the land as you can find many Hindus, Christians, and Muslims staying side by side in harmony. Since its inception the city has welcomed immigrants from all over the world so you will find a whole lot of tolerance and acceptance of new culture in Ayutthaya. Many people from Europe, China, India and Japan has lived here for centuries thereby creating a harmonious environment where you can enjoy peacefully.