We spent the day discovering the grandeur of Ayutthaya, the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam and learning about the rich history of Thailand.
Walking down the white washed steps of what used to be a massive temple structure, in the ancient town of Ayutthaya, it hit me…I knew so little about Asian cultures and tradition. Aside from what I had seen in the movie Hangover about Bangkok and the beautiful beach images I drooled over on the pages of Travel and Leisure, my knowledge of Thailand stopped there. I didn’t know anything about the royal hierarchy that is still very much prevalent today, I didn’t understand the major significance of Buddhism on the peaceful Thai people and I never realized the amount of historical beauty that lays just outside of Bangkok.
Beyond the tourists and vendors I could see what once was. I let my imagination run wild and whenever I opened my eyes I found myself staring at beautiful temples and rows of buddhas. The sound of tour busses unloading drifted away and for a few moments it was like Chris and I had the entire area to ourselves.
We were about an hour away from the hustle of Bangkok, in the very old, very authentic Ayutthaya, the old capital of Thailand. Here I was standing on a piece of history, doing a once in a lifetime trip and for once I was somewhat speechless…I say somewhat because as soon as we regrouped with our guide, I had endless questions and this eagerness to understand these beautiful ruins and culture.
Visiting Ayutthya had been on the top of my bucket list for a few years. I was fascinated by the ruins and just had to see this ancient Siamese kingdom for myself. We booked a private Thailand Tour with Buffalo Tours for two simple reasons - Their guides are extremely knowledgeable and we would be able to see a few other areas other than Ayutthaya.
Exploring Ancient Siam
Our guide met us at our hotel with our own private car…complete with real leather seats! In the heat of Bangkok you really begin to appreciate these details. The first stop of the day is the Summer Palace. Although no longer occupied by the Royal Family, we were able to stroll around the gardens and check out the different types of architecture, that the King was inspired to re-create after his worldly travels.
We then went to visit Wat Mahatha, part of the Ayutthaya ruins where you will find the buddha head entwined in tree roots, and spent some time walking around Wat Phra Si Sanphet (the ancient Royal Palace), where the three iconic bell-shaped chedis stand tall. After exploring the temple Royal Palace, be sure to stop by food market that is next to exit. You can find the best coconut ice cream and ice cold Thai tea…perfect after being in the sun all day.
To end the tour, you board a boat and cruise along the Chao Phraya river as you make your way back to Bangkok. Lunch is served buffet style and the two hour boat ride is perfect to see more temples such as Wat Arun lining the river.
I may not have a total grasp on the culture of the Thai (yet) but I am beginning to understand their passion, motivation and dedication. Visiting the Summer Palace, climbing the steps at Ayutthaya and feeling the history of Thailand, things started to make sense. Our guide recounted ancient stories, gave us important facts, but more importantly we could see the subject of our curiosity.
Our knowledge was no longer limited to the pages of glossy magazines and hollywood movies. We were actually able to stand where past Royals stood, see their beliefs come to life and feel the breeze that long ago swept this city.
To learn more about this tour, make sure to visit Buffalo Tour's website: