Thailand - Ayutthaya - Buddha face in a tree - 800x450

One of the most magnificent cities in Southeast Asia. . .

Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and became the capital of the kingdom of Siam, a title it held for 417 years. During its time it is said to have been one of the most magnificent cities in Southeast Asia.

The city is located along the Chao Phraya River about 80km north of Bangkok and hosts some of Thailand’s most important historical landmarks. It is estimated that Ayutthaya had a population reaching one million making it one of the world’s largest cities at that time. However in 1767, the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, resulting in the collapse of the kingdom. The impressive ruins of the temples, palaces and fortresses earned the Ayutthaya historical park the distinction as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ayutthaya was the capital of the kingdom of Siam for 417 years

Along the way to Ayutthaya stop at Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, first used by the royal court as a summer retreat in the 17th century. The palace was destroyed with the fall of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and was restored by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. The palaces, pavilions and chapels represent a variety of architectural styles including neo-gothic, Italian, Thai and Chinese. Scattered around the extensive gardens are European statues as well as monuments ordered to be built by King Rama V.

Cruise back to Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River aboard a river cruiser. En route observe the scenic river life as you enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch.