Another great day trip from Bangkok is a visit to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ayutthaya was the capital city of Thailand from 1350-1767 where five dynasties and 333 kings ruled from. A visit to Ayutthaya should include a trip to the ruins at the Ayutthaya historical park, a visit to the Bang Pa-in summer palace complex, and a visit to the many temples (wats).
Ayutthaya is easy enough to get to as it is about an hour and a half from Bangkok or approximately 85 kilometers. Visitors and residents will find that guided tours are the best options since they are fairly inexpensive and offer the opportunity to visit many sites in Ayutthaya in relative comfort while paying one flat fee. Tour packages by several different Chao Praya river tour operators such as Sun Cruises offer some really nice options that include meals and additional guided excursions. Visit the website for details at thairivercruise.com
Another option is a VIP bus tour which you can pick up in Khao San Road or there are daily local passenger vans that depart from Victory Monument in Bangkok. The fare on the vans is generally inexpensive, usually less than $3.00USD. They are usually a less than comfortable ride, although they should be air conditioned.
As of May 2010, Ayutthaya has added a new attraction a Thai arts and culture attraction which is the Ayothaya Floating Market. The floating market is located next to the Ayothaya Elephant camp and is on a man made pond. It is a shopper’s paradise with more than 300 shopping stalls to explore. There is even a mini boat tour you can take for 60USD cents a person. Most of the products for sale are food items, but there is plenty of opportunity to get Thai crafts and clothes. The Ayothaya Floating Market is open daily from 1000-2100 hours and there is no entrance fee. For details, visit the website at ayothayafloatingmarket.com or call 035-881-678.