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Monday, June 08, 2015

A Day Trip to Ayutthaya | River Sun Cruise

Phra Thinang Aisawan Thiphya-art (Ayutthaya)
During our recent trip to Bangkok, we booked a trip to Ayutthaya through Initially we wanted to visit Hua Hin, but it was too rush for us to make a trip there. Instead, I found this special day trip to Ayuthaya that is just about 1 hour from Bangkok. We paid around 1580 baht per person.

There were a few websites that offer the same trip, however we picked due to good comments on their website and the price is much more lower than others(after included tax). I was quite sceptical at first due to the outlook of the website (didn't give a good impression) but I'm glad I chose them as the operator is nice to answer all our questions, the driver called us one day before the trip to confirm and our tour guide-Donna is so friendly and nice. All of them can speak English, so no worry when communicating with them.

Here is how the voucher looks like once you confirm your booking. I actually called them on the phone number below (highlighted) one day before the trip to confirm my booking. There is a column on special request where you can request them to call before they arrive. I actually included the address as well as I am not staying in a hotel (just in case they can't find the place). REMEMBER  to Print Out the Voucher, you will need to pass it to the van driver for verification.
Here is the itinerary:

6.30am-Pick up from Hotel to River City Shopping Complex
7.30am-Depart Bangkok by air-conditioned coach to Ayutthaya from the River City Shopping Complex
9am     -Visit Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
            -Visit Wat Maha That
            -Visit Wat Lokayasutharam
12.30pm- Buffet Lunch in Sun River Cruise, taking the cruise back to Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River
3.30pm- Arrive at Bangkok, transfer back to Hotel

* Remember do not wear sandals, short skirts, shorts, no-sleeves T-shirts or sexy dresses. You will need to visit the temples which require proper dressing.

1. Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
"Bang Pa-In Palace was first used by the royal court as a summer retreat in the 17th century. However, the Palace was destroyed with the fall of Kingdom of Ayutthaya and was restored by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. Most of the buildings that exist today date from the reign of King Rama V, who regularly spent his summers there. The structures represent a variety of architectural styles, set in a large park around ponds and waterways." adapted from Oriental Escape.
Bang Pa-In Summer Palace Entrance
Today the palace is used occasionally by their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) and Queen Sirikit as a residence and for holding receptions and banquets.

HO Withun Thasana
The observatory was built by King Chulalongkorn in 1881 as a lookout tower for viewing the surrounding countryside.

Phra Thinang Uthayan Phumisathian (Garden of the secured land)
Our tour guide- Donna explaining about the place. She is very friendly and professional tour guide. She is also very good in taking photos too! Help us took some photos in the whole trip.

Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun
This is a Chinese style two storey mansion, built by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and presented to King Chulalongkorn in 1889. All material used are imported from China like hand painted floor tiles, porcelain, hand crafted door frames and many more.

Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun

Roundabout in Ayutthaya
2. Wat Maha That
"The temple is believed to be one of Ayutthaya's oldest temples, possibly built by King Boromaraja I (1370-88). Its central prang, of which only the base remains, once rose to a height of 165 feet. Traces of the original stucco decorations can still be seen on some of the surrounding chedis." -Adapted from Oriental Escape.
Wat Maha That
Wat Maha That
This temple is very similar to the Cambodia's Angkor Wat except that the place is built by brick instead of stone. Due to some major flood and burning, the place was destroyed and rebuilt again, however it is still not fully restore.

This is the Buddha head that was cut off by a thief, but before the thief could manage to get away, he was caught. The Buddha head was then abandoned on the floor. Due to long period of time, the trees grow from the ground and believe to leave up the Buddha head which make it where it is now.

Most of the Buddha heads were cut off and stolen.

The tallest Buddha remained in the area.

3. Wat Lokayasutharam (Reclining Buddha)
"Wat Lokayasutharam an abandoned temple with no absolute evidence of which reign it was built in. None of the historical records or any chronicles have mentioned the period of construction. It is assumed that this temple was built in the Ayutthaya period. Perhaps it was abandoned after the fall of Ayutthaya to the invading Burmese in 2310 B.E. This temple houses a large Reclining Buddha Image 37 metres in length, built of bricks and plaster." Adapted from Oriental Escape.
Wat Lokayasutharam

4. River Sun Cruise

Before the end of Ayutthaya trip, we were sent to one of the pier to take the cruise boat where buffet lunch will be served in there. We enjoyed our lunch in the boat on the Chao Phraya River where you will pass by the majestic Grand Palace and Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) on the way back to Bangkok.

The food in the cruise taste not bad, a variety of food for you to choose from, Thai food, Western food and some Japanese sushi. What you get is what you pay for, so don't expect too much!

If you have extra one day in Bangkok, I would recommend you to take this day trip to Ayutthaya where you can learn the history of this heritage place, at the same time relax and enjoy the whole day.

I hope you enjoy the post! Feel free to comment and share the post.

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