Sunday, December 3, 2017

Ayutthaya Day Trip With Sunset Boat Ride - Review

I was expecting a lot from the Ayutthaya experience which did not disappoint when I booked them through Klook.

The Ayutthaya experience was a full day trip but it was a very memorable one for me as I love to go slow and emerge onto the historical wonders of the Thailand's ancient capital.

I quickly learned a lot about the history of Ayutthaya, especially for having such a wonderful tour guide who takes his effort to explain the background and history to us patiently. Ayuttaya is a dotted area with ruins and temples, surrounded by the 3 main river stream - Chao Phraya, Pa Sak and Lop Buri rivers.

The day trip takes us through 4 main places of attractions - Bang Pa In Summer Palace, Ayutthaya Floating Market, the 3 Unesco heritage temples Wat, and the sunset cruise on the Chao Phraya river overlooking the beautiful Wat.

Bang Pa-In

Our first stop was Bang Pa-In, which took just under an hour from our meeting point in Bangkok.
The Bang Pa In Summer Palace was a huge compartment of gardens and nature of palace, where royalty often comes on special occassions. The area was also used to host many foreign politicians who come to visit Thailand.

Overlooking the waterways, there were many buildings of colonials European style with some compliments of a Chinese red pavilion and Greek Monastry.

The Bang Pa In Summer Palace was a huge compartment of gardens and nature of palace, where royalty often comes on special occassions. The area was also used to host many foreign politicians who come to visit Thailand.

Amidst vast gardens and landscaping are these buildings that we saw: Wehart Chamrunt (Heavenly Light), a Chinese style Pavilion which is currently under renovation, a royal residence where the king would lived in and the Aisawan Thiphya Art (Divine seat of personal freedom).

The view from the top was magnificent as we have to climb 3 storeys high to see the overview of the whole palace by itself.

I find it really nice that it was not as crowded as the Grand Palance and feels like more of a relaxing nature garden by itself.

Ayutthaya Floating Market

After spending about an hour at Bang Pa In, we quickly went ahead to our second attractions of the day, which is the Ayutthaya Floating Market.

It was not too far away and just about under 15 minutes, we reached our destination and went ahead to grab our lunch first, which was scheduled by the tour (lunch at own expenses).

After lunch, we went ahead with taking the longtail boat to tour around the floating market, which lasts about 10 minutes or so.

I didn't really enjoy the boat ride as it was packed and we could hardly move our butts and take photographs, but I think it was still a decent experience. The boat ride charge is included in the package, so we didn't have to fork out anything. Else, we'd have to pay around THB 200 or so.

There were exhibitions about riding elephants which was optional and feeding the goat session for those interested, but we went ahead without it.

We were told that the charges would go as donation, but I guess I'm not convinced.

This silk thing is apparently very popular with children.

I wanted to get some but the portion is so huge!!! Look at that!

Wat Maha That

After lunch, we were brought to the main attraction of the day.

Wat Maha That is probably one of the great relics ruins I've ever seen in my life to date. This is a place that is under the UNESCO World Heritage site for its preservations and rich history culture.

There are aplenty of ruins which was built and destroyed when they fought wars with the Burmese in the 17th century. The ruins also had plenty of Buddha which has no heads. Apparently, the story is that there were many thieves back then from Siam who sneaked in, cut the head of the Buddhas and have them exported out to European countries for profits.

The only one Buddha head which apparently had miracle power became the antics of the attractions as the head was entwined in the roots of a fig tree. This is also one of the most popular photo shoot amongs the locals as well as the foreigners.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Our next stop is Wat Phra Si Sanphet, which is just a 5 min away car ride from Wat Maha That.

There were many local and tourists who are riding bicycle as they moved from one place to another. If the weather was a little cooler, I might consider doing it.

The three chendis are the main landmarks of Wat Phra Si Sanphet.

The chendis were each built by the three Kings of their generations - King Trailok, King Borom Ratchathirat III, and King Rama Thibodi II.

The compound was actually located within the Royal palace grounds. There were no residing monks,  and the temple was used for royal ceremonies and for storing royal relics.

This place is insanely beautiful on its own, and you got to see it at your own eyes to feel the beauty of it. There were plenty of history behind the three chendis which was due to the fight they had with the Burmese, and the gold was melted and burnt and they are left what they are today.

Wat Lokayasutharam

Our third stop on the temple visit was the Wat Lokayasutharam.

The important landmarks of Wat Lokayasutharam was the reclining Buddha, called Phra Bhuddhasaiyart, which faces to the East.

The tour guide gave us an explanation run show which says that for those who are born on Tuesday, their Bhuddha would be the reclining Bhuddha. This says that the person is usually calm and peaceful, with an incline towards peace and harmony.

We didn't spend too much time on this and we quickly left after listening to the history and taking photo with the reclining Bhuddha.

Sunset Boat Ride

Our last attraction of the day was a sunset boat ride which lasts for more than 40 minutes (yes, it was that long!)

We took a traditional longtail boats and there were only our group this time round.

I like this boat ride a lot because it went around the river and we went past a few of the important relics, Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Phutthaisawan, and Wat Chaiwattharam.

We were even given each a huge loaf of bread to feed the fish. I know someone might say it's a common thing to do but to do it in the middle of river overseeing the sunset is just breathtakingly beautiful.

Final Verdict

For all the activities above, you might think that you need to pay a large sum of money but it's actually not.

Through Klook,you only need to pay for $54.70, which includes a bottle of water and all the entrance fees and transportation back and from.

Personally, I love the trip very much because of the small group of people who share the same passion as I did in exploring these ancients and history of the relics. There were no touts of buying stuff and all the unnecessary stops which usually happen to larger groups. Over here, the group is smaller so there are more concentration towards what the group really wants and it was wonderful. Our group was 11 pax, which comes across Taiwan, Phillipines, Singapore and Indonesia (hey, that's me).

I'd explore other Klook activities again and am very satisfied with how the trip went today.

Full disclosure: This post is brought by collaboration with Klook. However, opinions are purely my own. If you decide to purchase using the above link, I will earn a small commission but it will not cost you anything extra otherwise.


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