Escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and enjoy a day of cultural history, 45 miles (75 kilometers) north in Ayuthaya, the former royal capital of Siam from 1350 until its sacking by the Burmese in 1767.
Learn about the mix of cultures, which began in the mid-16th century when ships from Ayuthaya plied the Asian seas to trade with neighboring countries. When the Dutch showed up in the 17th century, Ayuthaya became an important port, with trade routes to China, Japan, Indonesia, Portugal, Holland, France and even Scandinavia.
Although the villages of the foreign traders that lined the Chao Phraya river were abandoned when the city was sacked by the Burmese, remnants survive to showcase the Ayuthaya’s glorious past.
Starting at the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace of the late King Rama IV, wander the weather-worn ruins of the most impressive temples and palaces of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. A lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Ayuthaya, an essential stop for everyone interested in a better understanding of Thailand’s rich heritage.