Your adventure starts here. Shop now.
Free shipping on all orders.
Text TRAVEL to 81787 for 10% off!

Before Bangkok: Thailand's Old Capitals

Today, Bangkok is probably the most well known and largest city in Thailand. It also happens to be the current capital. It wasn’t always though! Since the formation of modern Thailand in the 1200’s, two other cities have held that seat of power. As the kingdoms changed rulers over time, the capital moved further and further south. What’s left today are mostly in ruins, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.

Ayutthaya

Just over an hour outside of Bangkok, Ayutthaya is a popular day trip. This once flourishing metropolis was home to a golden age, with art, literature and learning prospered. The peace of the time was ended though, during the Burmese-Siamese War. In April of 1767, the Burmese army of over 40,000 soldiers completely ransacked the city, and ended this period of Thai history. Many of the Buddha statues are have had their heads chopped off, and the chedis left dismantled. Adding to it’s destruction, the structures here are in quite a bit of disrepair, with only the foundations remaining of some sections. Adding to the disrepair, when the capital was then relocated, King Rama I ran out of building materials for his new Royal Palace. He ordered his men upstream to take the bricks from the crumbling facades to make his new home. He did, however, insist that nothing was removed from the temples in the area. This is what is left for you to see today. The entire area is listed as a UNESCO Heritage site as Ayutthaya Historical park, and is fairly spread out throughout town. The best way to get around to all of the different wats is by renting a bicycle or for the braver, a motorbike. If you’d like to get someone to take you to all the hot spots instead, tuktuks are easily hired out for the day and will direct you where to go. Try to go early in the day (the park opens at 7:30am) before tour groups arrive, and to beat the heat. Make sure to carry lots of water with you because it’s sure to get hot. Though it’s hard not to want to let out your inner Lara Croft, it’d be impossible to see everything all in one or two days. If you’re in a time crunch, Ayutthaya’s star attractions include Wat Phra Mahathat, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Thammikarat, and Wat Phanan Choeng. There is also a lovely floating market nearby, that twice a day performs reenactments of the battles that occurred here. Enjoy the best cheap hotels in Ayutthaya with these superb options! → Click here to book your stay in Ayutthaya, Thailand!

Sukhothai

Though the older of the two, it’s ruins are in significantly better shape. This kingdom’s secession from Khmer reign is what started what would eventually become Thailand today. At the time, it was almost in the perfect middle of the country. Today, it’s a great stopping point between Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai; it’s about five hours in each direction. It was here that the Thai written language was created. Though influential in the history and founding of the country, the Sukhothai reign was short. Only two hundred years after it’s founding, they were dominated by the Ayutthaya. The remnants of Sukhothai are significantly more condensed. The modern town is divided by the park, into Old and New. The Old covers 70kkm, and is then split into the Northern, Western, and Central sections, with the latter containing the most significant ruins. Most hostels and bike shops will also provide you with an easy map of where to go to. Be aware that because it is split into zones, each close at a different time, as well as requiring a separate ticket. In total, it costs 300 baht (under $10), and could easily be conquered by bicycle in half a day. The Central zone is the most intricate, with moats, flower beds and manicured lawns surrounding the Wat Mahathat, Wat Sra Sri and the other nine ruins. Wat Taphan Hin requires a short uphill trek to this standing Buddha figure, but the views of the surrounding national park are stunning. Looking for a remarkable yet affordable hotel in Sukhothai? Why not check out these lovely hotel deals? → Click here to book your stay in Sukhothai, Thailand!

The two cities are very similar in many ways. It’s easy to pick one and skip the other, but don’t. The history is fascinating, and the wats stunning. The new towns themselves are also fun, offering unique food (be sure to try Sukhothai noodles, they’re delicious!) and warm, kind people. If you’re exploring Thailand, take the time to explore it’s ancient capitals. Start planning your way to the ruins today with Trekeffect!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

Shop for Travel Essentials

Get all of your essential travel gear right from our store. We hand pick the best travel products. Get everything from luggage to camping gear and other travel accessories for your trip. 

Book your flight

Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world.  They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.  

Book your accommodations

If you're looking for a hostel, you should book it with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere else, book with Trekeffect. Our hotel booking system is powered by the Priceline Partner Network and we donate 10% of the hotel booking value to UNICEF to help starving children around the world.

Don't forget travel insurance

Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.      - World Nomads (for everyone below 70)      - Travelx Insurance (for those over 70)

Looking for the best companies to save money with?

Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too! Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported.

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

Shop for Travel Essentials

Get all of your essential travel gear right from our store. We hand pick the best travel products. Get everything from luggage to camping gear and other travel accessories for your trip.

Book your flight

Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world. They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.

Book your accommodations

If you're looking for a hostel, you should book it with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere else, book with Booking.com. Their hotel system usually offers the best rates out of any provider worldwide.

Don't forget travel insurance

Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.

     - World Nomads (for everyone below 70)

     - Travelx Insurance (for those over 70)

Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported.

Related Posts

How To Pick The Best Travel Backpack For Your Next Adventure
How To Pick The Best Travel Backpack For Your Next Adventure
Embarking on a crazily fun adventure and wondering what the best backpack for travel is? Need some tips on picking th...
Read More
How To Select The Ultimate Sexy Bikini For Every Body Type
How To Select The Ultimate Sexy Bikini For Every Body Type
Need a little help in picking a sexy bikini for your tropical vacation? Wondering what type of bikini is best for you...
Read More
69 Places to Have Sex
69 Places to Have Sex
We all love a little spice in our life and that also means our sex life. You don't necessarily have to do all of thes...
Read More

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


Back to Travel