Okay so because we arrived in Bangkok at night, I never got round to showing you our hotel so I’ll just start off with that now. 😁
We stayed at the LiT BANGKOK Hotel for the first couple of night in the city and it was brilliant!
I thought I took photos by the pool on my phone (there are a couple of pools here) but I can’t seem to find them anywhere.
We actually spent the entire next day doing nothing but chilling by the pool with cocktails and having massages in the spa! It was the perfect lazy day and was absolutely brilliant because downtime like that just has you raring to go the next day. Much better than packing it all in and being too exhausted to properly appreciate what you were doing.
The next morning, we would be heading up north, and out of Bangkok to Ayutthaya, an ancient city with centuries of history, which was, once upon a time the capital of Thailand.
Suffice to say, the sheer amount of history here and incredible architecture make it one place in Thailand you absolutely have to visit.
Our first stop was Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the summer palace – an incredible palace complex still in use till this day as the summer residence of the Thai royal family.
Outside of ‘summer season’ (in quotes largely because Thailand really has just two seasons and summer isn’t one of them – it’s rainy or dry season), the palace is open so visitors can explore.
It’s actually a gorgeous palace complex and one that we found ourselves spending more time than initially anticipated, exploring.
Also, it is worth noting that for this trip and indeed, for most of our time in Bangkok, we’d booked a guide and a driver.
Why? Well for starters it’s a lot more affordable here than perhaps in other parts of the world but also, it just meant that we could explore places we wanted to on our own time rather than going with the group. Something which came in handy while we wandered around the Bang Pa-In royal palace at our own pace.
There’s not really a whole lot to tell you about the palace. Like there’s stuff you can definitely read more about when you’re there but this palace is more about just slowing down and taking in the beauty of its natural surroundings.
A bit different to what I guess we’d be used to visiting historic palaces in the UK or even the amazing Grand Palace in Bangkok.
And so we did just that, eventually relenting as the sun got stronger and stronger and retreating to the car where the driver had the much needed AC on full blast as we made our way over to the next site.
Our next stop in Ayutthaya was Wat Phanan Choeng, an almost 700-year old temple, whose history related to Chinese refugees from the Song Dynasty.
The Buddha statue in here goes back as far as 1334BCE and is rather impressive to see.
Places like this, by the way, are why we felt it was so important to have a local guide. We would probably have never thought to visit it and it would have been a shame to have missed places like this that are not necessarily on the map as tourist hot spots but as very important to get a true sense of the place you’re visiting.
Leaving the temple, we headed over to check out some of the more popular spots in Ayutthaya, all of which are available in this post here.
I want to include it all in one post but there are a lot of sites there and a lot of photos as a result so it’s near impossible to fit it all in one post, ergo why it’s in a different post now.