It is a truth universally acknowledged that an individual visiting Bangkok must be in want of shopping and eating. But it would be a shame to stop just there. Outside the city proper are many cultural and scenic destinations that give us a glimpse into the old soul of Thailand so often shrouded by the blinding glitz of consumerism.
And there is no more fitting way to embark on this journey of rediscovery than by train, where the journey itself is part of the destination.
Image by Amazing Thailand via Instagram.
This train journey is more a trip back in time. At Hua Lamphong station—surrounded by the sleek modernity of steel and glass—board a train to Ayutthaya and be prepared to be transported 800 years into the past.
Ayutthaya is a historic city that was founded in 1350; it was Thailand’s capital back when the country was known as the Siamese Kingdom. And the architecture at Ayutthaya certainly demonstrates its importance to the kingdom then.
Image by soooo_uu via Instagram.
Monumental Buddhist temples, reminiscent of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, populate the site. Some were even built all the way back before Ayutthaya was even founded and exist today as stately ruin.
Among the temples, magnificent spires of reliquary towers—known as prang—reach out to the heavens.