10. Ayutthaya: 3-Hour Sunset Ride Bike Excursion
During this Ayutthaya Sunset Ride, explore the former capital of Thailand and UNESCO World Heritage Site by night. After sunset, the ruins and temples in the ancient capital are beautifully illuminated by spotlights from the ground contrasting with the pitch black sky. With explanations from your guide, imagine how beautiful Ayutthaya’s temples were and how powerful the Thai kings of Ayutthaya were before its destruction by the Burmese army in 1767. As soon as you have selected a bicycle, ride to the pier where you will board a ferry to cross the Pa Sak River. Once you arrived on the other side, cycle through Chao Phrom Market, the most famous local market in Ayutthaya. Then cycle along Chankasem Palace, nowadays a national museum, the old prison and Hua Ro Market before you arrive at Bang Ian Night Market. Park your bicycles and walk through this busy night market with many vendors selling clothes and, of course, food. Have appetizers here and get a glimpse of the local nightlife.
Once the sun has set, cross the road to Wat Mahathat, one of the most famous temple complexes in Ayutthaya Historical Park. Wat Mahathat, a royal monastery, once served as the seat of the Sangaraja, the head of the Buddhist monks. Continue your spectacular evening bike ride and pass the illuminated Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Phra Ram. Of course, you can stop to make some pictures. The next impressive temple will be Wat Phra Si Sanphet built in several phases during the 15th and 16th-centuries. It was located inside the compound of the Grand Palace and served as a royal chapel. After the Burmese conquered Ayutthaya, the temple was sacked and mostly destroyed; all that remained were the three chedis which contain the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings.
For dinner, you will stop at a local restaurant where your guide will order some delicious Thai dishes. After dinner, continue exploring Ayutthaya and cycle over the bridge to cross the Chao Phraya River where you will be able to see the illuminated ruins of the magnificent Wat Chaiwattanaram in the distance. A couple of minutes later, you will be standing in front of this stunning temple complex, wonderfully lit up at night. Wat Chaiwattanaram was built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong to honor his mother, featuring the architectural style influenced by the Angkor temple in Cambodia. The moon, shining brightly high up in the dark sky, makes this amazing temple look even more magical. Before returning to the office, make a last stop at Wat Lokayasutharam to take a picture of the huge reclining Buddha, the largest in Ayutthaya. While cycling back, you pass the enlightened Ayutthaya City Pillar or Lak Muang. People visit the city pillar to make offerings and pray for good fortune, pregnancy and other favors. Arrive at the office again where this amazing Ayutthaya sunset bicycle adventure ends.