Located about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok, the ancient city of Ayutthaya was once Thailand’s capital–back in the 14th century, when the kingdom of Siam was at its strongest.
Today, the ruins of the kingdom can be toured while walking the Ayutthaya Historical Park, a UNESCO site. Home to many prang (reliquary towers), wat, and stucco statues, the park is surrounded by three rivers and deep moats and covers an area of 289 hectares.
Wat Phra Mahathat is perhaps the most famous temple here thanks to a statue of a Buddha’s head entwined in tree roots. Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the largest of the temples in the park, features three large silver-looking Chedis, while Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is best known for its giant reclining Buddha and the hundreds of sitting Buddha statues surrounding the temple, all draped in golden cloth.