With its ruined temples and perfectly groomed palaces, Ayuthaya Province (พระนครศรีอยุธยา) teleports visitors to the past. Formerly the royal capital of Siam, Ayuthaya town (the provincial capital) was sacked by the Burmese in 1767. Scores of time-worn temples remain, with headless Buddha statues providing a ghostly presence among the ruins. In contrast, Bang Pa In Palace dazzles with European and Thai architectural styles exhibited across its grounds.
Many travellers experience Ayuthaya Province on a day trip from Bangkok, with the most ambitious squeezing in a stop at Bang Pa In on the way. But this region of crumbling temples and lustrous palaces deserves at least a couple of days for its grandeur to sink in.