After having lived in Pattaya for almost seven years I clearly understand that the overwhelming majority of expats do not travel further than Koh Larn – or, more true to life, than Ban Amphur Beach.
But I frankly do not see any reason not to visit Ayutthaya during the 10 days of December, from 18th till 27th. This year, a famous annual festival of Ayutthaya will take place right in the end of the year.
The Glorious of Ayutthaya Fair-2015 will be held at Ayutthaya Historical Park and will include a spectacular light-and-sound show at Wat Maha That (tickets cost THB200 and THB500), the exhibition of ancient gold of Ayutthaya at Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and an ancient market fair which is fun as you will have to use shells instead of coins.
I visited the event a couple of years ago. It was my first time in Ayutthaya and I could not have chosen a better period to get acquainted with the former capital of Siam. I did not expect much from the show, but it did impress me greatly.
The ruins of one of the main temples of Ayutthaya formed a perfect background to the ages of history which unfolded in front of our eyes. Light, music, fireworks, traditional costumes, skillful dancers and even war elephants – well, frankly speaking, I had not believed I could see anything too much superior to a Nong Nooch performance, but I definitely did!
It takes less than three hours by car from Pattaya to Ayutthaya; a bit more if you use public transport. The easiest way is to get there is to take a bus to Morchit from Pattaya Northern bus station (THB134) and then switch to a minivan (THB50) which brings you directly to the city.
There is a lot to see and to do in Ayutthaya; but the places which I personally enjoy most are Wat Phanan Choeng with a giant image of golden sitting Buddha; a quiet Wat Thammikarat where history meets modern times; and the ruins of Wat Kuti Dao where you can wander all by yourself and feel the centuries staring back at you.
Here are us, crazy Santas – my sister and me – at Wat Worachettharam reflecting on the eternal.
And do not miss Sai Thong restaurant on Chao Phraya: there steamed fish in lime and garlic sauce is ethereal!
Glorious of Ayutthaya Fair Map Location