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Central Thailand UNESCO sites

Our most recommended Central Thailand UNESCO sites

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Temples Small Group Tour with Lunch

1. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Temples Small Group Tour with Lunch

Enjoy a small-group tour of the magnificent temple ruins of Ayutthaya, the capital during the golden age of Siam. All entrance fees, an expert guide, and lunch at a local restaurant are included. Travel from Bangkok in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle or choose to join the tour at your first stop in Ayutthaya, Wat Lokayasutha. This temple is known for its giant reclining Buddha image, one of the few structures remaining intact here. Your next stop is Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, being part of the royal palace complex this is where royalty performed rituals. It is considered the most important temple of Ayutthaya. Then, visit Wat Mahathat Ayutthaya. One of the oldest and most significant temples in the history of Ayutthaya, it once housed the Buddha's holy relic. Admire the famous Buddha head entwined within the roots of a Bodhi tree. After, tuck into a hearty lunch at a local Thai restaurant, where your guide will be available to advise on local culinary specialties. Last but not least, finish your trip at the grand, riverside Wat Chaiwattanaram. Marvel at its compelling architectural style, influenced by the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, as you wander around the monumental grounds.

Bangkok: City Highlights Temple and Market Walking Tour

2. Bangkok: City Highlights Temple and Market Walking Tour

Meet the group at River City Bangkok by 9:00 AM and head to the Emerald Buddha Temple by local transport. Along the way, pass by the amulet market, one of the most famous, historical community markets of Rattanakosin Island. Discover the first stop of Wat Phra Kaew which is commonly known in English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and officially as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.  Explore the Grand Palace which was the official residence of the Kings of Thailand. Nowadays, the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year.  After the Grand Palace, continue to visit Wat Pho, if you've selected this option. On the way, pass Tha Thien Market, a cultural food market that sells dried, salted seafood and wholesale products. Visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho. It is on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of first-class royal temples. Learn about King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site and how it became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined. The temple is considered the earliest center for medical public education surrounded by the marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instructions. It has been recognized by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. Most importantly, it is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple today. Complete the list of must-visit temples in Bangkok by continuing your journey to Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks. The temple is known for its giant 70-meter tower next to the Chao Phraya River and is decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass surrounded by Chinese porcelain.

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Historical Park Small-Group Day Trip

3. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Historical Park Small-Group Day Trip

Visit sites that date back to 1350 at the Ayutthaya Historical Park. Learn about Buddhist history, architecture, and religion as you explore countless temples with your experienced tour guide. In the 18th century, much of Ayutthaya was destroyed by Burmese invaders; witness the structures in their various states of disrepair. Tree roots growing around scattered Buddha heads only adds to the historical charm of this unique destination. After departing from Bangkok bright and early, see Bang Pa-In Royal Palace en route to Ayutthaya. Used as a summer residence for ancient Thai kings, the golden pagodas and serene pools make for a great introduction to the region’s glorious past. After arriving in Ayutthaya, take several hours to explore fascinating ancient religious sites including Wat Mahathat, where a decapitated Buddha head sits nestled between ancient tree roots. Continue to Wat Mongkol Borpit, known for its enormous seated Buddha statue. Discover Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, the most holy and important complex of the ancient Thai capital. Finally, explore Wat Chaiwatthanaram, known for its towering stone chedis. This site is one of the main reasons Ayutthaya was awarded UNESCO status in 1991.

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya & Ayothaya Floating Market Day Trip

4. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya & Ayothaya Floating Market Day Trip

Discover some of the notable historical sites of Ayutthaya on a day trip from Bangkok. Visit ancient temples and palaces as well as the Ayothaya Floating Market with an expert guide. After meeting in Bangkok in the morning, start the 2-hour drive to Ayutthaya. The ancient city of Ayutthaya was founded around 1350 and became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. On this full-day trip, you will explore the ruins of the old city, in the UNESCO-listed Ayutthaya Historical Park. The park is an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and statues. Visit the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, originally built in 1632 by King Prasat Thong. At this spot, you can find a number of impressive buildings built in different architectural styles from Thai, Chinese and European design. Continue your tour with a visit to the Ayothaya Floating Market and enjoy some free time for lunch at your own expense. After lunch, you will visit 2 more historical sites, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and Wat Mahathat, to discover the ruins of the great temple sites. You will return to Bangkok in the early evening, where you will be dropped off at a location close to the original meeting point.

Bangkok: Khao Yai National Park Full-Day Tour

5. Bangkok: Khao Yai National Park Full-Day Tour

Start your adventure with an early pickup before beginning the 3-hour journey north-east. You’ll have a quick stop at the famous The Birder’s Lodge to grab some coffee before arriving at Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai Naitional Park is one of the largest national parks in Thailand and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll head down one of the many nature trails, admiring the local flora and fauna. As one of the oldest national parks in the country, you’ll find all kinds of animals living in the area, from mammals and reptiles to birds and insects. If you’re really lucky, you may just spot a herd of wild elephants nearby. After lunch, we’ll trek to Haew Suwat Waterfall and Haew Narok Waterfall, two of the park’s most picturesque bodies of water. We’ll marvel at the cool cascades, snap photos of the lush scenery, and take a quick respite before making our way back to Bangkok.

Bangkok: Customized Private Long-Tail Boat Hire with a Guide

6. Bangkok: Customized Private Long-Tail Boat Hire with a Guide

Meet your guide at Tha Maharaj, also known as Maharaj Pier, and depart on a long-tail speedboat journey on the “River of Kings,” the Chao Phraya River. Benefit from a private guide and included travel insurance to ensure your safety is the top priority. Choose between 1, 1.5 or 2-hour tour options, and customize the itinerary based on your interests, as long as it is realistic time-wise and can be adjusted if necessary after meeting your guide. Once the tour is finished, you will be transferred back to the Tha Maharaj Pier. The places you can visit include: • Wat Arun or “Temple of Dawn,” one of Bangkok's most famous temples on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River • Wat Kalayanamit, a prominent local Thai Buddhist temple located next to the river in an area considered one of the most important in Bangkok's history • The Artist's House (Baan Silapin), a 2-floor, L-shaped wooden building famed for its puppet theater • Taling Chan Floating Market (only open on weekends from around 8:30 AM–4 PM) • Wat Hong Rattanaram Temple, a Thai Buddhist temple classified as the second rank of the royal temple • Wat Suwannaram Temple, which was used as the execution ground for Burmese prisoners of war; you can also feed the fish for merit-making here • National Museum of Royal Barges, a former dry dock for barges and warships under the care of the Royal Household and the Royal Thai Navy that now houses barges from the Royal Barge Procession

Sukhothai: Historical Park & Countryside Cycling Tour

7. Sukhothai: Historical Park & Countryside Cycling Tour

Witness many aspects of rural life in Thailand and explore the famous ruins of Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on this full-day guided bike tour. Benefit from included pickup and drop-off within 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) of Sukhothai, and savor an included lunch at a local restaurant. Your experienced English-speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel at around 8:15 AM. The cycling tour itself starts from a small village on Sukhothai's outskirts known as Ban Khuai. From there, pedal through a quiet village to enjoy the scenery of the beautiful area, then take a dirt road passing through endless rice paddies with beautiful views of the Kao Laung Mountain. As you go, interact with local people, where possible. You may even have the chance to participate in planting next season's crops. Make a stop at the wood furniture factory to see how the local carpenter produces great works before continuing your journey along small irrigation canals (Klong Mae Lampan) that pass through rural villages. Arriving at Sukhothai's Eastern Gate, marvel at the beautiful Buddhist and Hindu architecture, and be exposed to some of the country's most stunning craftsmanship from a period known as Thailand's Golden Era. With your guide, learn about Sukhothai's history and complex architecture, as well as the story of Buddhism in Thailand. Stop for lunch at a local Thai restaurant, then continue your cycling tour to visit the south area before heading back to your hotel.

Bangkok: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun Private Tour

8. Bangkok: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun Private Tour

Immerse yourself in local culture on a guided tour to the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple. Travel in a comfortable car and have the option to expand your experience with options that include visits to the Wat Pho and Wat Arun temples. Journey to the old part of Bangkok and discover Wat Phra Kaew which is commonly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and officially as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.  Explore the Grand Palace which was the official residence of the Kings of Thailand. Nowadays, the Grand Palace is still used for official events. After the Grand Palace, continue to visit Wat Pho, if you've selected this option.  Pass the Tha Thien Market, a food market that sells dried, salted seafood and wholesale products. Travel to Wat Pho by private car, a local Tuk Tuk, or take a scneic stroll there.  Discover the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho (depending on the option you select). It is on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples and has been recognized by UNESCO. Continue your journey to Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn). On this trip, you will also get to experience a local shuttle boat which takes you across the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun.  Pick to option to visit Wat Arun and see this temple which is famous for its giant tower which is next to the Chao Phraya River, standing 70 meters high. The temple is decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass surrounded by Chinese porcelain. After a fun cultural half-day out at any option selected, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Bangkok safely.

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Day Tour by Bus with River Cruise

9. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Day Tour by Bus with River Cruise

Embark on a day tour to Ayutthaya by bus and boat. See the ancient capital of Siam and its many temples and historic monuments. Depart from River City Bangkok onboard a luxury boat for a cruise down the Chao Phraya River. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the river with the morning atmosphere on the upper deck passing by the Temple of Dawn and The Grand Palace. Enjoy a Thai and international buffet lunch on board. After the cruise, board a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and travel to Ayutthaya province. First, stop to see Wat Lokayasutharam. This temple is known for its giant reclining buddha. Continue to Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, which is part of the royal palace complex. It is considered the most important temple of Ayutthaya. Next, visit Wat Mahathat Ayutthaya, one of the oldest of its kind in the province. Fnish your trip at the grand riverside Wat Chaiwattanaram. Marvel at its compelling architectural style, influenced by the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, as you wander around the monumental grounds. Then, hop back on the bus for your transfer back to Bangkok.

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Full-Day Trip with Driver

10. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Full-Day Trip with Driver

Explore the former capital of Siam on a full-day tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, Wat Mahathat, and the Viharn Pra Mongkolborpit on this day trip. At 07:00 AM you’ll be met by a private driver and head off to Ayutthaya province. Stop at Bang Pa-in Palace, a complex of royal residences first built in around the 17th century. Continue to Wat Mahathat, thought to have been built before the Ayutthaya Period, in the 14th century. See the face of Buddha on a tree, and visit Wat Phrasrisanphet, the former royal monastery. The last stop is Viharn Pra Mongkolborpit, where a stunning bronze Buddha image is located. Entrance fees for attractions on this trip are at your own expense. Around 4:00 PM you’ll make the return trip to Bangkok.

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What people are saying about Central Thailand

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 7 reviews

We really enjoyed this day trip from Bangkok and would highly recommend it. It’s a nice break from the bustling city of Bangkok, and tour the ancient city with all the historical sites. We had an excellent tour guide, Nina. She was warm, friendly, and easy going - she provided excellent context and Thai history before our visit, provided thoughtful suggestions on how to best structure the day. We spent the right amount of time at each site, and Nina pointed out all the beautiful picture spots (and patiently took a ton of pictures for us). We are a family of four, so we paid a little extra to do this as a private tour, which I would highly recommend!

Everything was good, the market was very quiet as it was a weekday. Ancient City was beautiful and the guide provided a lot of information. We returned to Bangkok about 5:30pm

Great tour, very informative. The tour guide (Jo) was excellent! She was polite, friendly,approachable, and seems to have good knowledge of the place and the history.

Guia Kiwi muito animada e espirituosa. ótima fotógrafa também! passeio leve, divertido e informativo.

Very well organized and punctual pick up at the hotel.