Wat Phra Si Sanphet, April 2015. Planning a trip to northern Thailand? DO NOT miss the historic city of Ayutthaya, a breathtaking treasure trove of ruined palaces, glittering temples, towering statues, colossal Buddhas, rolling fields, emerald green rivers and lush, impossibly knotted trees. A mere eighty kilometers north of Bangkok, this former Siamese capital was once one of the wealthiest places on earth. Today you can bask in its former glory by renting a bicycle, grabbing a free map and exploring the place at your own leisure. Be warned though that it can be hard, hot work, with most people taking in just a fraction of the sites on offer! This centrally located former temple was one of Ayutthaya’s holiest places, until the Burmese rolled into town in 1767 and smashed it to bits. Famous for its three bell-shaped structures with soaring spires, (the grey buildings in the background); you could easily spend an hour wandering around this expansive complex.