Further to the north of Ayuthaya, Sukhothai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is reached as a slight detour off the road to Chiang Mai or by direct flight from Bangkok.
This was the earliest capital of a Thai kingdom that flourished from the early thirteenth century, an era whose religious art and architecture is considered the most classic of Thailand’s cultural influences. In lush parkland settings are countless carved Buddhas, elegant lotus-bud spires and calm reflective lily ponds dating back to the golden age of ancient Siam.
As many more of the historical sites lie further afield from the main park, a bicycle is an enjoyable way of seeking out abandoned ruins nestled in the undergrowth.