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Ayutthaya, Bangkok

Manohra Cruises

257/1–3 Charoen Nakorn Road
Bangkok
Thailand 10600
Tel: 66 2 477 0770

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Concierge.com's insider take:

For 417 years, this ancient city was the capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, whose territory once extended beyond present-day Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Foreign visitors described the three palaces and more than 400 temples along the Chao Phraya River as the most glittering city on Earth. Conquered by the Burmese in 1767, the still impressive remains are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors who make the 45-minute trip from Bangkok can tour the 17th-century Bang Pa In Palace built in 1878 in the English Gothic style as well as more traditional Thai temples like Wat Pananchoeng, constructed in 1324 to shelter a huge sitting Buddha given by the emperor of China. Travelers with the means and time should consider cruising the "River of Kings," aboard the Manohra Song and the even more spacious Manohra Dream, two exquisitely restored teak rice barges. The overnight boat trip departs from the Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa.

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