Once the capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya is mostly known for its ancient temples that seem to be able to tell the history of Thailand. If you can’t make it to Angkor Wat in Cambodia this is a good substitute until you can get there. Ayutthaya is only about two hours North of Bangkok by train and even less by car or van. If you take a car or van however, you will run the risk of getting stuck in what can be seriously frustrating traffic. If that happens, hopefully the air conditioning in the taxi or commuter van works well so you can just relax. Although most trains in Thailand have no air conditioning, they do have rotating ceiling fans. A tip is to make sure you sit in a booth near one, but not directly under it.
One difference you will find between the Temples of Ayutthaya and the Temple complex of Angkor Wat is that there are no guides for hire once you get there. It will be very important for you to book a guide for the Ayutthaya Historical Park ahead of time. You will not want to experience the temple ruins without a guide who can share the amazing history of what you are exploring. We will be making a recommendation on which guide we choose in a few months. We still need to experience a couple more to make sure we have found the best.
The three temples we suggest you visit, if you can’t explore them all are Wat Maha That with the famous Buddha Head surrounded by tree roots. I am sure you have seen a picture of this if you are at all interested in Thai history. Next would be Wat Ratchaburana which is a more intact temple, which you can explore inside it. Also check out Wat Phra Ram which seems to be a little less touristy for better pictures. The morning sunlight off the orange of the ancient bricks will give your pictures a fantastic result.