The Chao Phraya River basin is fertile terrain, perfect for rice production. It is no coincidence that the kingdoms of Lop Buri and, later, Ayutthaya, the capital of which is the main sight of the region, were founded here. East of the wide plain, Khao Yai is the country’s oldest and most accessible national park. Kanchanaburi, in the west, is the site of the notorious Death Railroad of World War II. From there, a road winds up to the Three Pagodas Pass on the Burmese border, passing near numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Many hotels in Bangkok arrange day tours of Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi. Boat tours up the Chao Phraya River, from Bangkok to Ayutthaya via Bang Pa-in, are also popular. Roads from Bangkok fan out across the region, providing fast and easy access by bus or car, though leaving Bangkok itself is time consuming. Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, and Lop Buri can be all reached by rail.
Sights at a Glance
Thung Yai Naresuan and Huai Kha Khaeng
Sai Yok National Park
Erawan National Park
Prasat Muang Sing
Chaloem Rattanakosin National Park
Khao Yai National Park