Ayutthaya, a city around 80 kilometers north of Bangkok, Thailand was once the capital of the Kingdom. Its roots can be traced back as early as the 14th century. It was once a prosperous and wealthy trading center until its downfall in the 18th century. Today, the old city’s ruins is one of the major tourist spots in Thailand, the Ayutthaya Historical Park, a famous archeological site where temples, monasteries, statues and palaces of the once thriving era can be found.
Based on records, the city was founded in 1350. It was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom and flourished for almost five centuries. That time, Ayutthaya was one of the largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas in the world. Located strategically on an island surrounded by three rivers that connect to the sea making it a thriving port city.
When it was attacked by the Burmese in 1767, the city was burned down to the ground forcing its people to flee and abandon the place permanently. The cosmopolitan was never rebuilt.
Temples and places to visit in Ayutthaya:
- Wat Chaiwatthanaram– design is similar to Angkor Wat in Khmer Style, it showcase tower- like spire, with a high prang and four other smaller prangs.
- Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon– be awed by the magnificent rows of Buddhas encompassing the main temple and another giant and imposing sleeping Buddha. There are towers around the site in various states of preservation, and stunning statues inside the temple are adorned with intricately molded golden leaves.
- Wat Phra Sri Sanphet– translated in English as the Temple of the Holy, Splendid and Omniscient. It is regarded as the grandest temple during the thriving of the city of Ayutthaya. Stands in an old palace ground, the site showcases three ancient chedis, or chapels.
- Wat Ratchaburana– you’ll see here columns and walls that still stand and some ruined chedis. The large prang, with its fine figured stucco portraying nagas supporting garudas, is exceptionally well preserved. You’ll also find some interesting wall paintings in the two crypts in the lower part of the prang.
- Wat Lokaya Sutha– known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. You can explore the ancient remains of the monastery’s floors, walls and pillars, and examine the detritus of archaic Buddha images.The highlight of this ruin is the huge ginormous reclining Buddha statue.
- Wat Mahthat– highlight is the large stone Buddha head in a colossal and deep rooted tree. Coined as the most photographed spot in Ayutthaya.
Most of the temples and sites will require each visitor to pay for entrance fees. It ranges from 20 Baht to 200 Baht.
Tip: Explore Ayutthaya without hassle and in a convenient way! Join organised tours that includes shuttle service and guides. You can book via Klook, easy and worry- free!
– Ayutthaya City Tour from Bangkok with Traditional Thai Dress and Tuk Tuk Ride
– Ancient Ayutthaya Tour: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace & More
– Ayutthaya Grand Pearl River Cruise Tour
– Private Ancient Ayutthaya Full or Half Day Tour
How to get to Ayutthaya:
Depending on your budget, it can be reached through taxi, public bus or train for around 2 hours. Taxi is the most convenient but it will cost up to 3,00 Baht, depending on how you negotiate with the driver. Public buses are one of the cheapest modes of transportation. Bus leaves the Mo Chit Station every hour.
Train takes longer compared to a taxi or public bus, but it is the most scenic. Trains leave the city center in the Hualamphong Station. Train cost ranges from 45 Baht to 1,000 Baht, dependent on your choice of cabin, from first class to third class.