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Ayutthaya Travel - Ayutthaya is the seat of majestic ruins. Once proudly sitting among the largest cities in the entire world, the place is a 'must-see' for the admirers of history and architecture, and the most glorious among the cultural sites of Thailand.
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Ayutthaya TravelAyutthaya, one of the UNESCO cultural sites, was the Thai capital for 417 years, before Bangkok replaced it. The city, which has it's roots in the 14th century, today hosts many magnificent ruins and artworks. 33 kings of different dynasties ruled Ayutthaya, adorning it's buildings with a plethora of architectural styles.

Synopsis

Country Thailand
Location 80 kilometers south to Bangkok
Accessibility Easily through Bangkok
Accommodation Easily available
Dining Nice variety

Why To Visit

Magnificent Historic Ruins

Tour Attractions

Ayutthaya ranks amongst the most important historical places in Thailand. Prominent attractions of the haven of history lovers are cited below:

Historic Sites

Old Palace: Situated next to the northern section of the city wall, the palace was built by King U-Thong in 1350. The palace was later turned into a monastery by King Borom Trailokanath. Several halls built by the later rulers in the extended palace are worth seeing.

Chantarakasem Palace: The Palace was used by King Rama IV of Bangkok as a summer retreat. Today, one of it's graceful buildings houses a small but interesting collection of historical relics found in the region.

Bang Pa-in Summer PalaceBang Pa-in Summer Palace: The site used by the Ayutthaya royal court as a summer retreat fell into ruin after the decline of Ayutthaya. The Palace was restored by King Rama IV. King Rama V also used it to pass summers. Added to by many kings, the structures carry a variety of architectural styles.

Phom Phet (Diamond Fort): It is the only fort in Ayutthaya, which has survived the ravages of time. The fortress, also famous as Phom Phet Pairote, is located in Bangkaja, a place where Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers meet.

St. Joseph's Church: Only place where Catholic Christians worshipped continuously over 300 years in Thailand, St. Joseph's Church bears testimony to the religious tolerance of the Siamese kings. The original wooden church was reconstructed in bricks and mortar in the European style in the late 17th century.

Temples
Wat Phra Si Sanphet: The temple is known for it's three bell-shaped chedis, which have become a symbol of Ayutthaya. One of the grandest temples in the prime of the kingdom, the temple is still one of the most preserved in Ayuthaya.

Wat Phra Ram: Built in 1369, the temple is known for it's chedis and the towering prang. Although it is in ruins today, the remaining stucco work gives testimony to the rich work done on the temple.

Wat Phanan Choeng: On the congregation of the Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers is Wat Phanan Choeng, one of the most lively temples in Ayuthhaya. Interestingly, it is also one of the oldest.

Wat Phu Khao Thong (Golden Mount): The stark white chedi of Wat Phu Khao Thong stands in the sprawling plain of rice fields and fish ponds. Chedi is now completely restored and a large statue of King Nateusan installed on a marble base.

Wat Chai Wattanaram: One of the most impressive of the monuments of the old Ayutthaya, it was built by King Prasat Tong in 1629. Exquisite Buddha images line the inner wall of the courtyard of the temple.

Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit: It houses huge Buddha image, dating from the 15th century. The image was restored several times and is the object of considerable veneration among Buddhist visitors to Ayutthaya.

Wat Phra Mahathat: One of the oldest temples in Ayutthaya, it was probably built by King Boromaraja in the 14th century. It's central prang once rose to the height of staggering 165 feet. Testimonials of the original stucco adornments can still be witnessed on some chedis.

Other Attractions

Apart from temples, palaces and other similar structures, Ayutthaya has some more attractions. Two most prominent are:

Bang Sai Royal Arts & Crafts Centre

Conceptualised by the Thai Queen, the centre is designed to keep the traditional crafts alive. The premier attraction is the 'museum shop' housed in the modern version of a conventional Thai style pavilion. In the neighborhood of the workshop are an aquarium and two aviaries. There is also a cluster of traditionally styled wooden houses, which represent the local architecture.

Chao Sam Phraya Museum

Chao Sam Phraya MuseumThe museum houses a praiseworthy collection of Ayutthayan Buddhist art as well as the famed gold objects found in Wat Raja Burana. A lacquered book cabinet adorned with a representation of the Buddhist cosmos and a set of painted banners with religious subjects are worth mentioning.

Festivals-Events

Cited below are the two festivals particulary associated with Ayutthaya:

Bang Sai Arts & Crafts Fair

January
Enjoying personal blessings of the Queen, the fair displays art and crafts products. Products from each district of the province are showcased and the visitors can browse through them to find the item of their choice. The fair is animated by the folk entertainment performances.

Ayutthaya World Heritage Site Celebrations

December
Ayuthaya was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO(United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1991. Ayuthaya ceremonalises it's tryst with history by various cultural performances, light and sound presentations around the historical sites, and a number of other recreational activities.

Ayutthaya of Modern Age

Modern Ayutthaya is the capital of an eponymous province, with many neighborhood industrial estates. The historic centre is separate from the modern city, at a short tuk-tuk ride from the railway station.

Climate

Hot March to Mid-June
Rainy June to October
Cool November to February

How To Reach

International tourists can reach Ayutthaya via Bangkok. Various means of reaching Ayutthaya from the capital are mentioned below:

By Train

All trains going to north and north-east region stop at Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya station is to the east of central island. You can take a ferry to reach the island.

By Road

Regular air-conditioned and normal buses operate between Bangkok and Ayutthaya. From Kanchanaburi, take a bus for Suphanburi. Then board another bus for Ayutthaya.

By Boat

Cruise boats ferry between Bangkok and Ayutthaya. It is better to book in advance.

Getting Around

Journeying within the province is easy, thanks to variety of means available.

» Local bus services
» Three-wheeler taxis (tuk-tuk)
» Motorcycle taxi

Accommodation & Dining


» Budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation easily available.
» Food shops and restaurants serve visitors in the city.
» Mainly Thai and Vietnamese cuisine available. International cuisine in select restaurants.