Ayutthaya Travel Guide

Ayutthaya Travel Guide

Once having been the largest city in the world sometime in the 1700s, Ayutthaya in the Central Plains of Thailand is the perfect place for history buffs and archaeology admirers. With a rich and turbulent history dating back to 1350, this hidden archaeological gem boasts magnificent Buddhist temples, monasteries and spectacular ruins of the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, giving a glimpse of this former prosperous capital city.

The impressive Ayutthaya Historical Park is a must see to experience the glory and beauty of once the Siamese center of power and commerce. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, it incorporates 67 stunning temples and ruins, including the Khmer-style Wat Chai Watthanaram featuring a large central chedi surrounded by pagodas, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, the largest temple ruin in Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Mahathat, famous mostly for a particular Buddha head entwined in the banyan tree roots, the Wat Ratchaburana (Wat Ratburana) offering an interesting insight into Thai Buddhism, and the Wat Mongkhon Bophit featuring the largest seated bronze (gilded) Buddha image.

Besides various wats, of course, you can expect many other interesting historical sites in this city, such as the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, which is the former residence of the Thai kings and now is still used for royal retreats.

Top Attractions in Ayutthaya

WAT PHRA MAHATHAT

It is a Sukhothai-style temple scattered like a clay lotus, which is located in the center of the old Ayutthaya. However, most of the buildings lay in ruins, only the foundations were left behind, where you can see rows of headless Buddha statues, sitting beneath the broken walls. At Wat Phra Mahathat, you can also have a view of the head of the Buddha, half of his body is buried in the earth, and the other half is tangled in the roots of plants, leaving only his face to witness the world.

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  • WAT PHRA SI SANPHET

    This temple is named from the golden statue of Phra Si Sanphetdayan, which is now housed in Wat Pho. Like Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Phra Sanphet is a royal temple within the royal palace, where the ashes of King Ramathibodi's family were placed. Because of the early unique Ceylonese chedi, Wat Phra Sanphet is usually regarded as the archetype for Wat Phra Kaew.

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  • WAT CHAI WATTANARAM

    It is a memorial temple in Khmer style built for the mother of King Prasat Thong. It is an extremely exquisite temple with 4 secondary prangs next to the main one, 8 chapels and 12 Buddha statues separated around them, connected by rectangular passages with 120 small Buddha statues sitting beneath the broken walls.

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  • WAT RATCHABURANA

    It lies to the north of Wat Phra Mahathat, a good spot for most photographers. Far away from the temple, there is a gate, fortunately left standing, which you can use as a frame for your memories photo. While walking closer, you might find its crypt, which used to hold hundreds of gold and statues. Then climb along the stairs to the top, and you will have the whole park in front of you.

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  • WAT MONGKHON BOPHIT

    Wat Mongkhon Bophit is very fortunate, it has been restored at least twice even after the fall of Ayutthaya, housing a huge seated Buddha statue called Phra Mongkhon Bophit and the ashes of King Songtham. At first, the statue was placed in Wat Chichiang, however, the king needed a new place for his graveyard, so he moved the statue and built a new temple for it.

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Itineraries including Ayutthaya

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