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 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.