Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand, is well-known for its historical landmarks and temple ruins. For a thorough understanding of the city’s history and former splendor, most tourists start at Ayutthaya Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the city’s center.
It is not difficult to picture the splendor of the former Ayutthaya empire while surrounded by these ruins. The Royal Palace and Wiharn Phra Mongkol Bophit are two of the four temples that make up Ayutthaya Historical Park, together with Wat Phra Ram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Ratchaburana.
The west, south, and east sides of the outer island are randomly dotted with historic sites outside of the park. The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum is a fantastic spot to visit if you’re interested in learning more about the history of Ayutthaya because it displays a lot of the archaeological artifacts from nearby historical sites.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, known for having the longest history of any Thai city, survived for 417 years during the rule of 33 emperors. A vast array of precious legacies, including architecture, historical buildings, archeological findings, works of art, and cultural identity, was left behind by the ancestors throughout these golden times.
The Fine Arts Department began the preservation of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya’s ancient sites as part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park Project in 1982, covering a 3,000-rai area of land. UNESCO later recognized the Ayutthaya Historical Park, together with the Sukhothai Historical Park, Si Satchanalai Historical Park, and Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. (UNESCO).
Highlights of the Historic City of Ayutthaya
425 recently discovered archaeological sites make up the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which is both inside and beyond the city wall. Some of Ayutthaya’s main attractions are:
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
In the Ayutthaya Kingdom, Wat Phra Si Sanphet is regarded as the most significant temple. In order to simplify the operation of significant royal rituals and merit-making ceremonies, King Ramathibohi I (King U-Thong) first ordered the building of the royal home in this location. Later, King Borom Trai Lokkanat awarded the usage of the residence as the royal temple.
In close proximity to Wat Ratburana and within a short walk of distance is Wat Mahathat. This historic temple is well-known for housing the famous Buddha head ensconced among the Banyan tree’s roots. Probably one of Ayutthaya’s most well-known images.
It is said that the Buddha’s head was formerly a part of the tall sculptures that can be found close by on the temple grounds. You may learn about many additional myths involving this temple, such as the well-known conflict centered around the tree in which the head of the Buddha is enshrined.
Wat Lokaya Sutharam
The 8-meter-tall, 42-meter-long statue of the reclining Buddha is displayed in Wat Lokaya Satharam. That Buddha statue is gigantic, and it is one of the main attractions in the Historic City of Ayutthaya! The Buddha statue is usually covered in a vibrant orange fabric.
This temple is situated northwest of the city, close to the Chao Praya River’s eastern bank. The Burmese invasion in 1767 caused damage to this shrine, which was later repaired in 1956.
Wat Racha Burana
Wat Racha Burana, AKA the Ayutthaya at Tha Wasukri Sub-district or the Monastery of the Royal Repairs. The temple is located close to the historic Pa Than bridge, on the junction of what is now Chikun Road and Naresuan Road, just across from Wat Maha That. The temple was located on the west side of the significant canal, Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak, which had been filled in sometime in the early 20th century.
The temple was probably completely encircled by a moat in the past. The building is a part of the Ayutthaya World Heritage Historical Park and was recognized as a national historic monument by the Fine Arts Department on March 8, 1935.
The temple grounds have 120 Buddha sculptures in all, and a network of hidden tunnels connects the Chedis. For a fantastic sunset view over the historic city, ascend to the summit of Wat Chai Wattenaran.
King Prasat Thong built Wat Chai Wattanaran in 1630. The Burmese invasion of Ayutthaya in 1767 caused damage to this temple, like most others. This site was then repaired in 1987 and reopened to the public in 1992.
Location, timings, and accessibility of the historic city of Ayutthaya
- Location: 4 Khlong Tho Rd, Pratu Chai Sub-district, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
- Timings: every day from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.
- Accessibility: there are several options for getting to the Historic City of Ayutthaya.
Here are our recommended options:
The arrangement of Ayutthaya’s urban grid may appear easy to drivers, but if you take a wrong turn, you can easily get lost. The Chao Sam Phraya roundabout is the last crossroads before you cross the bridge into the inner city coming from Highway 309. The primary road that runs through the island from east to west, Rochana Road, is formed by continuing west on Highway 309. You may enter Ayutthaya Historical Park from Rochana Road by turning right into Srisanphet Road, which will transform into Naresuan Road shortly after. The central city is encircled by U-Thong Road, which borders the rivers.
Another option to get to this historic site is to use a train. It’s simple to get to the Historic City of Ayutthaya by train from Bangkok if you don’t have a car, and you can hire a tuk-tuk from the train station to transport you around the inner city. Before getting in a car, bargain a price for a full or half-day rental. You can go through all the destinations you want to see with the driver in a whole day or half a day.
Another way of going to the Historic City of Ayutthaya is with the day tours of Bangkok to Ayutthaya. Some of these tours are with cruises, and some are traveling in a car. The road to get to this site is full of other historical sites that you can enjoy while you are on the road.
Final words about the Historic City of Ayutthaya
The Historic City of Ayutthaya is where you can see all the splendor of Thailand in the past, and it is one of the most important historical sites of Thailand. The Historic City of Ayutthaya is one of the must-visit attractions in Thailand that attracts a large number of tourists per year.