The best attractions in Ayutthaya

Buddha head

Tree grown around a Buddha head in Wat Phra Mahathat, photo by dsin/flickr

Going to Thailand on holiday? It is a great place to get rid of the daily stress and take a rest. Thailand has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and some of the most attractive cities. One of these is the ancient city of Ayutthaya. Just 85 kilometers north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya is a popular destination, especially for those who are interested in history, architecture and culture. The full name of the town is Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya and it was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. It has been the trading capital of Asia and owing to its ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago. Thus, it is not surprising that Ayutthaya was once one of the richest cities in Asia. By 1700 the impressive city had become the largest city in the world with almost 1 million inhabitants. Most of the remains are temples and palaces, also the reliquary towers.

Ayutthaya Elephant Camp

It is very popular with the visitors. In this camp you have the occasion to ride an elephant and walk around the city. There are several trained elephants in the camp.You can choose to just watch one of the presented shows, if you don’t prefer to ride, interact or feed the giant animals. You shouldn’t miss this opportunity if you are in Ayutthaya.

The Ayutthaya historical park

Located in the center of the city, the impressive historical park contains most of the spectacular ruins of the ancient Ayutthaya and it’s on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. There are several historical attractions, such as temples or museums inside or outside the park. Below I will mention some of them.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

It is the biggest temple in Ayutthaya and it is popular for its unique row of stupas that can be also seen on many images of the city. Located within the Royal Palace grounds, the temple served for royal religious ceremonies. It also used to house an immense Buddha statue which was covered with gold, but the Burmese destroyed it. Wat Phra Si Sanphat served as a model for the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.

Wat Phra si Sanphet

Wat Phra si Sanphet, photo by Tom BKK/flickr

Wat Phra Mahathat

The temple is a quiet large building and it was also ransacked by the Burmese. It is one of Thailand’s most important and oldest Buddhist temples. Visiting the temple, you will have the occasion to view a lot of spectacular attractions: a row of headless Buddhas and also that well-known tree which has grown around a Buddha head. Thai people say you should sit on your knees if you take a picture with the head, because it is considered sacred.

Wat Phra Mahathat

Wat Phra Mahathat, photo by hko_s/flickr

Wat Thammikarat

Situated outside the historical park, the wat is an active temple today. It was built before the establishment of the wonderful historic city. There is a large chedi surrounded by several lion figure on the grounds of the temple. In the northern part of this chedi there is a Reclining Buddha hall. It is called Wihan Phra Phutthasaiyat.

Chao Sam Phraya Museum

The museum is named after the third son of King Intharacha and it was inaugurated on the 26th of December 1961. It exhibits interesting archaeological excavated artifact, including Buddha images and a large stone seated Buddha.

Leave a Reply