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Ayutthaya is the largest city of Ayutthaya Province where the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ayutthaya Historical Park gives an insight into the former glory of this former capital city of the ancient kingdom of Siam. Dating back to the 13th century, what’s left of this ancient city of Thailand, the Historical Park is a scattering of temples, ruins and canals which were once the major centre of trade trips for Europeans and Asians.
Originally part of the Khmer empire before the Siamese pushed back and conquered the Khmer, establishing independence. Founded in 1350, it did not become a thriving city until 1378 while it remained the centre of cosmopolitan trade for the next 400 years until it was overthrown and destroyed by the Burmese. Known as Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya or simply the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the area comprises four main temples along with the former Royal Palace and Wihan Phra Mongkol Bophit. Exploring the site is like stepping back in time into lost worlds and uncovering the fascinating history of what once was and the beginnings of the present Thai culture making for a tailor-made trip of a perfect holiday!
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was once the Royal Monastery from 1350 – 1448 inside the walls of the collapsed Royal Palace. Whats remains of the temple are just three chedis that are believed to have housed the royal remnants of three of the Ayutthaya Kings.
Wat Mahathat was the royal ceremonial ground for both religious and non-religious affairs before it was replaced with Wat Phra Si Sanphet. Built before the city became the thriving Siamese capital, the Khmer-style temple boasts one main prang which has since crumbled. A mini casket was discovered inside the prang containing Buddha’s relics which can now be found on public display in the Chao Sam Phraya Museum. This temple is also one of the most photographed icons of Ayutthaya, with a Buddha head entangled within the roots of a banyan tree.
Wat Phra Ram was a monastery constructed in Khmer style with a central tower surrounded by four corner towers, similar to architectural concepts within the Angkor Archeological Park.
Wat Ratchaburana was built in 1424 by King Borommarachathirat II as a memorial to his two elder brothers. Its construction follows Angkorian concepts with a large central Khmer style prang symbolizing the revered Mount Meru, which is considered to be the universe in Buddhist and Hindu mythology. The prang is surrounded by four smaller towers and a gallery enclosing a courtyard. Items that were looted from the crypts were eventually recovered and can be viewed at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.
Wihan Phra Mongkol Bophit is a preaching hall that houses the Phra Mongkon Bophit Buddha 13 metre high Bronze image, one of the few statues that survived the Burmese invasion in 1767.
A great way to discover the area is on a river cruise with a long-tail boat to explore Ayutthaya’s scenic riverside. Travel like the locals centuries before, navigating through narrow canals to reach temples and attractions located further inland. You can arrange a charter long-tail from Pom Phet Pier, Wat Phanunchoeng Pier or near Chantara Kasem National Museum.
Another option is a self-guided tour at your own pace, cycling around the historical park to fully appreciate the temples and palaces that once belonged to the largest and most prosperous empires of its time. At twilight, the city lights up and visitors can enjoy a magical night ride.
From Bangkok, you can take a train from either MRT Subway Station Mochit or the BTS Skytrain Station Mochit to get to the northeastern bus terminal where there are several buses heading to Ayutthaya.
For a scenic route through the Thai countryside, you can catch a train from Hualamphong train station in Bangkok which will take approximately 2.5 hours to reach the station near Ayutthaya Historical Park. From there you can take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the ruins.
Another option is to take a public minivan from your hotel in Bangkok. These 12 seater vans make several stops along the way and are an inexpensive means of transport. Other visitors prefer the convenience and luxury of a private Ayutthaya tour. The itineraries are set with an English-speaking guide and transportation is all-inclusive from Bangkok.
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Ayutthaya is an important destination in Thailand. The remains of the ancient city give an insight into the former glory of this former capital. Originally part of the Khmer empire before the Siamese pushed back and conquered the Khmer thus, establishing independence. Founded in 1350, it did not become a thriving city until 1378 while it remained the centre of cosmopolitan trade where international merchants market their goods for the next 400 years until it was overthrown and destroyed by the Burmese. Known as Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya or simply the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the area comprises four main temples along with the former Royal Palace and Wihan Phra Mongkol Bophit.
The cheapest flight are often available between March to May. This is the hottest time of year when the heat can become unbearable some days. It would be better to stay by the coast rather than in landlocked areas because at least you can get some relief from the sea breeze.The cheapest month with the lowest fares available is in September, which is just after the high season. A plane ticket from Australia (Brisbane) going to Ayutthaya Phra Nakhon Si (BKK Suvarnabhumi Intl Airport) costs just a little over $1,100. The round trip flight tickets are for popular airlines, according to Skyscanner.A trip search using Expedia for one-way flights and round trips from a Brisbane airport going to Ayutthaya showed that direct flights for September 2022 are expected to cost a little over $700.Travellers are often advised to fly on Sundays as it’s the cheapest day to fly. This means airlines offering round trip tickets or one-way flights are more likely to sell their seats for a flight to Ayutthaya at a much lower price than other days.
When comparing airfares for flights to Ayutthaya, many rely on Google. The tool allows customers to see a range of airlines offering round trip and one-way flight packages.
Visitors will be amazed by the rich ancient history to be discovered in the 13th century Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park with its Khmer influences. Its history extends through many centuries and conflicts which have influenced the architecture of the buildings and monuments.
According to UNESCO, the former Siamese kingdom capital city dates back to the 13th century.
One day up to a few days (like Friday-Sunday) would be enough time to explore the Ayutthayan temple remains and their surroundings.
It was the former capital of the kingdom of Siam from 1350-1767 and its remains are now a World Heritage Site.
Some ideas for a day visit from expert advice – the easiest way is to join a guided tour with itineraries that will cover all the main temples and sights of interest. For a faster and more fun tour, try a river cruise with a long-tail boat to explore Ayutthaya’s scenic riverside. Travel like the locals centuries before, navigating through narrow canals to reach temples and attractions located further inland. You can arrange a charter long-tail service from Pom Phet Pier, Wat Phanunchoeng Pier or near Chantara Kasem National Museum. Another option is to explore at your own pace, bike around the historical park to fully appreciate the building relics that once belonged to the largest and most prosperous empires of its time. Make sure to protect yourself with a hat or sunscreen. The best time to visit this location is at twilight when the park lights up and visitors can enjoy a magical night ride.
You can book popular tours of the historical park in advance but if you are self-touring, there is no need to book in advance. The entrance to the park is free but there are separate entrance fees to some of the sites within.
Resorts and hotels reviewed Exceptional & Superb to Very Good are Baan Tye Wang Guesthouse, Baan Luang Harn, Iudia Hotel, Baan Thai House, Q Zone Boutique, Tamarind Guesthouse, Luang Chumni Village, Ayothaya Riverside House, The Park Ayutthaya Resort, Classic Kameo Hotel & Serviced Apartments in Aumphur Phra Nakhon for their comfortable and some luxurious facilities for comfortable rest and good food.
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