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Untitled Document
:: General Information



The Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya or Ayutthaya in short
, is one of Thailand's historical and majestic highlights. Serving as the Thai capital for 417 years (1350 1767: Kingdom of Ayutthaya), it was once glorified as one of the biggest cities in the world a Southeast Asia center for civilizations. During the 17th century, most foreign visitors to Ayutthaya, traders or diplomats alike, claimed Ayutthaya to be the most illustrious and glittering city that they had ever visited. The map of Ayutthaya published in 1691 by Simon de la Loub?re in Du Royaume De Siam is proof of such recognition.


The Kingdom of Ayutthaya reached its apex in terms of sovereignty, military might, wealth, culture, and international commerce in the 16th century when the Kingdoms territory was extended far beyond present-day Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Ayutthaya even had diplomatic relations with Louis XIV of France and was courted by Dutch, Portuguese, English, Chinese and Japanese merchants.
Visitors can explore and appreciate Thai history in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, which is situated only 86 kilometers north of Bangkok. Visitors to Ayutthaya can marvel at its grandeur reflected through numerous magnificent structures and ruins concentrated in and around the city island surrounded by Maenam Chao Phraya, Maenam Pa Sak and Maenam Lopburi.

More importantly,Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, an extensive historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city, has been included in UNESCO's World Heritage list since 13 December, 1991.

 


The Past


The Kingdom of Ayutthaya was built and developed in leaps and bounds. The ruins in Ayutthaya that survived the test of time embody both the glorious and ignominious stories of the Kingdom.


This ancient capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350 by King U-Thong, had thirty three kings of different dynasties and reached its peak in the middle of the18th century. A magnificent city with three palaces and over 400 magnificent temples on an island threaded by canals Ayutthaya was truly an impressive city that attracted both Europeans and Asians. After a 15-month siege the Kingdom of Ayutthaya was conquered and completely destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. When King Taksin the Great finally liberated the Kingdom, a new dynasty was established and the capital was moved to Thonburi.

The seal of Ayutthaya depicts a conch on a pedestal tray placed in a small castle under a Mun tree. According to legend, King U-Thong, founder of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, discovered a beautiful conch buried in the ground being prepared for the establishment of the seat of his Kingdom. Consequently, he had a tiny castle built to house the shell. Hence, the provincial seal.


 

The Present


Today, there are but groups of crumbling ruins and rows of headless Buddhas where once an empire thrived. The temple compounds are still awe-inspiring even in disrepair and a visit here is memorable and a good beginning for those drawn to the relics of history.

The architecture of Ayutthaya is a fascinating mix of Khmer (ancient Cambodian style) and early Sukhothai style. Some cactus-shaped obelisks, called prangs, denote Khmer influence and look something like the famous towers of Angkor Wat. The more pointed stupas are ascribed to the Sukhothai influence. For new arrivals who had limited their visit to Bangkok, similarities may be noted with the riverside Wat Arun, an 18th-century structure that was built in the so-called Ayutthaya style, a melding of Sukhothai Buddhist influences and Hindu-inspired Khmer motifs.


Ayutthaya is administratively divided into 16 districts: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ban Phraek, Bang Ban, Bang Pahan, Bang Pa-in, Amphoe Bang Sai, Bang Sai, Lat Bua Luang, Maha Rat, Nakhon Luang, Phachi, Phak-Hai, Sena, Tha Rua, Uthai and Wang Noi.

 

:: Festivals

BANG SAI ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR

BANG SAI ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR 
(Bang Sai Arts & Crafts Centre)

The annual fair shows products of H.M. the Queens SUPPORT programme. Visitors will enjoy shopping, and viewing exhibitions and demonstrations of local products from each district of Ayutthaya.
Folk entertainment performances enliven the fair.



BANG SAI LOI KRATHONG

BANG SAI LOI KRATHONG
(Bang Sai Arts & Crafts Centre)
Celebrations include traditional float (Krathong) and beauty contests, handicraft demonstrations and exhibitions, special events, and krathong launching beneath the full moon.


SONGKRAN FESTIVAL

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL
In Front of Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
The traditional Thai New Year is an occasion for merry making in Ayutthaya, with religious ceremonies as well as public festivitis. Anyone who ventures out on the streets is likely to get a thorugh soaking, but all in a spirit of fun at the peak of the hot season.

Attractions

:: Amphoe Bang Pa In

Bang Pa-in Summer Palace


A few miles down the Maenam Chao Phraya from Ayutthaya is the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. The site was first used by the royal court as a summer retreat in the 17th century. However, the Palace was destroyed with the fall of Kingdom of Ayutthaya and was restored by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. Most of the buildings that exist today date from the reign of King Rama V, who regularly spent his summers there. The structures represent a variety of architectural styles, set in a large park around ponds and waterways. The only royal residence open to the public is the Chiness-style Wehat Chamroon Palace, constructed entirely of materials imported from China. In addition, there is an Italian-style palace, a circular pavilion with steps leading down to a pool, the graceful Thai-style Aisawan Tippaya Asna Pavilion in the middle of a lake, and, across one of the waterways, a Buddhist chapel in the neo-Gothic style with stained-glass windows. Scattered around the extensive gardens are European statues as well as monuments ordered to be built by King Rama V in memory of members of his family, one of them a much-loved Queen who drowned in a boating accident.

Places of interest in the Bang Pa-in Palace are as follows:-


Phra Thinang Utthayan Phumisathian


This is a 2-story elaborately constructed building, which is tinted alternately in dark and light green, located to the east, opposite the pond. Its balcony is similar in design to that of a Swiss chalet. Before being destroyed by fire during the restoration in 1938, the whole building was built from wood and decorated with mahogany furniture ordered directly from Europe.


Wat Niwet Thamaprawat


This temple, which was built Rama V (Chulalongkorn), looks more like a Gothic Christian church than a Thai temple. Visitors can access the temple by crossing the river in a small trolley-like cable car. The crossing is free of charge.
There are several nice boat trips departing from Bangkok to Bang Pa-In Palace, especially through cruise tours. The Palace is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily with an admission fee of 50 bahts. Tel: 035 261004 or 035 2243273 for more details.

 Gong Khong Market

A newly established market worth visiting. Showcasing Ayutthaya's old way of live, the market's name is derived from an action of visitors who need to bend down (Gong Khong) when looking or purchasing the products. A wide range of reasonably priced local products including fresh and chemical-free vegetables and fruites, as well as OTOP products, food and desserts are available.

:: Amphoe Bang Sai
Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Craft Centre
 

The Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, which covers an area of 285 rai of land (or 14 acres), is a place where visitors can see the activities of farmers in the 4 regions of Thailand. In addition to being an important training center for craftspeople, there are interesting products on sale such as fern basketry, wickerwork basketry, artificial flowers, hand-woven silk and cotton, silk production and etc. The Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre is open daily except Mondays from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 20 bahts. Call 035-366092, 02-2258265 (st1:City w:st="on">Bangkok) for additional information.



The Support Arts and Craft International Centre of Thailand (SACICT)


The Support Arts and Craft International Centre of Thailand (SACICT) is located on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River at Chang Yai Sub-District, Bang Sai District, next to the Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center, on an area of over 18 acres. It comprises 2 main buildings, Phra Ming Mongkhon Hall, a large three-storey building, as the display and exhibition center of craft products for export, with a usable area of 34,340  square meter, and the Marketing Building for Bang Sai Center Products, with an area of 7,000 square meters, which was completed in July 2004.

The Ministry of Commerce presented the Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand (public Organization) as a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, at the special function entitled Support Atrs and Crafts International Centre of Thailand paying tribute to the Great Queen of Siam on the Auspicious 72nd Birthday Anniversary held during August 2004.

Within SACICT, the exhibition are on the 1st floor is where prime craft products selected from 76 rovinces all over the country are put on display in the revolving exhibits changed every 3 months. Products that are of extraordinary beauty are permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame to be appraised by tourists and the general public on a wide scale. Also, craft products of the Bang Sai Folk Arts and Crafts Center which won prizes at an international level are on display.

Moreover, there is the Support shop, as the outlet of craft products made by trainees at the Bang Sai Folk Arts and Crafts Center, and from other Support Centres around the country, 22 in number. There is also the OTOP shop, where OTOP goods from all over the country are on sale.

The 3rd floor of SACICT serves as the area for trade negotiations, where craft products are marketed and distributed to the market on a wide scale.

For more information, visit www.sacict.net

:: Amphoe Nakhon Luang

Prasat Nakhon Luang
 

This ruin of the royal residence for summer retreats is on the east bank of the st1:place w:st="on">Pasak River. It was used by various Kings of Ayutthaya as a temporary camp en route a visit to the Lord Buddha's Footprint in Saraburi or a trip to Lopburi. Prince Damrong surmised that this residence was built during the reign of King Song Tham when the Footprint was discovered. The original building was later strengthened with brick and plaster during the reign King Prasat Thong. According to the royal annals, King Prasat Thong sent artists to Khmer in 1631 to copy the plan of a Khmer prasat from the capital city of Angkor Thom, hence the name Phra Nakhon Luang. However, only a simplified version of the original prasat was constructed and is currently a part of a temple where the monks help to keep the building in a state of good repair.o:p>


 Aranyik Village

The name "Aranyik" is traditionally related to the history of the Ayutthaya period, when wars were fought in hand-to-hand battles. Aranyik village emerged as a place where sword smiths specialised in battle swords worked. To this day, Aranyik Village remains at the forefront as the country's leading producer of hand made, high-quality knives and swords

Now also noted for its five-star OTOP products, Aranyik has diversified its product range to suit modern-day markets and requirements. Cutlery, dinnerware and other table accessories are produced and exported. These represent another great tradition that thrives even in modern times.

Production is in the villages of Ban Ton Pho and Ban Pai Nong. However, the OTOP Village is located at Ban Sarai, Tha Chang Sub-District, Nakhon Luang District. It is here that visitors can take a closer look at how Aranyik knives and other related products and made while exploring the villagers' remarkably charming traditional way of life. Homestay accommodation is available.

:: Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Ancient Forts and Fortresses


There are many forts along the city wall and fortresses around the outer circle. Most of them are situated at waterway intersections.

Ayutthaya Historical Park


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya's historic temples are scattered throughout this once magnificent city and along the encircling rivers. Several of the more central ruins Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Na Phra Meru, Wat Thammikarat, Wat Ratburana and Wat Phra Mahathat can be visited on foot.

 

It is possible to add more temples and ruins to travel itineraries by touring the city on a rented bicycle. An ideal combination of modes of transportation for visitors interested in seeing everything would be to hire a bicycle for the central temples and charter a long-tail boat to take a tour of the outlying ruins along the river.

 

Ayutthaya Historical Park is situated opposite the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. The main attraction in the historical park is Viharn Phramongkol Bophit which houses one of the largest bronze Buddha images in Thailand.

Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre


This compound is located on Rochana Road and is a National Research Institute devoted to the study of Ayutthaya, especially the period when it was the capital of Thailand. The Centre is responsible for the Museum of the History of Ayutthaya, which exhibits reconstructions from the past. In addition, the Centre provides information services and has a library containing historical materials about Ayutthaya.


The Centre opens daily from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. On official holidays service hours are from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. For more information, please contact Tel: 0 3524 5124 (Admission fee is 100 Bahts)

Ayutthaya Studies Institute


Sited next to Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre is an institute established with the aim of unertaking further study and research on Ayutthaya's history, its arts and culture, ways of life as well as local wisdoms. Aside from this, Ayutthaya Studies Institute also serves to promote this ancient capital by initiating several tourism-related projects with a prime focus on local culture and wisdom. Featured in the projects are a wide array of activities such as demonstration of OTOP products and performances. As well as this, a learning centre on arts, culture and local wisdom and an information centre providing local guide services for both Thais and foreigners alike are also established. The institute, which is an organization of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Rajabhat University, has recently arranged an interesting exhibition showcasing Ayutthaya's timeless treasures -  a combination of history, arts and local wisdom. Five traditional Thai houses located in the area of the instutute are dedicated to this exhibition. Those wishing to experience first-hand the diverse aspects of Ayutthaya's glory should not miss cultural and arts performances scheduled to perform every Saturday and Sunday,from 5.00 p.m. onwards. For further information, please contact 0 3524 1407 or 08 9115 5181.

Chankasem or Front Palace National Museum


Chankasem Palace was built during the reign of King Maha Thammaraja, the 17th King of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. During the reign of King Naresuan the Great the Palace became his permanent residence. Chankasem Palace, like the other palaces, was destroyed during the Burmese invasion. It has been renovated and reopened as a museum open to the public on Wednesdays through Sundays from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum


This museum is perfect for history buffs who admire fine arts and handicraft of the Ayutthaya period. Housed in the museum are various original antiques, mostly made of gold and decorated with precious jewels. In addition, there are various antique bronze Buddha images and famous carved panels. Of note is a receptacle in the Thai Pavilion that contains relics of the Lord Buddha and other objects of art that are over 500 years old.

The museum which is located on Rochana Road, opposite the city wall is open daily, except Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays, from 09.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. (Admission fee is 10 Bahts). For more information, call: 0 3524 1587
Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai


This pagoda is situated at the original site of the Rear Palace, in the west of the city. It is a memorial to Somdet Phra Suriyothai, who was the royal consort of Phra Mahachakkaraphat and the first heroine in Thai history. When the Burmese army intruded in 1548, Somdet Phra Suriyothai, clad in a warrior's suit, interrupted the fighting between the King and Phrachao Prae of Burma and was cut to death. Her death saved Ayutthaya from another attack from the Burmese.

Elephant Kraal Pavilion


The Pavilion, utilized as the royal seat to witness the elephant round up, is situated north of the city island. In the past wild elephants would be trained here to become war or transport animals. It is thought that in the Ayutthaya period the stockade was inside the city wall, but this one was built later and was used up until the Bangkok period. In the middle of the stockade is a shrine where the elephant guardian is supposed to reside. Posts made of whole timbers form the fence where elephants were tied up during the training. An elephant round-up was demonstrated here in 1890, during the reign of King Rama V, for the benefit of the Tsarevitch, who later became Nicholas II of Russia, during his visit to Siam.

Japanese Village


This ancient site is located 1.5 kilometres south of the Wat Phananchoeng in Tambon Ko Rein. There is an additional building of the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre, where the foreign affairs of the Ayutthaya Period are on exhibition.

Khun Phan House


Khun Phan House is a Thai-style house that conforms to descriptions in a popular Thai literary work. Khun Phan's house is near Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit.Si Suriyothai Park, which has a total area of 5 rai, is located within the area of the Ayutthaya liquor plant adjacent to Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai. Within the area is a common building, a Somdet Phra Si Suriyothai pavilion, a mound with marble Semas (boundary stones of a temple) aged over 400 years where the fragmented parts of Buddha images taken from Wat Phutthaisawan were buried, etc. The Liquor Distillery Organization, who sponsored the construction of the park, wished to devote all good deeds in transforming the former inner part of the royal compound to all of the late kings who used to live here. King Rama IX graciously named the park Suan Si Suriyothai on 25 May, 1989 and conferred the park to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the eve of her 60th anniversary. The park is open daily to the public from 9.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m.

Phom Phet (The Diamond Fort)


This fort that remains almost intact while ruins of the other forts which had been destroyed are visible around the city island. This fortress, also known as Phom Phet Pairote, is situated on a site known as Bangkaja where the Maenam Chao Phraya and the Maenam Pasak meet to form the south-west corner of the city island. This large fortress is thought to have been built during the reign of King Mahathammaracha following the loss of Ayutthaya to the Burmese for the first time in 1549. The original earthen parapet was strengthened with brick.

Portuguese Village


This village is located in Tambon Samphao Lom, on the west bank of the Maenam Chao Phraya to the south of the city. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive at Ayutthaya in 1151. Antique objects, tobacco pipes, coins and accessories for religious ceremonies have been found at the site.

Royal Palace


The Royal Palace of Ayutthaya, which is now known as the Old Palace, is situated next to the northern section of the city wall. King Borom Trailokanath turned the palace, which was built in 1350 by King U-Thong, the first sovereign of the kingdom, into a monastery (Wat Phra Si Sanpet) in 1448 when he declared the three grand wooden prasats built by King U-Thong as a phuttawat or religious zone. King Borom Trailokanath then extended the palace grounds further north towards the Lopburi River, which was then used as the city's moat. Several halls have been built since then. Places of interest in the Royal Palace are as follows:-

 

Sanphet Prasat Hall

King Borom Trailokanath built this hall which was used as a reception hall for foreign visitors as a sister to the Benjarat Maha Prasat Hall. This prasat-style hall had long porticoes both at the front and the back, with shorter ones on the sides and a small Mondop situated on a mini balcony on the front portico. Tin sheets covered the roof and bralee or small spikes decorated its ridges. In addition, there was a tall spire on top of the roof. On both sides of this hall were stables that housed the white elephants. When Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese the hall was burnt down and only its brick and mortar foundations survives.


King Rama IV, desirous of honoring the Kings of Ayutthaya, sent a team of officials from Bangkok to built a small prasat on the foundation of Sanphet Prasat Hall and planned to install a plaque inscribed with the names of all Ayutthaya's kings. However, he died before the construction was completed. In 1907 King Rama V had the unfinished prasat pulled down and built a ceremonial pavilion instead.

 

Chakawat Paichayon Hall

King Prasat Thong built this prasat-style hall in 1632 on the inside wall of the palace towards the east. In this hall the king received an envoy sent by the Burmese King to protest King Prasat Thong's proposal to reform the calendar. During the Bangkok period, King Rama I built a pavilion on top of the outer-wall of the palace in the same manner and it was used to view the processions or the military exercises.

 

Trimuk Hall

This building, which is believed to be the garden house inside the inner court, is located behind Sanphet Prasat Hall but its date of construction is unknown. The name was first mentioned in the reign of King Borom Rachathirat II in 1427 when it was destroyed by fire. It is believed that the original hall was a wooden structure built on top of a plain foundation and the floor was covered with terracotta slabs.

It was a long twin building similar to Sanphet Prasat Hall. The original foundation is still visible.

 

When King Rama V celebrated the 40th anniversary of his coronation in 1907 he had wooden models of various Ayutthayan halls built on top of the original sites and one of which was built on top of the foundation of Trimuk Hall. In addition, when King Rama VI and King Rama VII ascended to the throne they conducted religious rites in honor of the former Kings in Trimuk Hall and in 1953, the Fine Arts Department renovated the Hall.
St. Joseph's Church


St. Joseph's Church was built during the reign of King Narai in 1666 as a result of a request from the missionaries headed by Bishop Lambert de la Motte a missionary who wished to build a church and a mission school. The original wooden church was rebuilt in bricks and mortar in the European style between 1685 and 1695. During the second Burmese attack, the Siamese used the church as a shelter which led to its being destroyed on 23 March 1767. In 1831 Father Pallegoix came to Siam and took care of the restoration work on the church. The restoration was completed in 1847. More additions in the 12th century Romanesque style were made during the tenure of Father Perros during the reign of King Rama V. The church is a place of continuous Catholic worship in Thailand for over 300 years.

Suan Somdet


This is a public park situated on U-Thong Road to the southwest of the city. The area, full of plants referred to in Thai literature, houses many archaeological ruins.

 Thai Boat Museum


     The museum is located at the residence of its founder, Mr. Phaithun Khaomala, a renowned Thai boat modeller and former boat builder. Inspired by their beauty and relationship to the lives of Thai people, Mr. Phaithun dedicated a part of his residence to preseving what he holds to be fine examples of the country's treasured traditions.

     On display are a wide range of models from his large and exquisite collection, make in teak. Included in the collection are more than 100 models boats delicately made by hand. They range from Thai and Chinese junks to other traditional Thai boats and ocean liners. Among the most impressive items in the collection are models of Thailand's famous Royal Barges. As some of them are rarely seen nowadays, the museum is considered a must-visit. Open daily from 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. Call 0 3524 1195 for more information. The Thai Boat Museum is situated opposite Wat Mahathat, Bang Iean Road.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram


Located on the bank of the Maenam Chao Phraya, to the west of the city island is Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong to honor his mother, Wat Chai Wattanaram was conceived as a replica of the Angkor temple. A Royal monastery, the temples unique feature is a huge prang which is surrounded by smaller prangs. This symbolizes Mount Meru, the abode of the heavenly gods. Now restored, the temple is also accessible by a long-tailed boat trip from Chankasem Palace Pier. This 1-hour trip to the temple costs approximately 300-400 bahts (round-trip). Entry fee to the temple itself is 20 bahts.

Wat Kasattrathirat Worawihan


Located outside the city island, opposite Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River is another interesting temple worth visiting. Formerly known as Kasattra or Kasattraram, the ancient temple is of the Ayutthaya period with a main Prang (stupa) at its centre.

Wat Kudidao


Located to the east in front of the railway station, this old monastery was beautifully constructed with better craftsmanship than many other temples as can be seen from the remaining ruins which have been left deteriorate.

Wat Lokkayasutha

This monastery is over a kilometer behind Wat Suanluangsopsawan adjacent to Wat Worachettharam. Accessible by the road inside the compound of the Distillery Plant, or through the road behind the Phlapphla Trimuk (three-gabled roof pavilion), the monastery is in the area of the Ancient Palace. Proceed past Wat Woraphot and Wat Worachettharam until reaching the open-air site of the large reclining Buddha, which is made of brick and covered with plaster, is approximately 29 meters long. The ruins of large hexagonal pillars near the image are believed to be the ruins of the Ubosot.

Wat Na Phra Men


Formerly known as Wat Phra Merurachikaram, the temple is located across the river north of the palace. Although the date of construction is unknown, the temple has been restored a number of times but still has a finely proportioned ubosot and viharn. The latter contains a large Dvaravati stone Buddha seated in European style, his hands on his knees, which some scholars think originated in Nakhon Pathom.

The Ubosot design is very old in the typical Thai style. The most interesting object is the principal Buddha image, which is fully decorated in regal attire. The most interesting fact attributed to the image is that it escaped destruction when the Burmese were burning everything down. It was from the grounds of this temple that the Burmese King Chao Along Phaya decided to fire a cannon at the Grand Palace.

 

Admission to the temple which is just over the bridge near Si Sanphet Road is 10 bahts.

Wat Phanan Choeng


Overlooking the river on the opposite bank from the main city, Wat Phanan Choeng was founded shortly before the establishment of Ayutthaya as the Kingdoms capital. Its main building enshrines a huge, seated Buddha image, that is 57 feet tall an object of particular devotion to Thais of Chinese origin. This principal image called Phrachao Phananchoeng was built of stucco in the attitude of subduing evil in 1325. The temple is a popular stopover for riverboat cruises along the Maenam Chao Phraya. This temple can be reached by boat from the fortress ruins.

Wat Phra Mahathat and Wat Ratburana


Wat Mahathat is located in front of the Grand Palace to the east, next to Pa Than Bridge. The temple is believed to be one of Ayutthaya's oldest temples, possibly built by King Boromaraja I (1370-88). Its central prang, of which only the base remains, once rose to a height of 165 feet. Traces of the original stucco decorations can still be seen on some of the surrounding chedis.

 

Wat Ratburana

King Borom Rachathirat II (Chao Sam Phraya) built a temple on the site where his two elder brothers were cremated. His two brothers died in a power struggle to succeed their father, King Nakhon In who died in 1424. A series of bell-shaped chedis surround the main prang and a large oblong-shaped viharn is situated at the front. The architectural style evolved from the Khmer prasat, but has been adapted by the addition of a higher multi-layered base and an extended upper section. More corners were added to the main body and the tower section was extended to become corn-shaped. The antefixes, on the other hand, were attached to the body of the tower instead of leaving a decent gap between them which was common in Khmer prasats.

 

These two temples are separated by Naresuan Road. The Admission fee for each site is 20 bahts.

Wat Phra Ram


Though founded in 1369, the ruins of Wat Phra Ram date mostly from its restoration in the 15th century. Its main feature is a well-proportioned prang situated on a stepped terrace adorned with chedis. Some of the prang's stucco decorations, including Buddha images in the walking and standing poses, still remain

Wat Phra Si Sanphet


In 1491, Wat Phra Si Sanphet was located inside the compound of the Grand Palace-the foundations of which are still visible-and served as the royal chapel, as Wat Phra Kaeo does in Bangkok. This Wang Lung Palace (Royal Palace) was built by King U-Thong upon the founding of the city. Used as a residential palace, it became a monastery in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. When King Borom Trai Lokanat commanded the construction of new living quarters, this residential palace was transformed into a temple,and the establishment of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. In Ayutthaya's heyday, this was the largest temple in the city.

 

The three main chedis which have been restored contain the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings. The temple is situated at the northern end of Si Sanphet Road. The royal chapel does not have any monks and novice inhabitants. Admission fee is 20bahts.

Wat Phu Khao Thong


The Phu Khao Thong chedi is situated about two kilometres northwest of the city island. It was built by King Ramesuan in 1387. Burengnong, the Burmese king, built three layers of the large superimposed base in the Burmese style after he seized Ayutthaya in 1569 and named it Phu Khao Thong. The main body of the Thai-style chedi was built later.


King Borom Kot carried out renovations during his reign in 1744 and changed its appearance into a 12- cornered chedi. Only the lowest part retains its original Mon style. According to the records, a canal was dug from Wat Phu Khao Thong by a former monk of the temple to keep the Burmese army out when Ayutthaya was under Burmese attack in 1548. The moat which connects a canal with the main river is still in evidence and is called Mahanak canal in honor of the former monk.


However, after Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese in 1767 the whole place was burned down. The Thai Government, under Premier Pibulsongkram, renovated the shrine again approximately 40 years ago.

Wat Phutthaisawan


This monastery is located to the south of the river bank opposite the city island. Constructed in the area where King U-Thong and his subjects first migrated in order to establish the new town, it was formerly known as "Wiang Lek" named after the royal palace of King U-Thong. The most distinctive feature of this temple is the great principal Buddha image cast in the early Ayutthaya style.

Wat Samanakot


Located near Wat Kudidao, this temple was renovated by Chao Phraya Kosa (Lek) and Phraya Kosa (Pan) during the reign of King Narai the Great. The main attraction is a large and unusual prang believed to be an imitation of the design of Chedi Chet Yot of Chiang Mai.

Wat Sensanaram


This ancient temple, which is located behind Chankasem Palace houses two Buddha images that were transferred from Vientiane.

Wat Suan Luang Sopsawan


King Maha Chakkraphat commanded the construction of this monastery on the west of the city which is the old military regiment area in the royal garden compound adjacent to the original area of Wat Sopsawan after the royal cremation of Queen Suriyothai. Her body was kept for the religious ceremonies in the Royal Garden (Suan Luang) Hall and was cremated there on the grounds.

Today, it is possible to visit a large pagoda called "Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai" that was built on the location of the crematorium.

Wat Suwandararam Ratchaworawihan


The main attractions of this temple, which is located on U-Thong Road, southeast of the city, are the paintings. The mural paintings in the Ubosot depict the gathering deities and jataka stories, while the murals on the front wall show a picture of the Lord Buddha subduing evil. Within the Viharn, is a picture depicting the bravery of King Naresuan the Great, which is a masterpiece with several copies found in many other places.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon


Located to the Southeast of the island, this temples lofty chedi is visible from most of the town. The monastery was built in 1900 by King U-thong who granted the temple with the name Wat Pa Kaew. The intention was to create a center of Buddhist studies (Ceylonese Sect). As the temple used to be headed by a patriarch, local people also called it Wat Chao Phraya Thai.

 

The present name was given granted to the temple by King Naresuan to commemorate a battle fought against the Crown Prince of Burma in 1592. His momentous victory a single-handed combat on the elephant back brought independence to Ayutthaya after 15 years as a Burmese dependent. Within the complex is a huge image of a reclining Buddha in brick and stucco. The chedi is bell-shaped, about 60 meters high, constructed on a mound of raised ground (15 X 32.4 X 32.4 m.) with steps going up to the Buddhist image placed midway to the top. The chedi itself now has a distinct tilt, but still can be entered via the stairs.

 

The Ubosot or ordination hall is windowless but ventilated by pierced holes stretching down the roof on both walls. Also situated in the compound is King Naresuans statue, which is highly revered by Thais.

Admission fee is 20 bahts.

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit


This chapel is located to the south of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. A large bronze seated Buddha image (Phra Mongkhon Bophit) was originally enshrined outside the Grand Palace to the east. It could be dated to the 15th century and was originally intended to stand in the open air. Later, King Songtham commanded it to be transferred to the west, where it is currently enshrined and covered with a Mondop. In the reign of Phra Chao Sua, the top of the Mondop was burnt down by a fire due to a thunderbolt. The King then commanded that a new building be built in the form of a big sanctuary (Maha Wihan) to cover the image in lieu of the former Mondop. During the second fall of Ayutthaya, the building and the image were badly destroyed by fire. The present Viharn and Buddha image have been reconstructed and renovated. The open area located east of the Viharn was formerly Sanam Luang, where royal cremation ceremonies took place.

 

:: Shopping

 Krayasat
Candy rice is a very sweet Thai-style dessert used as an offering in a ceremony carried out after the harvest season, which usually falls in late September. It is made from ingredients such as peanuts, sesame, sugar, coconut, and pounded unripe rice, etc. With its sweet taste and smell, it has now become one of the most sought-after sweets in Ayutthaya. The most recommended candy rice is the province's OTOP product labelled under the "Thai Heritage Krayasat" brand. They come in tight-vacuumed sealed package with the seal of approval from Thailand's FDA and are available at most shops in the city. Call 0 3535 9997 for more details.

 Roti Sai Mai
One of the all-time-favourite candies admired by both Thais and foreigners alike, Roti Sai Mai is a dessert with Islamic influence, as they are the first to have made Roti and have inherited the tradtional way of making it from one generation to one generation. Sai Mai is Thai-style candy floss or cotton candy, wrapped by Roti, a thin, pan-fried flour. To this day, Roti Sai Mai has become one of Ayutthaya's most preferred sweets, as it is easy to eat. The fun part comes when wrapping them. They are available at street stalls or shops located on Uthong Road (in front of Phra Nakho Si Ayutthaya Hospital) and behind Phra NakhonSi Ayutthay Rajabhat University.

Dining

:: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District

Ruen Thai Mai Suai
(Thai Food)
8/2 Mu 3 Tambon Khlong Suan Phu (200 metres beyond Wat Yai Chaimongkhon), Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel: 0 3524 5977-9

Sai Thong River
(Thai Food)
45 Mu 1 Uthong Road, Tambon Pratu Chai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel: 0 3524 1449

Ban Watcharachai
(Thai Food)
9 Mu 7 Tambon Ban Pom (Near Wat Kasattrathirat), Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel: 0 3532 1333

Chai Nam
(Thai Food, Chinese Food)
Cho 36/2 Uthong Road, Tambon Ho Rattanachai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel: 0 3525 2013

Ayothaya
(Thai, Chinese and European Food)
Ayothaya Riverside Hotel, 91/1 Mu 1 Tambon Kamang, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel: 0 3523 4873-7

 

 Dine in Style
     One of the best ways to appreciate the splendours of this World Heritage Site set between three rivers is to take a cruise while relishing the distinctive flavours of the finest Thai cuisine.
     Exploring the panoramic sight of Ayutthaya at dawn from a floating restaurant is an extraordinary and unique experience.  Cruising around the city isand is essential for anyone wishing to admire the sights of typical Thai houses, churches mosques, temples and the folk fishery lifestyle of the people. along the riverbank, the atmosphere of the long established Kingdom of Ayutthaya manifests itself through a simple and peaceful way of life.
     To add even more charm to such a trip enjoy a leisurely dinner on board. You can opt for the distinctive flavours of exquisitely prepared set menus or a la carte dishes (orders are taken in advance). The cost is usually Baht 350-550/person inclusive of the food and boat rental, representing truly remarkable value. Such services are offered by almost every restaurant located by the river. Dinner cruises last approximately 1.5-2 hours, departing 5.00 p.m.-6.30p.m.
     Among the favourite dishes for Thais and foreigners alike is Kung Mae Nam Pao (grilled river king prawn) - a local specialty you can't afford to miss. This dish has been satisfying the crowds for decades.
     For more information contact Tourism Authority of Thailand Central Region Office: Region 6 Tel: 0 3524 6076-7 Fax: 00 3524 6078 E-mail: tatyutya@tat.or.th

To Stay

:: Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Ayothaya Hotel

12 Moo 4 Tessabarn sai 2 Road , Tambon Horrattanachai
Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel :: 0 3523 2855
Fax :: 0 3525 1018
Website :: www.ayothayahotel.com
Email :: info@ayothayahotel.com


Ayothaya Riverside

No 91 Mu 10 Pa Kho Road, Tambon Kamang, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel :: 0 3523 4873-7
Website :: -
Email :: -

Ayothaya Riverside House

17/2 Mu 7 Tambon Ban Pom (next to Wat Kasattrathirat), Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel :: 0 1644 5328 Bangkok Office Tel: 0 2585 6001
Website :: -
Email :: -
 Intarakorn House


19/1 Mu 4 Tambon Khlong Sa Bua, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel :: 0 3521 1774
Total :: 10 rooms
Rates :: 350-500 baht


Krung Si River Hotel

27/2 Mu 11 Rotchana Road, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel :: 0 3523 4703-9 Fax: 0 3524 3777
Website :: -
Email :: -

Riverview Place


Ko 35/5 Mu 1 Tambon Ho Rattanachai, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel :: 0 3524 1729-30
Website :: -
Email :: -


 U-Thong Inn


210 Rojana Rd., Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Tel :: 0 3521 2531, 0 3524 2236 (20 lines)
Fax :: 0 3524 2235
Website :: www.uthonginn.com
Email :: -


 Woraburi Ayothaya Convention Resort

89 M.11 Watkluay Road, T.Kamang, A. Pranakornsriayuthaya,   
Pranakornsriayuthaya 13000 THAILAND
Tel : 0 3524 9600-49
Fax : 0 3524 9696
Website :: www.woraburi.com
Email :: -

 

:: Cruise to Ayutthaya

     The luxurious cruise from Bangkok to the former capital of Ayutthaya is operated by :-
- Chao Phraya Princess Cruise  Tel: 0 2860 3700
- Classic Barge Tel: 0 1813 1495 Website: http://www.classic-barges.com
- Horizon Cruise Tel: 0 2236 7777
- River Sun Cruise Tel: 0 2266 9316, 0 2266 9125-6
- Manohra Tel: 0 2476 0021-2, 
- Grand Pearl Tel: 0 2861 0255-60 Website: http://www.grandpearlcruise.com

 

:: How To Get There


From Bangkok

 

By Car:


Alternative I: Take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road.) then take Highway No. 32 to Ayutthaya.

Alternative II: Take Highway No. 304 (Chaeng Watthana Road.) or take Highway No. 302 (Ngamwongwan Road.); turn righ to Highway No. 306 (Tiwanon Road.), then take Highway No. 3111 (Pathum Thani - Samkhok - Sena) and turn right at Amphoe Sena to Highway No. 3263

Alternative III: Take Highway No. 306 (Bangkok - Nonthaburi - Pathum Thani Road.) then take Highway No. 347

 

By Bus:


Ordinary buses run between the Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) and Ayutthaya's main terminal on Naresuan Rd. every 20 minutes between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. The fare is 30 bahts and the trip takes around 2hours. Air-conditioned buses operate the same route every 20 minutes from 5.40 a.m. to 7.20 p.m. (every 15 minutes between 7a.m. and 5p.m.) at the rate of 47 bahts, the trip takes 1.5 hours when traffic to north of Bangkok is light, otherwise it will take two hours.

 

By Train:


Trains to Ayutthaya leave Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station approximately every hour between 4.20 a.m. and 10 p.m. The 3rd class fare is 15 bahts for the 1.5 hour trip. Train schedules are available from the information booth at Hua Lamphong Station. Alternatively, call 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020, or 1690 or visit www.railway.co.th for reservations.


 

By Boat


There are no scheduled or chartered boat services between Bangkok and Ayutthaya. However, several companies in Bangkok operate luxury cruises to Bang Pa-In with side trips by bus to Ayutthaya for approximately 1,500 bahts to 1,800 bahts per person, including a sumptuous luncheon. Longer two days trips in converted rice barges start at 4,800 baht.

 

Travelling around Ayutthaya and from Ayutthaya to nearby attractions

 

Song taew and shared tuk-tuk will go anywhere for 10 to 30 bahts/person depending on the distance/destination. A tuk-tuk from the train station going to any point in the old Ayutthaya zone is approximately 30 bahts. Note that the trip on the island (old Ayutthaya city) itself costs 20 bahts/trip maximum.

 

To tour the ruins, the most economical and ecological option is to rent a bicycle from one of the guesthouses (40 to 50 bahts/day). Walking is also an option, but not recommended during the hot or rainy seasons. It is possible to charter a sam lor, tuk tuk or song taew by the hour or by the day to explore the ruins but the prices are relatively high by Thai standards (150 bahts/hour, or 500 bahts for the entire day).

 

Another interesting activity is chartering a boat from the Tha Chan Kasem (Chan Kasem Pier, next to Hua Ro Market) for a semicircular tour of the island and seeing some of the less accessible ruins. A long tailed boat with a capacity of up to 8 people can be hired for 400 bahts for a 2 to 3 hour trip with stopovers at Wat Phutthaisawan, Wat Phanan Choeng and Wat Chai Wattnaram.

 

Mini - bus services operating from the railway station into the city are also available. Hiring a mini - bus within Ayutthaya costs 250 - 300 bahts/day. If you wish to travel between Ayutthaya and Bang Pa - In, mini - buses regularly leave Chao Prom Market (on Chao Prom Road). Daily schedules start from 6.30 a.m. with a fare of 30 bahts. The trip takes approximately 50 minutes.

Ayutthaya City Map

Map

 

 

 

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