The enchanting ancient capital of Ayutthaya beckons travelers with its extraordinary historic sights. Boasting a legacy of over 400 years as Thailand’s former capital, Ayutthaya captivates visitors with its timeless allure. Located just a leisurely two-hour drive from bustling Bangkok, this captivating city immerses you in a world shaped by centuries of rich history. Brace yourself for an unforgettable journey through Ayutthaya’s heritage, where ancient temples and majestic Buddha statues transport you back in time.
The ancient capital of Ayutthaya offers historic sights that are truly special. Ayutthaya has been the capital for over 400 years, the former Thailand . Around Ayutthaya you can clearly see the influences of the past. This area was often attacked by the Burmese army in the eighteenth century. During these attacks and battles elephant where commenly used. This set the tradition of training and using the elephant in this area. Therefor ruins of building where elephants were kept in captivitay are also to be seen.
Places of interest in Ayutthaya
We recommend you to rent a bicycle to discover the historic center. Renting bicycles is an inexpensive, pleasant and healthy way of transport. With a map of the center you can choose from many temples and maybe it is useful to skip a few. One of the most beautiful temple complex in Ayutthaya is Wat Phra Mahathat.
These temples were built in 1384 and although the Burmese have completely destroyed the main pagoda, the remains of the complex are still impressive. Characteristic is the Buddha head that grows here along the roots of a large tree. Next to this temple complex, which can be found in the centrally located park, is the Wat Ratchaburana. In this large temple are still a number of beautiful bronze Buddha statues and golden objects belonging to two young deceased princes.
In the north of the city is Wat Chaiwatthanaram, a large temple complex that you should definitely see. This complex contains a number of beautiful temples and the green grass and the location on the Chao Phraya River complete this picture.
The Wat Phra Si Sanphet is also one of our favorites. Here you see three large stupas, which yields one of the most photogenic temples in Ayutthaya. In the southwest of the city is the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, where you see a large reclining Buddha statue and a large temple surrounded by Buddha statues. Also don’t skip Wat Phanan Choeng, where you mainly see many locals who are praying.
The national museum in Ayutthaya
People visit Ayutthaya to view temples, ruins and history, but is there more to do in and around the city? Anyone who needs more context at the impressive temples will visit the Historical study center where you can see and read more about the ancient city. In the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum you learn more about the golden age of Ayutthaya. Buddha statues, beautiful golden objects and many other treasures are exhibited here.
But if you need something different than temples you can visit the Ayutthaya City Park. This is a large shopping center where you can buy clothing and electronics, among other things. Of course you will also find the restaurants here.
The floating market has been newly constructed and there is nothing authentic to name. You could opt to skip this tourist place unless you are looking for Thai food and souvenirs.
Transportation within Ayutthaya
The most beautiful temples of Ayutthaya are quite scattered throughout the city. Fortunately it is not a big city. The distances are too large to cover on foot, but you can easily cover the distances on the bike as mentioned. Exploring the city on your own has been proven to be a nice and taks, nothing too adventurous. If you prefer not to cycle rent a scooter. Many accommodations offer bicycle rental and otherwise there are plenty of landlords in the city where you can go. In addition, you can of course also take a tuk tuk taxi, bijvoorbeeld via de service tuk-tuk of Joy. You can take a taxi service for approximately 200 baht per hour who will wait for you at every site you visit.
Keep in mind that it can get pretty hot in Ayutthaya, so be smart and take off early to avoid the blistering heat!
Unfortunately you see many tourists in Ayutthaya who make rides on elephants. The elephants are trained (some people say ‘brutally’ trained) to be tame enought to carry tourists on their backs. It is a nice experience but you could think of it as animal abuse.