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 Tourist Guide, information for the visitor coming to Ayutthaya



spelt: Ayudhaya, Ayuthaya, Ayutthaya

The 16th-18th century temple ruins at Ayutthaya, 86km north of Bangkok, date from the most flourishing period of Thai history. Ayuthaya was the Thai capital from 1350, and 33 kings of various Siamese dynasties reigned here until the city was conquered by the Burmese in 1767. The old capital was, by all accounts, a splendid city which was courted by Dutch, Portuguese, French, English, Chinese and Japanese merchants. By the end of the 17th century, Ayutthaya's population had reached one million and virtually all visiting foreigners claimed it to be the most illustrious city they had ever seen. Ayuthaya's scattered temples and ruins have been declared a World Heritage Site. The forbidding list includes the 14th century Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the largest in Ayutthaya in its time, which once contained a 16m standing Buddha that was covered in 250 kg of gold. Unfortunately the Burmese conquerors felt obliged to melt it down. The 16th-century, fortress-like Wat Phra Meru escaped destruction in 1767 and boasts an impressive carved wooden ceiling, a splendid Ayutthaya-era 6m high crowned sitting Buddha, and a 1300-year-old green-stone Buddha from Ceylon, posed European-style in a chair.
Temple Among Flame Trees    Fat Buddha statue ayuthaya Temple across the River Ayuthaya, Thailand   Monastery gardens ayuthaya thailand
Wat Phra Chao Phanan Choeng was built in the early 14th century, possibly by Khmers, before Ayutthaya became the Siamese capital. It contains a highly revered 19m Buddha image from which the wat derives its name. A restored Elephant Kraal brings relief for those tired of temple-trudging. The huge wooden stockade, built from teak logs planted in the ground at 45 degree angles, was once used during the annual round-up of wild elephants. The king had a special raised pavilion built so that he could watch the thrilling event. Wihaan Phra Mongkhon BophitThere are frequent buses to Ayutthaya from Bangkok's northern terminal during the day. They take around two hours. Trains are slightly faster and leave frequently from Bangkok's Hualamphong railway station.

If you have your own transport then it's worth checking out Sukhothai and Kamphaeng Phet at the same time, they are all near each other and have many temples and ruins.


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PCT Thailand: tourist information country guide for Ayuthaya Thailand.