Ayutthaya, once a glorious capital city of Thailand and the most devastated city in Thai history, now is a city that is rich of memorable stories and hundreds of magnificent ruined temples and pagodas. Every corner in Ayutthaya city, the visitors can spot the ancient ruined temples among the contemporary buildings. Travelling around the historical sites, the visitors will be spellbinding by the ingenuity of the craftsmen and their powerful spiritual beliefs.
At the center of Ayutthaya city, there’s Ayutthaya Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are the four astonishing temples of the early Ayutthaya period standing amongst a canopy of ancient trees. West of the historical park is the royal palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet which are the heart of the ancient kingdom.
Apart from exploring the historical sites, Ayutthaya also has several alluring places and activities including floating market at Wat Tha Ka Rong, Ayutthaya Boat Museum, the Bang Sai Royal Folk Art and Crafts Center, two different style palaces like Bang Pa-In Palace and Chankasem Palace and Chao Sam Phraya Museum.
Here’re the must-visit sites in Ayutthaya:
Located in the center of Ayutthaya city, Wat Mahathat which was built in Khmer-style and completely burnt down during the ancient war is one of the most photographed spots in Ayutthaya. The highlight of this temple is the head of ancient Buddha image embedded in the overground roots of a huge ancient tree.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
The three chedis of Wat Phra Si Sanphet are one of the landmarks of the Historical Park. In the past, this temple was honoured as the most beautiful and grandest temple. Now, it remains striking testament. Here, there’s no Buddha image reside in the chedis but the chedis are believed to keep the ashes of three Kings.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Located in the southeast of Ayutthaya island, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is one of the most famous temples in Ayutthaya. It was worshipped by both tourists and locals. Its massive chedi rising from a square base surrounded by four smaller chedis makes this temple a very impressive sites.
Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Chaiwatthanaram is an elegant Buddhist temple. A raised platform and eight towering chedis are striking arrangements. All of the chedis and 120 sitting Buddha statues dressed in orange drapery are attached the tourists who are passing by.
Bang Pa-In Palace
Bang Pa-In Palace is known as the summer palace. It is constructed in the 17th century. The buildings in Bang Pa-In Palace is the brilliant combination of Thai, Chinese and Russian architecture. This place opens for the tourists to visit all year round.