Over 400 years of prosperity and under the ruling of 35 brilliant kings, Ayutthaya is easily one of the greatest ancient capitals the world has ever seen. Nowadays this old city only leaves the remains of the past for our generations to learn and appreciate only 80 kilometers north of Bangkok.
The area inside the Ayutthaya city wall was declared a historical park in 1976 by the Department of Fine Arts covering 1,810 Rais of land including palaces, temples, as well as old villages. In 1991, UNESCO announced a part of this park a World Heritage Site for its rich historical and architectural values. Not only will you see the Thai remnants, but also places of other cultures’ influences scattered everywhere in the city serving as an evidence of the kingdom’s extensiveness in trading and international relations.
Civilization of human kind always stands with a common set of beliefs, and for Ayutthaya, that foundation was Buddhism. During this period Buddhism was advanced to the max which can be seen from the astonishing temples in the city even though many had been burnt down by the invaders. Some of the most important temples are Wat Mahathat, Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. And if you have enough time, do not forget stop by the Ayutthaya Historic Study Center and the Elephant Camp.
The best way to get around the park is by bike even though it is also easy to get from one place to another on foot. Either way, Ayutthaya Historical Park can always keep its visitors amazed. The stunning ruins will make you wish you could be taken back in time to see how extravagant this city really was.
- From Bangkok, use Highway No. 1 (Phaholyothin), 32, and 309 respectively to reach the city center of Ayutthaya
- Use the Bangkok-Nonthaburi-Pathumthani route (Highway No. 306). At the Pathumthani intersection, use the bridge to turn onto Highway No. 347 and 3309. You will pass the Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center before reaching Ayutthaya.