History, origin and destruction of Ayutthaya
The ancient capital Ayutthaya Thai (Phra Nakhon if Ayutthaya) is a city that was founded in the year 1350 at the heart of the Kingdom of Siam. This great place was governed by a total of 35 Kings different until in 1767 Ayutthaya was totally destroyed by the Burmese armies (the current Burma or Myanmar).
Ayutthaya the ancient capital of Thailand was one of the most important cities of the time with more than 1 million inhabitants. Its location halfway between China, India and Malaysia turned a perfect enclave for trade in Ayutthaya. European, Japanese and Chinese ships used Ayutthaya as port to trade wood, teak, ivory, furs, silk and all sorts of crafts. Many of these merchants claimed that Ayutthaya was the most splendid city that had never seen, even came to be known to Ayutthaya with the nickname of The Venice of the East.
Its maximum splendor Ayutthaya had more than 1500 temples and 4000 statues, which the Burmese armies gave good account to ravage the area and they beheaded the vast majority of statues to demonstrate his power.
Visit the Ayutthaya Historical Park
The Ayutthaya Historical Park, declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1981, has much to offer, from temples and museums to an elephant Park.
The ancient city of Ayutthaya (Ayutthaya Historical Park) can be considered an Island nestled between 3 rivers: the River Chao Phraya, Lopburi River and Pa Sak River. The most prominent places of Ayutthaya lie within borders that mark these 3 rivers.
Entrance fee to Ayutthaya Historical Park
To be able to access the Ayutthaya Historical Park is necessary to pay entrance fee. There is a single entry that allows us to visit all the monuments and places of Ayutthaya, you have to purchase of tickets at each place of interest in the ancient capital of Thailand ticket offices. Prices hover between 60 baht and 20 baht (between 0.5€ and 1.5€). Credit cards are not accepted but he is allowed to pay with American dollars.
The vast majority of entrance fees to monuments in Ayutthaya are blue and exactly like each other, the only difference is the stamp imprinted at the box office, seal with the name of the monument or area to visit.
Opening the Ayutthaya Historical Park
The Ayutthaya Historical Park opens its doors to daily from 8: 00 until 18: 00 without interruption, although the Sun starts to get around 17: 30.
Getting around Ayutthaya
With a surface of 15 square kilometres, it is necessary to rent a bicycle (40 baht per day), hire the services of a tuk-tuk (from 200 baht time, haggle) or hire a car with driver (from 800 baht for 3 hours, bargain) to be able to move through the area.
Although the tuk-tuk are the funniest way of knowing Ayutthaya, tuk-tuk drivers have a tendency to carry tourists to nearby stores to thus earn a Commission, therefore we recommend the car with driver which costs almost the same as the tuk-tuk is not lost time in stores, it is equipped with air-conditioning and we have trunk to leave backpacks and other belongings during visits.
Dress Code For Ayutthaya
There is no restriction with regard to clothing (unlike Grand Palace in Bangkok which is very strict), the only rule is shoes off to enter into certain temples and palaces.
Attractions: What to see in Ayutthaya?
Of all places, ruins and monuments that make up the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the highlight is:
- Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol: the typical picture of Ayutthaya, architecture shaped stupas or chedis and hundreds of statues of the Buddha dressed in yellow robes.
- Wat Maha That: the head sculpture of Buddha among the branches of trees, one of the most famous images of Ayutthaya.
- Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit: a copy of the Grand Palace in Bangkok which houses an enormous sculpture of Buddha, the largest in Thailand.
- Wat Lokayasutharam: a huge sculpture of a Buddha reclining style Wat PhoThe Reclining Buddha Bangkok city.
- Wat Ratchaburana: the monument to the struggle for the throne of the Kingdom of Siam, erected in the same place where they died their contenders.
- Wat Phra if Sanphet: imposing stupas or chedis containing the ashes of several Kings of Siam.
Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol: stupas and statues of Buddha
This part of the old capital Ayutthaya is that found in better condition, one of the most beautiful and colorful all Ayutthaya areas and therefore one of part of the ancient capital busiest. This site of Ayutthaya dates back to the year 1357 and its name, Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol, meaning the great monastery of fortunate victory, in reference to a victory for the Thai people to the Burmese people.
It is striking fabrics in bright yellow surrounding stupas or chedis, fabrics that also cover hundreds of Buddha statues in the area. At the foot of each Buddha, there is a plaque with the name of the Buddha and what it symbolizes.
The great temple or Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol monastery is open to the public and its interior can be visited. This building of Ayutthaya is 62 meters tall and is made up of more than 28000 tonnes of brick. In its interior you can contemplate a well where there is groundwater.
But the best of this monastery is not inside, but the fantastic views from the top of the stairs of the entire area consists Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol.
Across the complex, we have a reclining Buddha statue, much like Wat Pho reclining Buddha in Bangkok.
Video of Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol
This is a video of the beautiful area of Ayutthaya Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol, the Buddhas and their robes, stupas and gardens.
Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol (Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon) - Ayutthaya
Wat Maha That: Buddha 's head between tree branches
One of the most disturbing photographs of Ayutthaya is the statue of the Buddha between tree branches head which is located in Wat Maha That. Although the sculpture may seem that it has a majestic size, it is surprising that its size will be little more than 40 centimeters.
The sculpture of Buddha 's head is naturally surrounded by tree branches, creating a unique sight, probably the most famous of all Thailand. The tree and sculpture are surrounded by a rope that creates a security perimeter and the famous Buddha, is protected at all times by a security guard sitting by the tree. As respect for the Buddha and as indicated by the signs, it is considered a courtesy bow to the Buddha to show our respects.
This area of the ancient Ayutthaya was brutally devastated by Burmese armies and today the State is ruinous. Decapitated statues of Buddha can be seen yet.
The remains of Wat Maha That somewhat reminiscent of the ruins of my Son, In central Vietnam.
The price of admission to Wat Maha That, 50 baht, seems excessive compared with 20 baht it costs to access Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol. The area comprising Ayutthaya Wat Maha That area, only highlights the famous Buddha head, the rest are ruins and parkland.
Wat Maha That Video
Video where you can see the famous sculpture of the head of Buddha among the tree branches Wat Maha That.
Wat Maha That - Ayutthaya
Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit: The Grand Palace in Ayutthaya
This Palace of Ayutthaya, named Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit that resembles to a large extent to the Grand Palace of Bangkok, it is actually a Buddhist temple which is believed was built in the year 1538. The Palace that can be seen today is a restoration of the year 1957, since the original structure of its roof collapsed due to fire during the fall of the Ayutthaya city before Burma.
Highlights of Viharn Phra Mongkhon Bophit is not its architecture but the huge Buddha statue which is inside (one of the largest in Thailand). This Buddha statue measured 12.45 m tall (not counting the base) and 9.55 metres wide. The sculpture is believed data from the year 1448 to the year 1602.
The statue was originally outdoors, until it was seriously damaged by the impact of a lightning strike in the year 1706, made that became that Phra Mongkhon Bophit a Viharn to give shelter to the statue inside the temple.
In the back of the temple Viharn Phra Ayutthaya Mongkhon Bophit can find some small vessels to make offerings, much like Wat Pho. Need to get some coins found at the beginning of the row of vessels in a golden urn and go put a few coins as an offering, in each of the vessels.
Video of Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit
Video shot around Phra Mongkol Bophit Viharn where we can appreciate the architecture of the temple and the large Buddha inside.
Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit - Ayutthaya
Very close to the head of Buddha Wat Mahathat are the remains of Wat Ratchaburana dates from the year 1424. Outside of these ruins of Ayutthaya highlight the 2 towers and magnificent engravings in stone of apsaras very to the style of the Temples of Angkor in Cambodia.
These two towers were built in memory of the children of the King Intharachathirat, both contested the throne and finally appeared. He was the third son of the King, Chao Sam Phraya, who succeeded the throne and lifted Wat Ratchaburana in memory of his father and brothers. As curiosity will say that Wat Ratchaburana stands in the same place where the King's sons battled for the throne and died.
Although Ratchaburana Wat complex is in the process of restoration, we can get an idea of the splendor of Ayutthaya and the Burmese destruction after the fall of the city, obvious signs on statues decapitated.
On the inside of the towers we have the crypt, which is accessed down a narrow staircase. Although the crypt no longer bears the remains of the King's sons, Yes can be seen the murals on the walls, as well as many precious objects and statues that were recovered (currently exposed in the Museum Chao Sam Phraya) inside.
As curiosity will say that this place was looted in the year 1957, fortunately police caught thieves recovering more than 100 kilos of gold and more than 2,000 handicrafts of incalculable value.
Wat Video Ratchaburana
In this video you can see the two towers and the crypt inside Wat Ratchaburana.
Wat Ratchaburana - Ayutthaya
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
The Temple of Wat Phra if Sanphet stands in the same place where was located the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Siam. This Ayutthaya complex dates from the year 1448, where the most prominent are the 3 stupas or chedis, that contained the ashes of three kings of Ayutthaya: King Borommatrailokanat (this chedi), the King Boroma-Rachathirat III (West chedi) and King Ramathibodi II (central chedi).
The Temple of Wat Phra if Sanphet was the chosen scenario to sign alliances between peoples and was also used as a private chapel of the Royal Thai family. The monks were forbidden access, except by Royal invitation for certain ceremonies.
Video of Wat Phra Si Sanphet
A video of the three stupas and area Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet - Ayutthaya
In addition to the complex reclining Buddha Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol in Ayutthaya and the famous Wat Pho the city of Bangkok, we have this great sculpture carved reclining Buddha in cement called Wat Lokayasutharam. This Buddha, whose head rests on a Lotus Flower, has dimensions of 37 meters long and 8 meters high.
This sacred place is a Centre of pilgrimage famous in Thailand, so it is very common to find people making offerings and praying to the Buddha of Wat Lokayasutharam. Although it is usually dressed with yellow tunic so characteristic of Ayutthaya, the Buddha during our visit lacked the tunic.
Wat Video Lokayasutharam
A video of the lying Buddha statue in Ayutthaya.
Wat Lokayasutharam - Ayutthaya
Videos of Ayutthaya: virtual visit to Ayutthaya
This is a video with highlights of Ayutthaya: Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol, Wat Maha That, Phra Mongkol Viharn Bophit, Ratchaburana Wat, Wat Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Lokayasutharam.
Video Ayutthaya Historical Park
Maps and tourist Ayutthaya
For those travelers who visit for free the ancient capital of the kingdom of Siam, we leave these planes tourist area and also a map Ayutthaya Historical Park of Ayutthaya.
How to go from Bangkok to Ayutthaya?
Communications between Bangkok and the city of Ayutthaya are very good. The Ayutthaya Historical Park is 76 kilometres north of Bangkok. To bequeath to the historic Kingdom of Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Siam, can go in vans or minibuses, regular line bus, train and boat.
Undoubtedly we recommend Ayutthaya move until van / minibus as it is faster, its price is very affordable and do intermediate stops (to avoid getting lost on the way).
Note: is convenient to take into account that one thing is the Ayutthaya Historical Park and the other, the current city of Ayutthaya.
More information Going to Ayutthaya from Bangkok.