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Places to visit

Ayutthaya

The ancient city of Ayutthaya

 

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.

 

The ancient city of Ayutthaya, or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, The Thai capital for 417 years, is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in a city that was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong when the Thais were forced southwards by northern neighbours. During the period of Ayutthaya being the Thai capital, 33 Kings of different dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was sacked by the Burmese in 1767.

Ayutthaya is 76 kilometers north of Bangkok and boasts numerous magnificent ruins. Such ruins indicate that Ayutthaya was one of Indo - China's most prosperous cities. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya a Historical Park, a vast stretch of historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city, has been included in UNESCO's list of world heritage since 13 December ,1991.

Ayutthaya covers 2,556 square kilometers, and is administratively divided into 16 districts (Amphoes). It is conveniently accessible due to good roads and a short distance from Bangkok. Ayutthaya is an ancient capital and modern city in the Central Plains of Thailand, 85 km to the north of Bangkok.


Ayutthaya is boasts numerous magnificent ruins. Such ruins indicate that Ayutthaya was one of Indo - China's most prosperous cities. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya a Historical Park, a vast stretch of historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city, has been included in UNESCO's list of world heritage since 13 December ,1991.

Ayutthaya covers 2,556 square kilometers, and is administratively divided into 16 districts (Amphoes). It is conveniently accessible due to good roads and a short distance from Bangkok.

Ayutthaya indicated by Slogan

Old capital city, food larder of the country, poet laureates galore, and national heroes.

Long History of Ayutthaya start by

Originally founded by King U-Thong in 1350 within a bend of the Chao Phraya river, Ayutthaya was the capital of the Thai kingdom at its mightiest. Conquered and sacked by the Burmese in 1767, today only the ruins of its splendor remain. The modern city was founded a few kilometers further east.

Ayutthaya was originally known as "Ayothaya" which refers to the capital of King Rama (see Ramayana). When King Naresuan the Great defeated the Burmese, he changed the name of the city to "Aytthaya" meaning "the undefeatable city". During the period of Ayutthaya being the Siamese capital for 417 years, 33 kings of different dynasties ruled the kingdom.

The Bowring Treaty (1855), signed by King Mogkhut between Siam and Britain, was the first of its kind and successfully opened up Siam to Western influence and trade.

The ruins of the old capital in the Ayutthaya historical park are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. and have been so since December 1991.

Among Thai cities, Ayutthaya's English name is probably the least standardized - it is also known as Ayotaya, Ayothaya, Ayudhya, Ayutaya, Ayuthaya and Ayuttaya.

Geography

Ayutthaya covers 2,556.6 square kilometres, and is administratively divided into 16 districts (Amphoes). It is conveniently accessible due to good roads and a short distance from Bangkok, just about an hour by car.

Districts

The province comprises of 16 districts, namely: Amphoe Muang, Bang Ban, Bang Pa Han, U โ€“ Thai, Bang Pa-in, Nakhon Luang, Sena, Wang Noi, Maha Rat, Phachi, Phak Hai, Bang Sai (เธšเธฒเธ‡เธ‹เน‰เธฒเธข), Bang Sai (เธšเธฒเธ‡เน„เธ—เธฃ), Ban Phraek, Tha Ruea, Lat Bua Luang.





Transportation



You can get Ayutthaya by Car

From Bangkok, one can get to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya by various routes:

1. Take Highway No.1 (Phahon Yothin) via Pratu Nam Phra In and turn into Highway No.32, then, turn left to

Highway No.309 to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
2. Take Highway No.304 (Chaeng Watthana) or Highway No.302 (Ngam Wong Wan), turn right into Highway No.306

(Tiwanon), cross Nonthaburi or Nuanchawi Bridge to Pathum Thani, continue on Highway No.3111 (Pathum Thani โ€“

Sam Khok โ€“ Sena) and turn right at Amphoe Sena into Highway No.3263 to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
3. Take Highway No.306 (Bangkokโ€“Nonthaburiโ€“Pathum Thani), at Pathum Thani Bridge Intersection, turn into

Highway Nos.347 and 3309 via Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, Amphoe Bang Pa-in, to Phra Nakhon Si

Ayutthaya.
4. Take Expressway No.9 (Si Rat Expressway) via Nonthaburi โ€“ Pathum Thani and down to Highway No.1 via Bang

Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, turn left into Highway No.3469 towards Bang Pahan and turn right at Worachet

Intersection to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.

By train

The cheapest and most colorful way of reaching Ayutthaya is by train. All north and north-east line trains depart

from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station and stop in Ayutthaya, a trip of about 1.5 hours. Second class (non-

aircon) costs 35 baht (seats can be booked in advance), while third class is just 20 baht (no reservations). Trains

pass by the provinceโ€™s Amphoe Bang Pa-in, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya and Amphoe Phachi, where at Ban

Phachi Junction the railway lines separate to the North and Northeast. Then, mini-buses can be taken from the

railway station into the city. See Thailand "State Railway" for schedule and cost. 1st Class = 66 baht. You can check

all the fares in http://www.railway.co.th/English/FareRate.asp

In addition, a Bangkok โ€“ Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya train pulled by a steam locomotive is usually provided by the

State Railway of Thailand on 3 special occasions every year. The first one is on 26 March which marks the

establishment of the State Railway of Thailand and the inauguration day of Thailandโ€™s first railway line between

Bangkok โ€“ Nakhon Ratchasima in 1890. The second, 23 October โ€“ the memorial day of King Rama V, founder of the

Thai railways. And the third, 5 December โ€“ the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. For more information,

please contact the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 0 2220 4334, 1690 or http://www.railway.co.th, and Ayutthaya

Railway Station at Tel. 0 3524 1521.

Ayutthaya's train station is to the east of the central island. The easiest way to get to central Naresuan Road is to

walk straight ahead from the station and take the cross-river ferry for 4 baht.

By bus

Buses operate every 20 minutes or so from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit) directly to Ayutthaya. First

class air-con buses charge 60 baht, while second class is 45 baht. Allow at least two hours for the trip since the

buses stop rather frequently and there are often jams on the roads out of/into Bangkok. Also you can take a minivan

from the Victory Monument direct to Ayutthaya. Takes ~1 hour and costs 60baht. Buses depart every 20 minutes or

so

The buses are from 4.30 a.m.โ€“7.15 p.m. For more details, please call Tel. 0 2936 2852-66 or

http://www.transport.co.th and Ayutthaya Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 3533 5304.

In Ayutthaya, the central BKS bus station is on the south side of Thanon Naresuan next to the Chao Phrom Market.

songthaews to Bang Pa-In also leave from here. Some 1st-class buses to Bangkok, however, leave from the north

side of the road some 500m to the west, on the other side of the khlong (canal); the queue for air-con buses is easy

to spot.

From Kanchanaburi, take a local bus from the main bus station to Suphanburi for 45 baht (2 hours), then another

local bus to Ayutthaya for 40 baht (1.5 hours). A taxi from Kanchanaburi costs 2000-2500 baht (2 hours).

There is also a central bus station east of town serving northern destinations. It can be reached by songthaew - ask

around to find the appropriate stop.

By minibus (Van)

Convenient minibus service (can get stuck in traffic, but makes no stops like regular buses) operates from the Victory

Monument square in Bangkok. Take BTS Skytrain to the Victory Monument station, and go right on the elevated

walkway - keep on it until you cross a large road, then descend - the buses are parked at the side side of the main

traffic circle). The cost is usually ~70 baht, takes around 1 hour or 1 hour 20 min. It's quite convenient since you

don't have to go to bus terminals (nearby Mochit) but the only problem is that the minibuses don't have much space

to put big bags and have to wait until the car is fully filled.

Minibuses (Van) from Kanchanaburi can be arranged by guesthouses or any tour operators for around 350 baht.


By boat

Cruise boats run up the river from Bangkok, often stopping at Ko Kret and Bang Pa-In along the way. You'll need to

book in advance as there are no scheduled services, just trips for tourists. It's a fairly lengthy trip (at least one

whole day) and some of the larger boats offer (pricy) overnight tours. -- Boat from Ayutthaya to Bangkok leaves

11:30 daily (arrives Bangkok ~4:00PM) = 1350 baht/person PH: 08 97662672

Travelling by boat to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is popular among foreigners since it does not only reveal the beauty

as well as lifestyle of the people on both sides of the Chao Phraya River, but also reflects the life in history at the

time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom when the Chao Phraya River served as a channel of transportation in trading with

foreign countries.

Cruise to Ayutthaya

The luxurious cruise from Bangkok to the former capital of Ayutthaya is operated by River Sun Cruise Tel: 0 2266

9316, 0 2266 9125-6, Manohra Tel: 0 2476 0021-2 ( Package Tour 3 day +2 nights ), and Grand Pearl Tel: 0 2861 0255-60.


 

Places to visit in Ayutthaya


Travel and Activities


Ayutthaya 's history as a previous capital of Thailand, the former base of Thai Buddhism and home to tens of kings. Places of Ayutthaya's most important attraction, among them the Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit, containing one of the largest coated bronze Buddha images in Thailand; the Royal Palace, Wat Mahathat, during from 1958, now on display in the Ayutthaya National Museum.


Ayutthaya people are certainly proud of their heritage; a place of beautiful temples, palaces and art. Besides royals, royal sub-ordinates and monks, the people of Ayutthuya were originally farmers who worked in the fields. Ayutthaya was the first destination of any foreigner back in the days of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and was the location of the first treaties ever signed behind powerful European nations and Siam.

Ayutthaya Events, Festivals and place to visit as following

Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre Fair, Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre This centre occupies an area of 14 acres in Amphoe Bang Sai which can be visited either by road or river. It was established under royal patronage in 1976. Farmers from rural areas undergo training in folk arts and crafts here. Visitors will have a glimpse of various different Thai houses in regional styles and see how the rural people produce exquisite handicrafts including fern vien basketry, weaving basketry, artificial flowers, hand-woven silk and cotton, silk dyeing, wood-carving, miniature hand-modelled Thai dolls, furniture making, and cloth-made products.. At the end of January Held annually toward the end of January at Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre, the Fair features displays and contests of the arts and crafts products, sales of local products and cultural performances.

Songkran Festival thai water festival, April 13 Held annually on 13 April in front of Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, it features a traditional procession, Thoet Thoeng drums procession, Song Nam Phra ceremony of the miniature of Phra Mongkhon Bophit image, and Nang Songkran beauty contest.

Wai Khru Bucha Tao Ceremony Around April โ€“ May A ceremony held by blacksmiths and knife-makers of Aranyik knives at Ban Ton Pho, Ban Phai Nong and Ban Salai, Tambon Tha Chang, Amphoe Nakhon Luang to pay salute to their masters and forge spirits. The ceremony is usually held on an early Thursday morning which may be the 7th, 9th, etc. day of the waxing moon of the 5th lunar month (around April โ€“ May) in order to express gratitude to their masters, sweep away possible accidents during their works as well as for their own auspiciousness and prosperity. After chanting for a congregration of angels and saluting the Triple Gem, the master of the ceremony will chant for a congregration of gods which include Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, Vishnukarma, Matuli, Vaya, Gangga, 8 ascetics, etc. as well as Thai, Lao, Mon, and Chinese masters who have imparted them with the ironwork skills, for them to receive their offerings and bless all participants. All tools and equipment will be gilded and lustral water made to sprinkle on the tools and participants.

Bang Sai Loi Krathong and Traditional Long Boat Races November it is an annual festival held toward the end of November at the Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre, Amphoe Bang Sai. Activities include Nang Nopphamat beauty contest, contests of processions, Krathongs, and hanging lanterns, folk entertainment, traditional and international long boat races, and sales of the Centreโ€™s products.

Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair December To commemorate the occasion of the Ayutthaya Historical Park being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 13 December, 1991, a celebration is held annually for 1 week during the same period of the year. The Fair features local ways of life, handicrafts, Thai traditions and culture as well as the light and sound presentation on the history of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya Maha Mongkhon Buddhist Lent Festival Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Provincial Administration in collaboration with the Tourism Business Association and TAT Central Region Office: Region 6, organise the Ayutthaya Maha Mongkhon programme for participants to visit 9 temples in the province during the Buddhist Lent Festival. Booklets for this annual programme that have undergone a chanting ceremony are obtainable at the Ayutthaya Tourism Centre (Old City Hall) or Information Counter at the Ayutthaya Park Shopping Centre, and hotels/restaurants with a programme sign within the province. After that, visit the temples, pay respect to sacred images and have your booklet stamped by following the map provided. Once having visited all the nine temples, participants will be presented with an Ayutthaya Maha Mongkhon memorial coin and a chance to win a prize. For more information, contact the Ayutthaya Tourism Business Association at Tel. 0 3521 3828โ€“9 ext. 101.

Place to visit in Ayutthaya



Wat Borom Phuttharam situated inside Rajabhat University Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, the north-facing temple was built some time during 1688โ€“1703 during the reign of King Phetracha on his former residence area near the main gate of the southern city wall. Its location and area plan was confined to be in the north-south direction by ancient communication routes; namely, Khlong Cha Krai Noi in the east and a royal pathway known as

Thanon Maha Ratthaya or Thanon Pa Tong in the west. Unlike other temples, the King had all buildings roofed with yellow glazed tiles and the temple became known as โ€œWat Krabueang Khlueapโ€ or the โ€œglazed tile templeโ€. The construction took 2 years and the temple underwent a major renovation in the reign of King Borommakot, who had 3 pairs of door panels decorated with fine mother-of-pearl inlays. One pair of them is currently at Ho Phra Monthian Tham inside the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the second is at Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple), and the third was turned into cabinets and is now exhibited at the Bangkok National Museum.

Wat Phra Si Sanphe
t (Sri Sanphet Rd) is the largest temple in Ayutthaya, known for its row of chedis (Thai-style stupas). Housed within the grounds of the former royal palace, the wat was used only for royal religious ceremonies. It once housed a 16-meter Buddha covered with 340 kg of gold, but the Burmese set fire to the statue to melt the gold and destroyed the temple in the process. Used as a residential palace, it became a monastery in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. When King Borom Trai Lokanat commanded new living quarters built, this residential palace was given to be a temple area, thus originating
Wat Phra Si Sanphet This is the most important temple within the Royal Palace compound and the original from which the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok has been copied. Three outstanding Ceylonese style pagodas were built during the 15th century to enshrine the ashes of three Ayutthayan kings. The royal chapel does not have any monks and novice inhabitants. It is open everyday from 8.00 a.m.- 6.00 p.m Entrance fee of 30 baht.

Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopitah (Sri Sanphet Rd) is next to Wat Phra Si Sanphet and houses a large bronze cast Buddha image was originally enshrined in the open area outside the Grand Palace and later covered by a building in the reign of king Songtham. During the fall of Ayutthaya, the building was badly destroyed by fire. The one currently seen was reconstructed, but does not have as beautiful craftmanship as the previous one. The open area east of the sanctuary was where the royal cremation ceremonies took place.Buddha image. It was originally enshrined outside the Grand Palace to the east. King Songtham commanded it to be transferred to the west, where it is currently enshrined and covered with a Mondop. Later in the reign of Phra Chao Suea, the top of the Mondop was burnt down by a fire due to a thunderbolt. Then, the King commanded a new building be built in the form of a big sanctuary (Maha Wihan) to cover the image in lieu of the former Mondop. During the second fall of Ayutthaya, the building and the image were badly destroyed by fire, the one currently seen was renovated but does not have as beautiful craftsmanship as the previous ones. The open area east of the Sanctuary (Wihan) was formerly Sanam Luang, where the royal cremation ceremony took place (This practice is now held at Sanam Luang, the Phramen Ground of Bangkok). No entry charge.

Ancient Palace (access through Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, no additional entry charge) is mostly low-lying ruins set in large grounds, with only a few free standing buildings remaining. It was originally called the Grand Palace, the residential palace of every king was located close to the city wall of Ayutthaya. A road passes by from
Wat Phanancherng This temple, south of the town, has no record about its construction. It had been build before Ayutthaya was founded as the capital. The principal image called "Phrachao Phananchoeng" in the wihara was built in 1325. The golden Buddha image is 19 metres tall, made of trucco in the attitude of subduing evil. It is most revered by the inhabitants of Ayutthaya. (on the Bang Pa-in Rd, about 1.5km out of town) is a working wat which contains the oldest large cast bronze Buddha image in Ayutthaya, though it was covered in scaffold in June 2006 for refurbishment. There is a small room to the right of the main hall which contains a nice collection of Buddha images and the room is painted with many individual unique pictures, in bright colours offset with gold. A 20 baht temple donation per person is asked for.

Chantharakasem Palace, On the bank of the Pasak River; this palace was built during the reign of King Maha Thammaraja, the 17th Ayutthayan monarch, for his son's residence [King Naresuan]. Like other ruins, the palace was destroyed by the Burmese and left unrepaired for a long time. King Rama IV of the present Chakri dynasty ordered reconstruction of this palace for use as a residence during his occasional visits to Ayutthaya. The palace is now a national museum displaying chinaware, ancient weapons, King Rama lV's personal belongings for daily life, Buddha images, sculptures and votive tablets of different times. It is open from Wednesdays to Sundays from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. just two kilometres away to the north. Important buildings inside the Grand Palace compound are:

Wihan Somdet Hall
The top of this hall has been decorated in a unique style of architecture called Prang. It has longer space in front and rear gabled rooms, and shorter space in the side gabled rooms. It was surrounded with a three-sided cloister and utilized for various royal ceremonies such as coronations. This was the first building over constructed in Ayutthaya to be affixed with gold leaf.

Sanphet Prasat Hall
This is the middle building construted in the same design as Wihan Somdet Hall. Kings used it to welcome foreign envoys and visitors.

Suriyat Amarin Hall A four-gabled roof building constructed of sandstone and brick; it is close to the riverside city wall. It was used as a place to witness the royal barge processions.

Chakkrawat Phaichayon Hall With a three-gabled roof, is on the inner eastern city wall in front of the Grand Palace. It was used to view processions and military practice.

Trimuk Hall This is located behind the Sanphet Prasat Hall. It is believed to have been the residential area of the consort members and also the garden was the royal relaxing place.

Banyong Rattanat Hal
l Formerly known by the name of โ€œPhra Thinang Thaisaโ€, it is located in the back compound of the Grand Palace on an island in a pond. It has four-gabled roof architecture. Remains of the throne halls that are left to be seen at present, were constructed in the reign of King Borommatrailokkanat and used to serve as royal residences for all later kings. Open daily during 6.00 a.m. โ€“ 6.00 p.m. Admission is 30 Baht each.
A package ticket is also available at 180 Baht each, covering admission to temples and museums within the province and valid for 30 days, including Wat Phra Si Sanphet and the Ancient Palace Complex, Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Chai Watthanaram, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and Chantharakasem Museum. For more details call Tel. 0 3524 2501, 0 3524 4570.


Wat Thammikarat is located on (U-Thong Rd) is a working wat, but also contains the ruins of a large chedi and a huge wiharn which has a large tree growing picturesquely out of the side of one wall. It is a temple in the Mahanikaya Sect, Wat Thammikarat was formerly known as Wat Mukkharat. When King Sainamphueng had Wat Phananchoeng constructed before the establishment of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, King Thammikarat โ€“ his son, had this temple constructed in an old town called Sangkhaburi. The temple had successively been restored by later kings. In the reign of King Songtham (1610 A.D.), the temple was renovated and a Wihan Luang constructed for sermon hearing.
The Wihan Luang once enshrined an enormous bronze head of the Buddha of the U Thong period, now exhibited at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. The temple also houses a Reclining Buddha hall called Wihan Phra Phutthasaiyat built by his queen consort following her wish made for her daughterโ€™s recovery from an ailment. The Wihan is located to the north of Phra Chedi with a base of 52 surrounding Singha or lions, and houses a north-facing reclining Buddha image measuring 12 metres in length, with both feet gilded and inlaid with glass mosaic. No entry charge.

Wat Ratchaburana (Naresuan Rd) stands out for having a large prang recently restored to its original condition, clearly visible if you come in from the east. A major find of golden statues and other paraphernalia was made here in 1958, although much was subsequently stolen by robbers โ€” the remnants are now in the Chao Sam Phraya Museum. You can climb inside the prang for nice views and a little exhibit. The mysterious staircase down, leads to two unrestored rooms with original paintings still visible on the walls. Entrance fee of 30 baht.

Wat Phra Mahathat This temple is on the corner of Chi Kun Road and Naresuan Road across the road from Wat Ratburana which is a large temple that was quite . A tall pagoda was built by King Ramkesuan in 1384. A buried treasure chest containing valuables including a relic of Lord Buddha, several golden Buddha images and many other objects in gold, ruby and crystal was found during the excavation in 1956. thoroughly ransacked by the Burmese. Several Leaning Prangs of Ayutthaya are still feebly defying gravity though,and the rows of headless Buddhas are atmospheric. This is also where you can spot the famous tree that has grownaround a Buddha head. Entrance fee of 30 baht.

Wat Phra Ram This temple is situated outside the grand palace compound to the east. King Ramesuan commanded that it be built on the ground where the royal cremation ceremony for his father, King U-Thong, took place. Only a pagoda and a big lagoon called "Bung Phra Ram" remain. The area is currently used as a public park. The tample located on Sri Sanphet Road consists of one huge prang and some smaller chedi and outbuildings, all in disrepair though the top of the prang is complete. Staircases to the side of the prang give views of Ayutthaya.


This monastery was situated outside the grand palace compound to the east. King Ramesuan commanded it built on ground, where the royal cremation ceremony for his father, King U-Thong, took place. A big lagoon is in front of this monastery. Its original name was โ€œNong Sanoโ€, it was changed to be โ€œBueng Phraramโ€ or currently Phraram Public Park. It is open everyday from 8.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. Entry charge of 30 baht.

 




Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai is also located on U-Thong Rd is a white and gold coloured chedi built as a memorial to a previous queen. Set in a small, well-kept gardens, it is the memorial for the first heroine in Siamese history, is located in Ko Mueang to the west. Among various places of interest within the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, this ancient place is of much importance as a proof of honour that ancient Siamese society gave to Thai women.

This pagoda is situated at the original site of the Rear Palace in the west of the city. It is a memorial to Somdet Phra Suriyothai, who was the royal consort of Phra Mahachakkraphat and the first heroine in Thai history. When the Burmese army intruded into the kingdom in 1548, Somdet Phra Suriyothai, clad in a warrior's suit, interrupted the fighting between the king and Phrachao Prae of Burma and was cut to death.
Phra Si Suriyothai was the royal consort of Phra Mahachakkraphat. In 1548, only 7 months after being crowned as king, he was challenged by a Burmese attack under the supervision of Phrachao Tabeng Chaweti and his warlord, Burengnong. The Burmese army intruded into the kingdom through the Three Pagoda Pass in Kanchanaburi and came to set up military camps around the royal compound. During the fighting on elephant back, Phra Mahachakkaraphat faced danger. Phra Si Suriyothai, clad in a warriorโ€™s suit, interrupted the fighting with the intention to provide assistance for her husband. She rode her elephant in the way of Phrachao Prae, a Burmese commander, and was cut to death by his sword. After the end of the war, Phra Mahachakkraphat arranged a funeral and established the cremation site to be a temple named โ€œWat Sopsawanโ€.

In the reign of King Rama V, there was a quest for the historical sites as mentioned in the Royal Chronical. The exact location of Wat Sopsawan was identified with a large indented stupa which was renamed by King Rama VI as Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai. In 1990, the government assigned the Fine Arts Department and the National Security Command to restore the chedi, which had deteriorated over time. Fortunately, on 20 May 1990, some antique objects were found such as a white rock crystal Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara, a chedi replica, and a golden reliquary. These ancient objects were brought to be under the care of the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.

Wat Phu Khao Thong (about 3km out of town, west off the Ang Thong Rd) is a huge white, and slightly wonky, Chedi Phukhao Thong This 80-metre tall pagoda is located 2 kms. northeast of the town. It was originally built in Mon style by King Burengnong of Burma to commemorate the Burmese victory over Ayutthaya in 1569. When Ayutthaya's independence was restored by King Naresuan in 1584, the pagoda was remodelled in the Thai style. Chedi set in a big field. The actual nearby wat is still working and has small grounds with a smiling fat buddha image set in the ruins of a small viharn. You will see the Monument of King Naresuan the Great on the way. No entry charge.


Wat Cheung Tha (about 1km out of town, east off the Ang Thong Rd) is a small working wat with small grounds with chedi and viharn ruins and some buddha images. No entry charge.

Wat Nah Phra Meru (about 1km out of town, east from Wat Cheung Tha) has a large viharn containing the biggest bronze buddha image in Ayutthaya, cast dressed in full royal regalia. The viharn is set in well maintained grounds with buddha images, a small koi carp pond, and three ruined chedis, one of which has a large bodhi tree growing out of the top of it. A 20 baht temple donation per person is asked for.


Wat Suwan Dararam Ratchaworawihan The temple is located inside the city wall to the southeast of the town island near Pom Phet. It was formerly known as โ€œWat Thongโ€ and was constructed by King Rama Iโ€™s father in the Ayutthaya period. When King Rama I was crowned as the first king of the Rattanakosin period, he had the temple re-established and renamed it โ€œWat Suwan Dararamโ€ to compliment his parentsโ€™ names.

The templeโ€™s Phra Ubosot โ€“ Ordination Hall โ€“ is of the late Ayutthaya style, being situated on a boat-like concave

foundation. Its gable depicts the God Vishnu on Mount Garuda. Inside, there are murals of angels on the upper parts and scenes from the Jataka stories on the lower parts of the side walls. The front wall to which the principal Buddha image is facing depicts the scene of the Buddha Subduing Mara from the life of the Lord Buddha, with the Mother Earth Goddess in the centre. Unlike the Phra Ubosot, Phra Wihan โ€“ Lecture Hall โ€“ does not have a concave

foundation and has pillars with a cap of elongated lotus petals. It was built in the reign of King Rama II. Inside, there are fine murals depicting the story of King Naresuan the Great painted in the reign of King Rama VII, which are the prototype of Don Chedi Monument in Suphan Buri.

Thaen Phra Si Maha Pho: A platform with lotus petals decoration supporting the sacred Bodhi tree, the shoot of which was brought from India by King Rama IV. There is a brick belfry of western style nearby. The 2-tiered square structure with a pointed arch door downstairs and a bell tower upstairs is believed to have been built in the reign of King Rama IV during a major renovation.

To get there, use the same route as Chanthara Kasem National Museum, turn right at the T-junction for another 1 kilometre.

Wat Yai Chaimongkon (on the Bang Pa-in Rd, 1km east of Wat Phanancherng) is a large working wat, with ruins that appear on some of the well known photos of temples in Thailand. It features a large reclining Buddha in saffron robes in its own ruined wiharn, and, most spectacularly, a huge chedi swathed in golden cloth set in a courtyard which is lined by Buddha images all wearing saffron robes. Very photogenic. Entry charge of 20 baht.

Wat Senas Sanaram This ancient monastery named โ€œWat Sueaโ€ is behind Chantharakasem National Museum or Chantharakasem Palace. The main attractions are two Buddha images : Phra Samphuttha Muni, the principal image enshrined in the Ubosot, and Phra In Plaeng enshrined in the Wihan ; both were transferred from Vientiane.
Wat Lokkayasutha This monastery is over a kilometre behind the Grand Palace adjacent to Wat Worachettharam. Accessible by the road behind the Ancient Palace, passing Wat Worapho and Wat Worachettharam. It has a large reclining Buddha, made of brick and covered with plaster, approximately 42 metres long. Many large hexagonal pillar ruins near the image are believed to be the ruins of the Ubosot.

Wat Kasattrathirat Worawihan is the monastery located outside Ko Mueang, opposite Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. Its former name was Kasattra or Kasattraram. It is an ancient temple of the Ayutthaya period with a main Prang (stupa) as its centre.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram Is another monastery that is located on the bank of Chao Phraya River, on
the west of the city island. King Prasat Thong commanded it built. The great beauty has been reflected from the main stupa and its satellite stupas along the gallery, an architecture influenced by Khmer. Travelling can be made by river form Chantharakasem National Museum. A long-tailed boat service is available at 300-400 baht for a round trip, consuming about one hour.

Wat Phutthaisawan is the monastery situated on the river bank opposite Ko Mueang to the south.
Travel by car along the route Ayutthaya-Sena to the west of Ko Mueang. After passing the bridge in front of Wat Kasattrathirat, turn left to Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Follow the direction signs, you will find a left turn to Wat Phutthaisawan. This monastery was built in the area where King U-Thong moved to establish his city. The area was first known as Wiang Lek, named after the royal palace of King U-Thong. The most interesting part of Wat Phutthaisawan is the great principal Buddha image; its style is of the early Ayutthaya Period.

Wat Kudidao Located in front of the railway station to the east, this old monastery has beautiful work with better craftsmanship than many other temples, but it has deteriorated to a high degree.

Wat Samanakottharam Located near Wat Kudidao, it was renovated by Chao Phraya Kosa (Lek) and Chao Phraya Kosa (Pan) during the reign of King Narai the Great. The main attraction is a large Prang having an unusual outlook different from the others. It is believed to imitate the design of Chedi Chet Yot of Chiang Mai.

Wat Yai Chaimongkhon or Wat Chao Phraya Thai This monastery constructed in the reign of King U-Thong is located outside the city to the southeast in the same direction as the railway station; one can see its large pagoda from far away. King Naresuan the Great commanded that the pagoda be built to celebrate the victory of his single-handed combat on the elephant back. He also intended a huge construction to match the large pagoda of Wat Phukhao Thong, and named it โ€œPhra Chedi Chaiyamongkhonโ€. It is open everyday from 8.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. Admission fee is 20 baht.
Wat Na Phramen The former name of this monastery was Wat Phra Merurachikaram. Located on the bank of Khlong Sabua opposite the Grand Palace, the date of construction is unknown. The Ubosot design is of very old typical Thai style. The most interesting objects are the principal Buddha image, fully decorated in regal attire, and another ancient Buddha image made of black stone in the small Wihan. It is open everyday from 8.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. Admission fee is 20 baht.

Wat Tum Located in Tambon Wat Tum on the bank of Khlong Wat Tum on the Ayutthayaโ€“ Ang Thong Road, 6 โ€“ 7 kilometres from Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, the temple covers an area of approximately 15 rai. There is no evidence as to when it was constructed and by whom. It is believed to have existed since the Ayothaya period before the establishment of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and must have once been abandoned after the fall of the Kingdom in 1767, before being renovated in the reign of King Rama I and has resumed a status as a monastic temple ever since. Wat Tum has also served as a temple for a war strategy ceremony for at least 1,000 years presumably since the foundation of Ayutthaya.
The temple houses a special Buddha image of which the top part above the forehead can be lifted and the head finial known as Ketumala can be removed. There is a hollow inside the head deep down nearly to the throat containing drops of seeping drinkable clean water that never runs dry. It is a bronze crowned and bejewelled image of the Buddha seated in the gesture of subduing Mara, measuring 87 centimetres in width and 150 centimetres in height. Originally named โ€œLuangpho Thongsuksamritโ€, the image is currently called โ€œLuangpho Sukโ€ and is of an unknown origin. The head of the image will be opened on the first day of each month.

Wat Niwet Thamprawat is the monastery located to the south of an island in the Chao Phraya
River, on the riverbank opposite the royal palace. In 1878, King Rama V ordered its construction to have the same architectural style of a Western cathedral. The building and its decorations are of Gothic style and beautified with colourful stained glass. The base; where the principal image of Buddha and his followers were placed, was designed to resemble the one for the Cross in a Christian church, not a traditional Chukkachi base as seen in general. The window blocks were especially made for curved windows. On the Ubosot wall in front of the principal Buddha image, there is a picture of King Rama V created with stained glass. Situated to the right of the Ubosot is Ho Phra Khanthararat, a shrine where Phra Khanthararat-a Buddha image in the posture of requesting rain, is put for worship.

Opposite Ho Phra Khanthararat is another shrine, which is the house of a seated stone Buddha image protected by a seven-headed naga. It is an ancient Buddha image aged a thousand years, built in the Lopburi period by a Khmer craftsman. This venerated Buddha image is very close to the big banyan tree that spreads its branches to shade the area in front of the Ubosot. Not far from the Ubosot, there is a cluster of stones naturally found in Thailand, which contains the relics of Chaochommanda Chum, a consort of King Rama IV and mother of Prince (Somdet Kromphraya) Damrong Rajanubhab and the members of the โ€˜Diskulโ€™ family. From Bang Pa-In Palace, visitors can access the monastery through a cable car that carries 6-8 passengers at a time. The fare depends on the passengersโ€™ contributions.

Wat Chumphon Nikayaram is the monastery located in the front area of Ko Mueang, opposite to the train station. It was founded in 1632, by King Prasatthongโ€™s command and restored during the reign of King Rama IV.

Wat Kai Located at Tambon Han Sang, 25 kilometres from Ayutthaya on Highway No.32, the entrance to
the temple is 600 metres away to the right and marked by a monkey symbol. It dates from the Ayutthaya period and was once abandoned after the fall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Around 1992, it was renovated and established as a โ€˜Samnak Songโ€™ โ€“ a monastic residence โ€“ before having been granted consecrated boundaries in 1997 for establishing a temple and named โ€œWat Kai,โ€ or โ€˜Chicken Temple,โ€™ after the fact that a large number of chicken died of an epidemic here. The temple also provides home for a large herd of wild macaques that are not fierce but no one knows as to when they came to take sanctuary here.

Wat Tan En A temple amid a shady and serene natural surrounding, it provides home for a flock of flying foxes and various species of waterfowls such as cormorant, grebe, egret, etc. There is an irrigation canal
behind the temple where shoals of various freshwater fish came to take sanctuary. To get there, take Highway No.32, the Asia Highway, to Bang Pahan Intersection, turn right into Highway No.347 and the entrance to the temple is on the right. Continue for another 2 kilometres to the temple, a total distance of approximately 20 kilometres.



Chao Sam Phraya National Museum (Rojana Rd) is where you can find some of the Buddha heads that are so

conspicuously missing at the sites themselves. Opened in 1961 and looks the part. Perhaps the most interesting

displays are the golden regalia from Wat Ratchaburana, on the 2nd floor of Hall 1. Open Wed-Sun from 9 AM to 4 PM,

entrance 30 baht.

It is located at Tambon Pratu Chai, on Rotchana Road opposite Rajabhat University Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. The

construction of this museum was funded by the proceeds from the sale of votive tablets discovered in the

underground crypts of the principal Prang tower of Wat Ratchaburana. Since the temple was built by King

Borommarachathirat II (Chao Sam Phraya), the museum was named after him. The opening ceremony of this museum

was held in 1961 and was presided over by Their Majesties the King and the Queen. It was the first museum in the

country to present a new form of exhibition, displaying not too many objects in an interesting presentation.

There are 3 exhibition buildings as follows:

Building I Downstairs exhibits artefacts unearthed from the archaeological excavations as well as restoration of

ancient monuments in the province during 1956 โ€“ 1957, including Buddha images of the Dvaravati, Lop Buri and

Ayutthaya periods. The ones put on exhibition include an alabaster Buddha image seated in the European style of the

Dvaravati period once enshrined in a niche of an old stupa at Wat Phra Men in Nakhon Pathom province. The images

was originally broken in fragments which were taken to different places but eventually retrieved and reconstructed by

the Fine Arts Department. This is a priceless Buddha image, as there are only 6 of its kind in the world; 5 in Thailand

and 1 in Indonesia. In Thailand, 2 of them are now at Wat Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom, 1 at the Bangkok

National Museum in Bangkok, 1 at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and 1 at Wat Na Phra Men in Phra Nakhon

Si Ayutthaya. There is also an immense bronze head from a Buddha image of the U Thong period discovered at Wat

Thammikarat. This head of the Buddha image indicates how old the temple is as well as how fine the ancient

craftsmanship is in casting huge objects. Intricate wood carvings of the Ayutthaya school are exhibited here, as well.

Upstairs Two rooms are allocated for golden items. Room I exhibits golden miniature regalia and ornaments discovered

in the crypts of the principal Prang tower of Wat Ratchaburana in 1957, with a highlight being the golden sword

known as Phra Saeng Khan Chai Si. The blade of the iron sword has 2 cutting edges cased in a golden sheath

decorated with traditional Thai designs inlaid with precious gemstones, and a handle made from quartz crystal. Room

II houses an exhibition of golden offerings discovered in situ in the crypt of the principal Prang tower of Wat

Mahathat where a golden reliquary containing the Lord Buddhaโ€™s relic was enshrined. The balcony exhibits votive

tablets and plaques made of terra-cotta and pewter (an alloy of tin and lead; lined with copper) of the Sukhothai,

Lop Buri and Ayutthaya periods, discovered in the crypts of the Prang towers of Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Mahathat

and Wat Phra Ram.

Building II exhibits artefacts and objects dโ€™art of different periods from the 6th โ€“ 19th century; namely, Dvaravati, Sri

Vijaya, Lop Buri, Chiang Saen, Sukhothai, U Thong, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin for comparative study purposes.

Important items include Buddha images in various gestures, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Ganesha, etc.

Building III is a complex of traditional Thai houses of central Thailand built in the middle of a moat exhibiting household

equipment and utensils in the ancient daily life of the Thai people such as pottery, coconut graters and various

basketworks. These folk items reflect the glorious past of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

The museum is open on Wednesdays โ€“ Sundays and national holidays during 8.30 a.m.โ€“ 4.00 p.m. and closed on

Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is 30 Baht each. A package ticket valid for 30 days is also available at 180 Baht

each, covering admission to Wat Phra Si Sanphet and the Ancient Palace Complex, Wat Mahathat, Wat

Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Chai Watthanaram, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and Chantharakasem

National Museum. For more information, please contact Tel. 0 3524 1587.

To get there, from Bangkok, enter the city of Ayutthaya, cross the King Naresuan the Great Bridge and go straight

ahead for 2 junctions, the museum will be on the right.

* Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre (Rojana Rd), across the road and to the east of the ChaoPhraya national

museum, is a more modern museum that tries to depict life in Ayutthaya with models.

It is a national research institute devoted to the study of Ayutthaya, especially during the period when Ayutthaya

was the capital of Siam. The Centre is responsible for the museum of the history of Ayutthaya, which exhibits

reconstructions from the past. The Centre also supports an information service and a library containing historical

materials about Ayutthaya.

The Centre is open everyday from 9.00 a.m.-4.30 p.m., official holidays from 9.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. For more details

please contact Tel: 0 35-24 5123-4. A good place to start or end your tour, but a little pricy (by Thai standards) at

100 baht.

* Chankasem National Museum(U-Thing Rd.) northeast corner of island


* Phra Ram Park (behind Wat Mahathat) is a large wooded area with paths and bridges over waterways leading

the way past various statues, buddha images and buildings. No entry charge.

* Khun Phaen Residence (Sri Sanphet Rd) is a renovated traditional teak house set in a good-sized park with

water and various seating areas. The elephants doing the tourist circuit stop here for photos, with Wat Phra Ram in

the background. No entry charge.

* Monument of King Naresuan the Great (in front of Wat Phu Khao Thong), is a large bronze statue of King

Naresuan on a horse. Situated on the entrance road to Wat Phu Khao Thong.

* Ayutthaya Tourism Centre (เธจเธนเธ™เธขเนŒเธ—เนˆเธญเธ‡เน€เธ—เธตเนˆเธขเธงเธญเธขเธธเธ˜เธขเธฒโ€“ATC) The centre is located at the provinceโ€™s old city hall established

by the Fine Arts Department and developed to be a tourist information centre by the Tourism Authority of Thailand

(TAT). The high reliefs of 6 great kings and queens from the Ayutthaya Kingdom; namely, King U Thong, King

Borommatrailokanat, Queen Suriyothai, King Naresuan the Great, King Narai the Great and King Taksin the Great on

the facade of the building remain in their original positions.

1st Floor The right wing in the front serves as TATโ€™s Tourist Information Centre. Open daily during 8.30 a.m. โ€“ 4.30

p.m. For more details, please call Tel. 0 3532 2730โ€“1.

2nd Floor Exhibition on Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthayaโ€™s tourism presented through a high technological system such as

the Computer Touch Screen/Ghost Box. There are 5 sections of the exhibition. Section 1 presents the glorious past

of the civilisation. Section 2 showcases tourist attractions within the province. Section 3 is on its architecture

constructed on the basis of religious beliefs about the Three Worlds and cosmology. Section 4 introduces the lifestyle

of the people of Ayutthaya. Section 5 concludes the exhibition through a video presentation on โ€œLife in the Historical

City of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthayaโ€. Open daily except for Wednesday during 8.30 a.m.โ€“ 4.30 p.m.

3rd Floor โ€œAyothaya Contemporary Art Galleryโ€ established with the main objective to be a stage for the expression

as well as exchange of ideas and lifestyles among artists, students, academics, tourists as well as interested public.

It exhibits creativity in traditional as well as contemporary arts and culture and folk wisdom, in addition, to promoting

the provinceโ€™s cultural and local tourism to be further developed to an international level. The Gallery houses

contemporary and temporary arts rooms, and also provides folk wisdom and enhancing art activities intended for the

development of the learning potential of youth, intensive and extended courses of childrenโ€™s art, etc. Open during

Thursday โ€“ Tuesday (closed on Wednesday), 9.00 a.m.โ€“5.00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, Tel. 0 3521

0225.

* Institute of Ayutthaya Studies (เธชเธ–เธฒเธšเธฑเธ™เธญเธขเธธเธ˜เธขเธฒเธจเธถเธเธฉเธฒ), situated in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Rajabhat University, is a

complex of buildings in a typical Thai style which was constructed for the purpose of studying, conducting research,

and collecting knowledge on Ayutthaya in the areas of history, culture, way of life and local intellect. There are

exhibitions in 5 buildings, including the Ayutthaya Studies Hall, Local Intellect Hall, Cultural Heritage Hall, Rotating

Exhibition Hall, and Ceremony Hall. In addition, there are displays, demonstrations and distribution of OTOP products.

The institute opens daily, except on public holidays, at 9.30 a.m. โ€“ 3.30 p.m. (Tour groups who would like to attend a

performance โ€œTwilight Ayutthayaโ€ in the special case at the Ruean Thai Building, Institute of Ayutthaya Studies,

please contact in advance). For further details, please contact the Ruean Thai Building, Institute of Ayutthaya

Studies, at Tel. 0 3524 1407, or 08 9115 5181.

* Japanese Village (เธซเธกเธนเนˆเธšเน‰เธฒเธ™เธเธตเนˆเธ›เธธเนˆเธ™) Tambon Ko Rian. In the late 16th Century, there were more foreign commercial

traders coming to Ayutthaya. Japanese merchandisers were also permitted to sail their junks to trade with foreigners.

A number of them came to Ayutthaya and were granted royal permission by the Siamese king at that time to settle

around the city island of the Ayutthaya Kingdom like the traders of other nationalities. There were more and more

Japanese coming to Ayutthaya ever since. A Japanese headman at that time was Nagamaza Yamada. He was a

favourite of King Song Tham and was appointed Okya Senaphimuk before being promoted to be the Ruler of Nakhon Si

Thammarat where he lived till the end of his life. A statue of Mr. Nagamaza and an inscription on the historical

background of the village in the Ayutthaya period were erected by the Thai-Japanese Association, with a building

exhibiting the relations between the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and foreign countries. Open during 8.00 a.m. โ€“ 6.00 p.m.

Admission is 20 Baht.

To get there, turn left at the Chedi Wat Sam Pluem Roundabout for approximately 2.5 kilometres via Wat Yai Chai

Mongkhon towards Amphoe Bang Pa-in. For more information, please call Tel. 0 3524 5336.

* King U-Thong Monument (เธžเธฃเธฐเธšเธฃเธกเธฃเธฒเธŠเธฒเธ™เธธเธชเธฒเธงเธฃเธตเธขเนŒเธžเธฃเธฐเน€เธˆเน‰เธฒเธญเธนเนˆเธ—เธญเธ‡): Erected between Bueng Phra Ram and Wat Phra Si Sanphet.

The life-size and a half statue cast from bronze and fumigated with green chemical is standing with a sword in his

right hand. He is clad, crowned and bejewelled in a royal costume of the early Ayutthaya period. The monument was

opened by His Majesty King Bhumibol on 24 June, 1970.

* Chantharakasem National Museum or Chantharakasem Palace or Front Palace (เธžเธฃเธฐเธฃเธฒเธŠเธงเธฑเธ‡เธˆเธฑเธ™เธ—เธฃเน€เธเธฉเธก เธซเธฃเธทเธญ เธงเธฑเธ‡เธซเธ™เน‰เธฒ): On the

bank of Pasak River, this palace was built during the reign of King Maha Thammaraja, the 17th Ayutthaya monarch,

for his sonโ€™s residence (King Naresuan). Like other ruins, the palace was destroyed by the Burmese and left

unrepaired for a long time. King Mongkut of the present Chakri dynasty ordered reconstructoin of this palace for use

as a residence during his occasional visits to Ayutthaya. Some of the more interesting sites are:

* Palace Wall and Gate (เธเธณเนเธžเธ‡เนเธฅเธฐเธ›เธฃเธฐเธ•เธนเธงเธฑเธ‡): They were newly constructed by the command of King Rama IV. The

original foundation of the palace wall has since been found through excavation, thus revealing that the original area

was much more spacious than what is currently seen.

* Phlapphla Chatulamuk (เธžเธฅเธฑเธšเธžเธฅเธฒเธˆเธ•เธธเธฃเธกเธธเธ‚): This wooden four-gabled roof pavilion is near the east gate of the palace.

Originally, a residential place of King Mongkut during his visit to Ayutthaya, it later became the โ€œChantharakasem

National Museum,โ€ under the responsibility of the Fine Arts Department. It is open everyday except Mondays,

Tuesdays and national holidays from 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. Admission is 30 baht

* Phiman Rattaya Hall (เธžเธฃเธฐเธ—เธตเนˆเธ™เธฑเนˆเธ‡เธžเธดเธกเธฒเธ™เธฃเธฑเธ•เธขเธฒ) A group of buildings located amidst the compound of the palace, which

once served as government offices and the Provincial Administrative Building for several years.

* Phisai Sanyalak Hall (เธžเธฃเธฐเธ—เธตเนˆเธ™เธฑเนˆเธ‡เธžเธดเธชเธฑเธขเธจเธฑเธฅเธขเธฅเธฑเธเธฉเธ“เนŒ): This is a four-storey tower located close to the western side of the

Palace. It was originally constructed during the reign of King Narai the Great, but was destroyed during the 2nd fall of

Ayutthaya. It was reconstructed according to the original foundation in the fourth reign of the present dynasty. King

Rama IV used the tower to observe the stars.

The palace is now used as a national museum. It has been decorated for demonstration of antiques such as

Chinaware, ancient weapons, King Rama IVโ€™s personal things for daily life, Buddha images, sculptures and votive

tablets of different times.

The museum is open everyday cxcept Mondays, Tuesdays, and national holidays from 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m.(Admission

fee : 30 Baht). For more information Tel: 0 3525 1586, 0 3525 2795

* City Wall and Fortresse (เธ›เน‰เธญเธกเธ›เธฃเธฒเธเธฒเธฃเธฃเธญเธšเธเธฃเธธเธ‡): The city wall originally built by King U Thong was merely a moat-and-

mound enclosure with a wall of wooden poles on top. A brick one was built later in the reign of King Maha Chakraphat.

According to a Royal Chronicle, a number of fortresses were constructed such as Pom Maha Chai, Pom Sat Kop, Pom

Phet, Pom Ho Ratchakhrue and Pom Champa Phon. Large fortresses were built on the meeting points of rivers. Pom

Phet on the meeting point of the Chao Phraya and Pa Sak Rivers is now a public park while Pom Maha Chai at the

corner of Chanthara Kasem Palace near Hua Ro Market was dismantled in the reign of King Rama I who had the bricks

taken to be used in the construction of a new capital in Bangkok.

* Somdet Phra Si Nakharin Park (เธชเธงเธ™เธชเธกเน€เธ”เน‡เธˆเธžเธฃเธฐเธจเธฃเธตเธ™เธ„เธฃเธดเธ™เธ—เธฃเนŒ): Located on U Thong Road in the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

Historical Park area, to the southwest of Ko Mueang, the Park covers a vast stretch of land with plants in Thai

literature, a Thai pavilion and remains of ancient monuments. Part of the area is being developed into a herb garden.

The Park also houses a monument of Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother.

To get there, from Bangkok, upon crossing Naresuan Bridge to enter the city of Ayutthaya, turn left at the T-junction

near Rajabhat University Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthya, turn right via the provincial hospital and the Park will be on the

right.

* Wang Lang or the Rear Palace (เธžเธฃเธฐเธฃเธฒเธŠเธงเธฑเธ‡เธซเธฅเธฑเธ‡): This palace is located close to the western city wall of Ayutthaya

(in the vicinity of the present location of the distillery plant of the Excise Department). It was originally the royal

garden where the king made a visit from time to time. There was only one residential building in the entire area. King

Maha Thammaracha commanded more buildings to be built in the area to mark it a palace which would be the

residence of King Ekathosarot. Later on, this rear palace was only the residence of royal family members, so now no

one can see the important items.

* Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai (เน€เธˆเธ”เธตเธขเนŒเธžเธฃเธฐเธจเธฃเธตเธชเธธเธฃเธดเน‚เธขเธ—เธฑเธข), the memorial for the first heroine in Siamese history, is located in Ko

Mueang to the west. Among various places of interest within the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, this

ancient place is of much importance as a proof of honour that ancient Thai society gave to Thai women.

Phra Si Suriyothai was the royal consort of Phra Mahachakkraphat. In 1548, only 7 months after being crowned as

king, he was challenged by a Burmese attack under the supervision of Phrachao Tabeng Chaweti and his warlord,

Burengnong. The Burmese army intruded into the kingdom through the Three Pagoda Pass in Kanchanaburi and came

to set up military camps around the royal compound. During the fighting on elephant back, Phra Mahachakkaraphat

faced danger. Phra Si Suriyothai, clad in a warriorโ€™s suit, interrupted the fighting with the intention to provide

assistance for her husband. She rode her elephant in the way of Phrachao Prae, a Burmese commander, and was cut

to death by his sword. After the end of the war, Phra Mahachakkraphat arranged a funeral and established the

cremation site to be a temple named โ€œWat Sopsawanโ€.

In the reign of King Rama V, there was a quest for the historical sites as mentioned in the Royal Chronical. The exact

location of Wat Sopsawan was identified with a large indented stupa which was renamed by King Rama VI as Chedi

Phra Si Suriyothai.

In 1990, the government assigned the Fine Arts Department and the National Security Command to restore the chedi,

which had deteriorated over time. Fortunately, on 20 May 1990, some antique objects were found such as a white

rock crystal Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara, a chedi replica, and a golden reliquary. These ancient

objects were brought to be under the care of the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.

* Si Suriyothai Park (เธชเธงเธ™เธจเธฃเธตเธชเธธเธฃเธดเน‚เธขเธ—เธฑเธข) is located within the area of the Ayutthaya liquor plant adjacent to Chedi Phra Si

Suriyothai. On its total area of 5 rai, there is a common building, a Somdet Phra Si Suriyothai pavilion, a mound with

marble Semas (boundary stones of a temple) aged over 400 years where the fragmented parts of Buddha images

taken from Wat Phutthaisawan were buried, etc. The Liquor Distillery Organisation, who sponsored the construction

of the park, wished to devote all good deeds in transforming the former inner part of the royal compound to all of the

late kings who used to live here before. King Rama IX graciously named the park โ€œSuan Si Suriyothaiโ€ on 25 May,

1989. Then, the park was conferred to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the eve of Her 60th birthday anniversary. The

park opens daily for the public from 9.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.

* Somdet Phra Suriyothai Monument (เธžเธฃเธฐเธฃเธฒเธŠเธฒเธ™เธธเธชเธฒเธงเธฃเธตเธขเนŒเธชเธกเน€เธ”เน‡เธˆเธžเธฃเธฐเธจเธฃเธตเธชเธธเธฃเธดเน‚เธขเธ—เธฑเธข โ€“ เธ—เธธเนˆเธ‡เธกเธฐเธ‚เธฒเธกเธซเธขเนˆเธญเธ‡): Located on a plain known as

Thung Makham Yong on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River at Tambon Ban Mai, approximately 3-4 kilometres to

the northeast of the city island of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. There is a life-size and a half bronze statue of Queen

Suriyothai on the neck of her war elephant as well as another 49 associated sculptures, models of historical events, a

huge reservoir and a public park. This plain was once a battlefield for several Siamโ€“Burmese wars in the past. One of

the heroic deeds that took place here was Queen Suriyothaiโ€™s fight to save her husband, King Maha Chakraphat. She

was killed on her elephantโ€™s neck by the King of Burma. In another later war 2 years after King Naresuan the Great

declared independence, the Burmese king sent his son to station here at Thung Makham Yong whereas the king

himself led his army to position to the south of the plain. King Naresuan, with a sword in his mouth led his soldiers to

climb the wooden pole wall into the Burmese kingโ€™s camp in many successful plunders. His sword was named โ€œPhra

Saeng Dap Khap Khaiโ€ in reminiscence of his victories.

As a historical battlefield of such great significance, a monument of Somdet Phra Suriyothai was constructed under

Her Majesty Queen Sirikitโ€™s suggestion. Funding was provided jointly by the government and Thai people. The

monument was constructed in honour of Her Majesty the Queen to mark her sixtieth birthday anniversary in 1992.

* Elephant Kraal Pavilion (เธžเธฃเธฐเธ—เธตเนˆเธ™เธฑเนˆเธ‡เน€เธžเธ™เธตเธขเธ”) The pavilion, utilized as the royal seat to witness the elephant round up, is

located in Tambon Suan Phrik, 4 kilometres from the city along Highway No.309. The outlook is a big cage surrounded

with logs having, from the front centre, fencing lines of 45 degrees spread out to both sides far away into the jungle

area. Around the kraal itself, is an earthen wall with bricks to the height of the pillarsโ€™top. Behind the kraal and

opposite the front fencing line is the pavilion housing the royal seat. The Kraal currently seen was renovated in the

year 1988 by the government.

* Mu Ban Protuket (เธซเธกเธนเนˆเธšเน‰เธฒเธ™เน‚เธ›เธฃเธ•เธธเน€เธเธช) is the Portuguese village located in Tambon Samphao Lom, on the west bank of

the Chao Phraya River and to the south of the city. The Portuguese were the first Europeans who travelled to trade

with the Ayutthaya Kingdom. In 1511, Al Fonco de Al Buquerq, the Portuguese governor to Asia, dispatched a

diplomatic troupe led by Ambassador Mr.Du Arte Fernandes to Ayutthaya during the reign of King Ramathibodi II. After

that, some Portuguese came to the kingdom for different purposes: trade, military volunteers in the Ayutthaya army,

or on a religious mission. They built a church as the centre of their community and to serve religious purposes.

Presently, some traces of former construction have been found at the village site. At the ancient remains of San

Petro, a Dominican church, some antique objects were excavated together with human skeletons such as tobacco

pipes, coins, and accessories for a religious ceremony.

* Thai Boat Museum (เธžเธดเธžเธดเธ˜เธเธฑเธ“เธ‘เนŒเน€เธฃเธทเธญเน„เธ—เธข): A private boat museum located opposite to Wat Mahathat, Bang Ian Road,

within the same area as the residence of Master Phaithun Khaomala, who has had an affectionate bond with boats

and water since his childhood and wishes to preserve this field of folk wisdom for younger generations. The museum

building is a large Thai-style teak house with accordion folding partitions, exhibiting models and miniatures of various

boats as well as royal barges built with the same techniques as the original ones. Hundreds of them ranging from

large ocean liners to small rowing boats are on display, as well as various types of traditional Thai boats that are now

rare to be seen on the waterway. Open daily during 8.00 a.m. โ€“ 5.00 p.m. For more information, Tel. 0 3524 1195.

* Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre (เธจเธนเธ™เธขเนŒเธจเธดเธฅเธ›เธฒเธŠเธตเธžเธšเธฒเธ‡เน„เธ—เธฃ) Located on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River in Tambon

Bueng Yai, Amphoe Bang Sai. Farmers from Ayutthaya as well as from other provinces undergo training in folk arts

and crafts here. At this centre, you will have a glimpes of how farmers in the four regions live and work; how their

products of arts and crafts are produced. The centre is under the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and

Related Techniques (SUPPORT) which was established under Royal Patronage on the 21st July, 1976. Products and

activities which can be seen here are Fern Vien Basketry, Weaving Basketry, Artificial Flowers, Hand-Woven Silk and

Cotton, Silk Dyeing, Wood Carving, Miniature Hand - Modelled Thai Dolls, Furniture Making, Cloth-Made Products, etc.

All the products are sold at the Centre and in every branch of Chitralada Store. The Centre covers a total area of

approximately 1,000 rai and houses several places of interest including:

* Sala Phra Ming Khwan (เธจเธฒเธฅเธฒเธžเธฃเธฐเธกเธดเนˆเธ‡เธ‚เธงเธฑเธ) is a 4-storey applied Thai building with 4 porches, towering in the heart of

the Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre. The first floor houses arts and crafts demonstration and shops

displaying as well as selling products from the Centre and other arts and crafts centres throughout the country. The

second and third floors exhibit the Centreโ€™s masterpieces of the arts and crafts products, and the fourth floor

accommodates meetings and seminars. Open daily during 9.00 a.m. โ€“ 5.00 p.m. on weekdays and 9.00 a.m. โ€“ 6.00

p.m. on holidays. Admission is free.

* Arts and Crafts Village (เธซเธกเธนเนˆเธšเน‰เธฒเธ™เธจเธดเธฅเธ›เธฒเธŠเธตเธž) The establishment of this village was supported by the Tourism Authority of

Thailand (TAT) in order to showcase different aspects of architecture of the Thai houses in various regions of the

country as well as their ways of living and culture. Lifestyle and handicraft demonstrations are provided daily

between 8.30 a.m.โ€“5.00 p.m. on weekdays and 9.00 a.m.โ€“7.00 p.m. on weekends. Thai classical dances and folk

entertainment of the 4 regions are performed during 4.30โ€“5.30 p.m. on weekends and national holidays.

The village also offers a traditional Thai wedding ceremony of the Central Region which is to include a religious rite, a

procession of the groomโ€™s presents for the bride or Khan Mak, a lustral water pouring ceremony, venue decorations,

music as well as food and beverage for guests and relatives. For more details, contact the Arts and Crafts Village at

Tel. 0 3536 6666-7, 08 9132 0303 (Khun Atchara).

* Arts and Crafts Training Buildings (เธญเธฒเธ„เธฒเธฃเธเธถเธเธญเธšเธฃเธกเธจเธดเธฅเธ›เธฒเธŠเธตเธž): They are situated in the heart of the Centre and comprise

various divisions of arts and crafts. The Centre currently provides 29 divisions of arts and crafts training for farmers

from all regions of the country to be their supplementary occupations out of the farming season. Visitors can have a

look at all stages of the elaborate arts and crafts production. Open daily between 9.00 a.m. โ€“ 4.00 p.m. during

training periods.

* One Thousand-armed Kwan Yin Bodhisattva (เธžเธฃเธฐเน‚เธžเธ˜เธดเธชเธฑเธ•เธงเนŒเธเธงเธ™เธญเธดเธกเธžเธฑเธ™เธžเธฃเธฐเธซเธฑเธ•เธ–เนŒ): The 6-metre high image of the one

thousand-armed Kwan Yin Bodhisattva was carved out of yellow sandalwood and presented to His Majesty King

Bhumibol Adulyadej on the auspicious occasion of his 6th cycle birthday anniversary by Mr. Tu Zhia on behalf of the

Chinese people. His Majesty had the image enshrined in a temporary shrine at the elephant pavilion โ€“ Sala Rong

Chang - within the Centre for the public to pay respect daily during 9.00 a.m.โ€“5.00 p.m.

* Phra Tamnak (เธžเธฃเธฐเธ•เธณเธซเธ™เธฑเธ) is a royal residence for Their Majesties the King and the Queen and their royal children

built into a traditional Thai house of Central Thailand with an open basement, using construction materials available

locally and surrounded by a beautiful garden and miniature waterfall.

* Wang Pla (เธงเธฑเธ‡เธ›เธฅเธฒ) is an aquarium displaying freshwater fish constructed and administered by the Department of

Fisheries. The main building contains two large aquariums; one is of a bean shape with a capacity of 1,400 tons, the

other of a round shape with a capacity of 600 tons, both accommodating various species of freshwater fish native to

Thailand. Open during 10.00 a.m. โ€“ 4.00 p.m. and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

* Suan Nok (เธชเธงเธ™เธ™เธ) is a bird park operated by the Wildlife Fund Thailand under the Royal Patronage of H.M. the

Queen. There are two large aviaries providing nests for more than 30 species of rare birds within natural-like

environments including an artificial stream and waterfall as well as forest. There is a suspension bridge for visitors to

have a look and take photos of the birds from on top of the aviaries. Other wild animals are also to be seen nearby.

Open daily during 9.00 a.m. โ€“ 7.00 p.m. Admission is 20 Baht for adults and 10 Baht for children.

Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre is open during 8.30 a.m.โ€“5.00 p.m. on weekdays and 8.30 a.m.โ€“6.00 p.m. on

weekends and national holidays. Admission is 100 Baht for adults and 50 Baht for children. Visit the Arts and Crafts

Village, โ€œWang Plaโ€ โ€“ Thailandโ€™s largest freshwater fish aquarium, arts and crafts training buildings, โ€œSala Phra Ming

Khwanโ€ โ€“ a modern Thai building where the Centreโ€™s products are on sale, pay respect to the one thousand-armed

Kwan Yin Bodhisattva at the elephant pavilion and take a mini-train free of charge around the Centre. For more

information, Tel. 0 3536 6252-4, 0 3528 3246-9 or click www.bangsaiarts.com.

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