Ayutthaya (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya)
About place: Ayutthaya (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya)

If you are interested in historical sites of Buddhist culture, you should go to то Ayutthaya. The city was founded in 1320, and for more than four centuries it had been the capital of theKingdom of Thailand (then Siam).


There are many testimonies of exceptional beauty of the city in the period of its growth. Ac-cording to many contemporaries, it was the most wonderful city in South-East Asia. Today there have also been preserved not a few evidences of its former magnificence. Even the ruins of Ayutthaya are quite impressive.

After destruction of Ayutthaya in 1767 the capital of the kingdom was eventually transferred to then a small nearby town of Bangkok. Now Ayutthaya is but a small town located 80 km of Bangkok.

There are several temple complexes in the city, which are worth visiting. They are close to one another. However, you can not go about them on foot, so, if you decided to visit Ayutthaya independently, you'd better hire a three-wheeler called tuk-tuk for a day, so that it can take you to all the most interesting places.

If you can reserve a day to look around Ayutthaya, you can visit 5-6 main temples. However, if you haven’t so much time, you should see impressive Royal Palace and the most beautiful ri-verside temple Wat Chaiwattanaram, as well as temple Wat Mahathat.

Royal Palace is the largest complex. There you can take a ride on elephants, and have a stroll along the shore of a beautiful lake. The most picturesque sights are three large stupas, as well as ruins of some smaller stupas enclosing the remnants of ancient houses. Right across from the Royal Palace you can see the ruins of Wat Phra Ram. You can get to the temple on foot through the park, or take an elephant.

Wat Chaiwattanaram is on the bank of the river. In fact, it is a group of stupas. And you can climb almost each of them by a ladder. It is a very picturesque temple.

Also you should visit Wat Mahathat. It is just there that the sacred sculpture of Buddha was kept, which was destroyed in XVIII century when the Burmese captured and razed the city. Monks were able to preserve only the head of the sculpture having hidden it among the tree roots. For several centuries the roots completely twined around the head of Buddha. The temple occupies a fairly big territory, and there are many stupas, lotus temples and common buildings. All of them are in semi-ruined condition.

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