Three hundred years ago Ayutthaya was one of the largest cities in the world with a population of a million people. It was the capital of Siam and one of the most important trading capitals in the world.
Unfortunately, the city was invaded and destroyed by Burmese in 1767.
However, the series of temples ruins, statues and other important buildings have a huge historical significance and definitely worth to be seen.
1. Wat Phu Khao Thong
The name literally translates to “Monastery of the Golden Mount”. It’s usually the place most of the city tours start.
Take the stairs to the top, and enjoy the beautiful view of the city.
2. Wat Lokaya Sutha (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Lokaya Sutha is the restored ruin of a monastery located in northwest Ayutthaya.
The highlight of this ruin is the huge 42-meters-long smiling Buddha statue.
3. Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat is a royal temple in the central part of Ayutthaya. The construction of Wat Mahathat started in the 1370s, shortly after Ayutthaya was founded.
In 1767 it was set on fire as a result of Burmese attack.
One of the most important sights inside the complex is a large stone Buddha head overgrown by a huge tree.
Although the sizable temple was destroyed by the Burmese, a Buddha head miraculously survived. It is a famous location for taking pictures, that’s why usually there are many tourists around it.
3. Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was built by King Boromatrailokanat in 1448 as his private chapel within the grounds of the former royal palace.
The main sight is the three huge stupas in a row, which are featured as the symbol of Ayutthaya.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was once used for royal ceremonies and contained the ashes of royal family members.
4. Bang Pa-In Palace
Constructed in Ayutthaya in the 17th century, Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, known as the Summer Palace, is the former residence of the Thai monarchy, and is still used today as a site for royal retreats and holidays.
The palace is located 18 km from Ayutthaya Historical Park and is on the way from Bangkok to Ayutthaya.
Though the temples and palaces are merely ruined now, they’re very picturesque and well maintained. Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to Ayutthaya and felt myself so much closer to Thai history after visiting it.