Ayutthaya was the capital of the Siamese Kingdom for more than 400 years and was founded in the year 1350. This city was a commercial hub and was also one among the leading urban areas of the world. Today Ayutthaya is one among the most preferred destinations of tourists and is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Thailand. Ayutthaya was almost completely ruined by the Burmese when attacked in 1767. The city was unable to prevent the Burmese attack and today those who visit Ayutthaya can see the ruins and history of the city.
For people visiting let’s look at the top 10 best things to do in Ayutthaya?
1. Visit Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat is one among the oldest royal temples of Bangkok and this temple was built during the days of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Today, the Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University is situated in this temple premises. In Thailand, this University is the main center for Buddhist education. Classes in meditation are conducted in this temple and it is a center of monastic learning.
2. Explore Ayutthaya Historical Park
Ayuthataya soaked in history. Those who visit Ayutthaya may require a minimum of two days to cover all the attractions of the city. Ayutthaya is surrounded by three rivers – Menam, Lopburi and Pasak and this island are known as the Ayutthaya Historical Park. In this Historical Park, one can find the ruins of many temples. Apart from exploring the ruined temples the other things to do in Ayutthaya include caring the rescued elephants and biking through the old quarters of British, Dutch, French and Portuguese.
3. Enjoy The Battle Scenes Wat Phra Sri Sanphet
This is a very beautiful temple in Ayutthaya with a lot of historical significance. The temple is also known as the King’s Temple and three large chedis, as well as the smaller chedis, are the greatest attractions of this temple. King Ramathibodi II built the two large chedis – the eastern and the central – to keep the ashes of his father and his elder brother. The third chedi was built by his son King Boromaraja IV in the year 1530 to keep the ashes of Ramathiodi II.
4. Enjoy The History of Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is among the most exciting temples in Ayutthaya and is the most popular attraction of Ayutthaya Historical Park. The large is situated on the banks of Chao Phraya river. As a result of the restoration drive in the year 1987, the looted ruins of this ancient temple was transformed into one of the greatest attractions of the Ayutthaya Historical Park. This temple reflects the influence of Buddhism in Thailand and it is built according to the traditional Khmer architecture. During sunset, the temple glows and it is the best time to visit this place.
5. Take In The Sites Wat Phra Ram
Another restored ruin in Ayutthaya Historical Park is Wat Phra Ram. This site is in the area called Bueng Phra Ram and is very close to Grand Palace and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. King Ramesuan built Wat PhraRam in the year 1912 at the place where his father was cremated. The temple was restored several times during periods of King Borom Trilokanath and King Borom Kot. This temple houses a large prang and a number of chedis.
6. Experience Ayutthaya Floating Market
The Ayutthaya Floating Market is in Pang Chang village near to Wat Maheyong. This place is not so far from Bangkok. The boat ride along the canal will be a memorable experience to the visitors. The shops in this market uphold the Thai identity and visitors enjoy exploring the various corners and shops and taking photographs. Tourists who visit this market can also taste a variety of Thai foods and desserts.
7. See The Bang Pa-In Royal Palace
Bang Pa-In Royal Palace is close to Ayutthaya and is 60km north of Bangkok. The large park is surrounded by many iconic buildings and visitors can hire electric carts to go around the palace. The palace was created in 1632 by King Prasat Thong. It is not clear as to whether this palace was in use at the time of the Burmese attack. The palace left abandoned for a long period after the Burmese attack.
8. Experience Wat Ratchaburana
Wat Ratchaburana was built by King Boromracha who ruled during the period 1424 – 1448. He built it in memory of his elder brothers Ay and Yi who were killed in a duel for succession to the throne. The visitors can see the columns and walls and a few ruined chedis.
The beautiful wall paintings in the lower part of the prang are the work of Chinese painters who settled in Ayutthaya. The two chedis at the crossroads contain the ashes of royal brothers and the third chedi is the memorial of Queen Si Suriyothal. During the battle against the Burmese, she dressed as a man and rode to the war front on a white elephant to save the life of her husband. She lost her life in the war.
9. Go On A Boat Tour
A boat tour on the rivers that surround the island of Ayutthaya is the most comfortable way to see the famous temples of Ayutthaya. During the boat tour, visitors also get the opportunity to see many active Buddhist temples. They can also enjoy the river breeze. A lot of photo opportunities also will be there while moving around the historical town. Those who are fortunate can also view the water monitor, a large lizard that grows up to 2 meters in length.
10. Eat Freshwater shrimp on the river
Among the best things to do in Ayutthaya, the capital city of ancient Thailand, is to eat freshwater river shrimp. The freshwater prawns here make the meal incredibly delicious. The freshwater river prawns is a prestigious food in Thailand and almost all people in Thailand enjoy eating the prawns. The giant freshwater prawns are frequently farmed in central Thailand and the actual name of the species is macrobrachium rosenbergil. Visiting the Buddha temples as well as the Thai-Chinese Market dominates the Ayutthaya trip, the great experience of eating the Freshwater shrimp is also one among the compelling reasons for going to Ayutthaya. Eating Freshwater shrimp at the Raan Tha Luang restaurant is indeed a memorable experience. Tourists go to this restaurant mainly to taste the grilled river prawns. The yellow oil from the prawn head is the tastiest and makes it such a very special dish.