Ayutthaya Travel Information
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 kilometres 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 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.
Ayutthayacovers 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.
Distance from Ayutthaya city to its districts :
Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre at Bang Sai With an area of 285 rai (or 14 acres), the Centre is located in Tambon Bung 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.
In order to get to Bang Sai, one can take a cruiser or take a bus from the Northern Bus Terminal on Phahonyothin Road, or taking Bang Sai - Sam Khok Road, which branches off about 24 kilometres from Bang Pa - In intersection or take Highway No. 306 (Nonthaburi - Pathumthani Road.) turn right to Amphoe Bang Sai.
The Centre is open everyday except Monday from 08.30 - 16.00 hrs. Admission fee is 20 Baht per person. For more information, please contact Tel. 0 3536 6092 or Tel. 0 2225 8165- 8 ext. 460 (Bangkok).
Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre Located on Rochana Road, this centre is a national research institute devoted to the study of Ayutthaya, especially during the period when it was the capital of Thailand. 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 09.00 - 16.30 hrs., official holidays from 09.00-17.00. For more details please contact Tel : 0 3524 5124 (Admission fee : 100 Baht)
Chao Sam Phraya National Museum This is on Rochana Road, opposite the city wall. It houses various antique bronze Buddha images and famous carved panels. A receptacle at the Thai Pavillion contains relics of Lord Buddha and objects of art more that 500 years old. The museum also has a substantial collection of local artifacts.
The museum is open everyday cxcept Monday, Tuesday and national holidays The museum is open everyday cxcept Monday, Tuesday and national holidays from 09.00 - 16.00 hrs. (Admission fee : 10 Baht). For more infromation Tel : 0 3524 1587
Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai ,the memorial for the first heroine in Thai history, is located in Ko Muang 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 compond. During the fighting on elephant back, Phra Mahachakkaraphat faced danger. Phra Si Suriyothai, clad in a warrior�s suit, interrupted the fighting with the intention to provide assistance for her husband. She rode her elephant in the way of Pharachao 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 �Wat Sopsawan�.
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.
Elephant Kraal Pavilion The pavilion, utilized as the royal seat to witness the elephant round up, is located 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 pillars�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 1957.
Fort And Fortress Around The City The forts along the city wall and outer circle fortresses as found in the historical records include Pom Mahachai, Pom Phet, Pom Ho Ratchakhru, Pom Chidkop, Pom Champaphon, Pom Yai, etc. They are mostly situated at waterway intersections.
Japanese Village This is located 1.5 kilometres far from Wat Phanancheong in Tambon Ko Rien. There is an additional building of the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre, where the foreign affairs of Ayutthaya Period are on exhibition.
Khun Phaen House Khun Phaen�s Thai - style house conforms to descriptions in a popular Thai literay work. Khun Phaen�s house is near Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit.
Mu Ban Protuket 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.