One of Thailand's most famous attractions is the Ayutthaya Historical Park located just 78 km north of Bangkok. Park contains the ruins of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Ayutthaya Kingdom. The city was founded in 1350 by King Ramathibodi I, who reigned at that time in the territory of Lopburi. Ayutthaya was built on a small island, at the junction of three rivers: the Lopburi, Prasak and Chao Phraya. In 1351 the King made it the capital of his Kingdom. Ayutthaya Kingdom, with the next 35 Kings, dominated the most of Siam for over 400 years. The city prospered during the years arousing the greed of neighbouring Burma. The city suffered 23 sieges over its splendour, before being conquered and almost completely looted and destroyed on April 7th 1767. Two national heroes, General Taksin and Chao Phaya Chakri, drove out the Burmese invaders from the territories and gathered the country under the Chakri Dynasty. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya never recovered from this looting. The capital was moved to Thonburi by King Taksin, who unified the country, conquering the Lanna Kingdom to north and founded the Kingdom of Siam, initially named Rattanakosin Kingdom. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya was one of the most important cities of the time with over a million inhabitants. Its location halfway between China, India and Malaysia also made it an ideal port for trade. European vessels, Japanese and Chinese used Ayutthaya as a port to trade teak wood, ivory, leather, and silk. Many of these merchants claimed that Ayutthaya was the most beautiful city they had ever seen, it became known by the nickname “Venice of the East”. In its heyday Ayutthaya had more than 1500 temples and 4000 statues, the Burmese army that defeated her in 1767 completely destroyed the city and its beautiful structures, decapitating statues to prove his power. In 1969 the Thai Fine Arts Department has started the renovation of the ruins, intensified since the site was declared a historical park in 1976. A part of Ayutthaya Historical Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Of the countless historical artefacts at least 95 sites on the island are now part of World Heritage, among these 67 are temples sites, of some buildings remain only the foundations of brick or accumulations brick yet to be restored.
What to Expect - There are many operators offer excursions to Ayutthaya Historical Park as well as there is a great selection of one-day tours to choose from. A one-day cheap tour without lunch can cost between 900 and 1,100 THB, and includes the round-trip travel by air-conditioned coach or minibus from your Bangkok hotel with departure early in the morning, visit to the temples and ruins of Ayutthaya Historical Park, local guide and insurance, return in the late afternoon to your hotel or, more often, to Khao San Road area. A one-day tour all inclusive can cost between 1,400 and 2,200 THB and includes, in addition of round-trip by coach, the visit to temples and ruins of Historical Park, entrance fees to the temples, boat or tuk-tuk ride around the Park, Thai lunch, visit to the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, local guide and insurance. There are also more customized and exclusive tours which cost over 2,600 THB which also include Elephant Trekking or other activities.Read More
Ayutthaya Day Trip