Ayutthaya Tours in Thailand
The ancient city of Ayutthaya in Thailand on the banks of the Chaophraya River was previously Thailand’s main city and existed between 1351-1767. Accounts from foreign visitors and traders in the sixteenth century likened its grandeur to that of Paris.
Ayutthaya was the centre for trade in the Kingdom of Siam due to its strategic position on the Chaophraya River and the early years saw foreign traders from Vietnam, India, Japan and Persia. In later years (16th century) Ayutthaya became a major trading post in Asia with Portugese, Spanish, Dutch and French traders all setting up villages outside the cities walls.
Ayutthaya was formerly known as Siam but many sources have cited the name of the city amongst the local inhabitants to be that of Krung Tai or the ‘kingdom of the Tai’s with its inhabitants referring to themselves as Tai’s. This period of Siam's (Thailands) history is thought to be where the name Thailand originates.
Ayutthaya is one of the most historic and cultural destinations in Thailand which is steeped in history and ancient architecture. A visit to Ayutthaya is essential for tourists wishing to get a taste of the history of the Royal Kingdom of Thailand.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Thailand is an impressive monastery situated in the west of Ayutthaya on the Chao Phraya River. It was built by King Prasat Thong in 1630 and its architecture is similar to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.It is believed that the temple may have been constructed to commemorate the King’s victory over Thailand’s neighbour Burma. The temple comprises a main ‘prang’ (or tower) which is 35 meters tall surrounded by a series of smaller prangs located alongside a gallery containing over 100 Buddha images. The temple is large and spacious and its pristine grounds are extremely peaceful.
Wat Phra Si San Phet (Ancient Palace)
Wat Phra Si San Phet in Thailand was built during the reign of King Boromtrilokanath, Wat Phra Sri San Phet was the largest temple in the area at its peak and is historically highly significant. The temple is located in a compound that was originally used as a royal palace and residence to a succesion of kings throughout the Ayutthaya period.
The design of the temple inspired the design of the Emerald Buddha Chapel in Bangkok and contains three large Chedi containing the ashes of three Ayutthayan kings. These Chedis have come to epitomise the essential qualities of Ayutthayan-period architecture.
Wat Phra Sri San Phet in Thailand is the main attraction in a complex that has come to be known as the ‘Ancient Palace’ which is home to various buildings of key historical and cultral importance including Chantharakasem or the ‘Front Palace’, Phlapphla Chaturamuk, Phiman Rattaya Hall, and Wanglang or the ‘Rear Palace’ in addition to remnants of the ancient Palace Wall and Gate.
This is a large site where visitors can wander through to get a genuine and authentic feel for the historical past of Ayutthaya and Thailand. Peacefull and a pleasant environment, Wat Phra Si San Phet and the Ancient Palace are well worth exploring and visiting.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol in Thailand is situated near the main Ayutthaya ruins and a small distance from the walls of Ayutthaya. It is famous for a impressive huge statue of the Reclining Buddha located inside the temple compound.
Constructed by King U Thong , Ayutthaya’s first ruler in 1357, the temple is also reffered to as the "Chao Phaya Thai Temple" and has an impressive Chedi that dominates the skyline. The Chedi was originally constructed in 1592 to mark King Naresuan’s defeat of the then Burmese Crown Prince after a duel fought on elephants. The size of the Chedi was intended to equal that of Phu Khao Thong – a Pagoda built by the Burmese which is visible in the distance from the temple.