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http://www.hotsia.com > PHRA NAKHON SI AYUTTHAYA

PHRA NAKHON SI AYUTTHAYA  or Ayutthaya in short, is one of Thailands historical and majestic highlights. Serving as the Thai capital for 417 years (1350 1767: Kingdom of Ayutthaya), it was once glorified as one of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia. During the 17th century, most foreign visitors to Ayutthaya, traders or diplomats alike, claimed Ayutthaya to be the most illustrious and glittering city that they had ever visited. The map of Ayutthaya published in 1691 by Simon de la Loubere in Du Royaume De Siam is proof of such recognition.

The Kingdom of Ayutthaya reached its apex in terms of sovereignty, military might, wealth, culture, and international commerce in the 16th century when the Kingdoms territory was extended far beyond present-day Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Ayutthaya even had diplomatic relations with Louis XIV of France and was courted by Dutch, Portuguese, English, Chinese and Japanese merchants.
Visitors can explore and appreciate Thai history in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, which is situated only 86 kilometers north of Bangkok. Visitors to Ayutthaya can marvel at its grandeur reflected through numerous magnificent structures and ruins concentrated in and around the city island surrounded by Maenam Chao Phraya, Maenam Pa Sak and Maenam Lopburi.

More importantly,Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, an extensive historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city, has been included in UNESCOs World Heritage list since 13 December, 1991.

travel information for phranakhonsiayutthaya


Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Phanan Choeng

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Elephant Kraal Pavilion

Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Craft Centre

Somdet Phra Suriyothai Monument

Wat Ratburana

Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Japanese Village

Royal Palace

Thai Boat Museum

Prasat Nakhon Luang

Thai Goldsmith Gallery

Handicrafted Aranyik Knife Villages

Wat Tan En

Wat Kai

Wat Thammikarat

King U-Thong Monument

Wat Borom Phuttharam

Ayutthaya Tourism Centre (ATC)

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Phra Ram

Wat Phra Mahathat and Wat Ratburana

Wat Na Phra Men

Khun Phaen House

Phom Phet (The Diamond Fort)

Portuguese Village

St. Joseph's Church

Somdet Phra Si Nakharin Park

Wat Kasattrathirat Worawihan

Wat Kudidao

Wat Lokkayasutha

Wat Phu Khao Thong

Wat Phutthaisawan

Wat Samanakot

Wat Senasanaram

Wat Suan Luang Sopsawan

Wat Suwandararam Ratchaworawihan

Wat Tum

Chankasem or Front Palace National Museum

Ayutthaya Studies Institute

Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre

Ayutthaya Historical Park

Ancient Forts and Fortresses

The Support Arts and Craft International Centre of Thailand (SACICT)

Gong Khong Market

Wat Niwet Thamaprawat

Bang Pa-in Summer Palace

The Past
The Kingdom of Ayutthaya was built and developed in leaps and bounds. The ruins in Ayutthaya that survived the test of time embody both the glorious and ignominious stories of the Kingdom.

This ancient capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350 by King U-Thong, had thirty three kings of different dynasties and reached its peak in the middle of the18th century. A magnificent city with three palaces and over 400 magnificent temples on an island threaded by canals Ayutthaya was truly an impressive city that attracted both Europeans and Asians. After a 15-month siege the Kingdom of Ayutthaya was conquered and completely destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. When King Taksin the Great finally liberated the Kingdom, a new dynasty was established and the capital was moved to Thonburi.

The seal of Ayutthaya depicts a conch on a pedestal tray placed in a small castle under a Mun tree. According to legend, King U-Thong, founder of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, discovered a beautiful conch buried in the ground being prepared for the establishment of the seat of his Kingdom. Consequently, he had a tiny castle built to house the shell. Hence, the provincial seal.
 


The Present
Today, there are but groups of crumbling ruins and rows of headless Buddhas where once an empire thrived. The temple compounds are still awe-inspiring even in disrepair and a visit here is memorable and a good beginning for those drawn to the relics of history.
The architecture of Ayutthaya is a fascinating mix of Khmer (ancient Cambodian style) and early Sukhothai style. Some cactus-shaped obelisks, called prangs, denote Khmer influence and look something like the famous towers of Angkor Wat. The more pointed stupas are ascribed to the Sukhothai influence. For new arrivals who had limited their visit to Bangkok, similarities may be noted with the riverside Wat Arun, an 18th-century structure that was built in the so-called Ayutthaya style, a melding of Sukhothai Buddhist influences and Hindu-inspired Khmer motifs.

Ayutthaya is administratively divided into 16 districts: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ban Phraek, Bang Ban, Bang Pahan, Bang Pa-in, Amphoe Bang Sai, Bang Sai, Lat Bua Luang, Maha Rat, Nakhon Luang, Phachi, Phak-Hai, Sena, Tha Rua, Uthai and Wang Noi.
 

How to get there
From Bangkok
By Car:
From Bangkok, one can get to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya by various routes:
1. Take Highway No.1 (Phahon Yothin) via Pratu Nam Phra In and turn into Highway No.32, then, turn left to Highway No.309 to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
2. Take Highway No.304 (Chaeng Watthana) or Highway No.302 (Ngam Wong Wan), turn right into Highway No.306 (Tiwanon), cross Nonthaburi or Nuanchawi Bridge to Pathum Thani, continue on Highway No.3111 (Pathum Thani Sam Khok Sena) and turn right at Amphoe Sena into Highway No.3263 to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
3. Take Highway No.306 (BangkokNonthaburiPathum Thani), at Pathum Thani Bridge Intersection, turn into Highway Nos.347 and 3309 via Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, Amphoe Bang Pa-in, to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
4. Take Expressway No.9 (Si Rat Expressway) via Nonthaburi Pathum Thani and down to Highway No.1 via Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, turn left into Highway No.3469 towards Bang Pahan and turn right at Worachet Intersection to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.

By Bus:
There are Standard 1 air-conditioned buses and Standard 2 air-conditioned buses leaving the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road) for Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya every 15 minutes daily, starting from 4.30 a.m.7.15 p.m. And there are air-conditioned buses for the Bangkok Bang Pa-in. For more details, please call Tel. 0 2936 2852-66 or www.transport.co.th and Ayutthaya Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 3533 5304.

By Train:
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is accessible by both northbound and northeast bound trains. Leaving Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong) daily, the trains pass by the provinces Amphoe Bang Pa-in, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya and Amphoe Phachi, where at Ban Phachi Junction the railway lines separate to the North and Northeast. Then , mini-buses can be taken from the railway station into the city.

A Bangkok Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya train pulled by a steam locomotive is usually provided by the State Railway of Thailand on 3 special occasions every year. The first one is on 26 March which marks the establishment of the State Railway of Thailand and the inauguration day of Thailands first railway line between Bangkok Nakhon Ratchasima in 1890. The second, 23 October the memorial day of King Rama V, founder of the Thai railways. And the third, 5 December the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. For more information, please contact the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 0 2220 4334, 1690 or www.railway.co.th, and Ayutthaya Railway Station at Tel. 0 3524 1521.

By Boat :
Travelling by boat to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is popular among foreigners since it does not only reveal the beauty as well as lifestyle of the people on both sides of the Chao Phraya River, but also reflects the life in history at the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom when the Chao Phraya River served as a channel of transportation in trading with foreign countries.

 

Cruise to Ayutthaya
There are no scheduled or chartered boat services between Bangkok and Ayutthaya. However, several companies in Bangkok operate luxury cruises to Bang Pa-In with side trips by bus to Ayutthaya for approximately 1,500 bahts to 1,800 bahts per person, including a sumptuous luncheon. Longer two days trips in converted rice barges start at 4,800 baht. The luxurious cruise is operated by:
1. Chao Phraya Princess Tel: 0 2860 3700
2. Horizon Cruise Tel: 0 2236 7777
3. River Sun Cruise Tel: 0 2266 9316
4. Manohra Tel: 0 2476 0021-2
5. Grand Pearl Tel: 0 2862 0255-60
6. Ayutthaya Boat&Travel Tel: 0 2746 1414, 08 1456 9862, 08 9456 3700, 08 1733 5687

Travelling around Ayutthaya and from Ayutthaya to nearby attractions

From Ayutthya, mini-buses can be taken from the railway station into the city. Hiring a mini- bus within Ayutthaya costs between 400-500 baht/day. For travelling between Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-in, mini-buses regularly leave Chao Prom Market, Chao Prom Road starting from 06.00. The fare is about 30 Baht. The trip take fifty minutes.

To tour the ruins, the most economical and ecological option is to rent a bicycle from one of the guesthouses (40 to 50 bahts/day). Walking is also an option, but not recommended during the hot or rainy seasons. It is possible to charter a sam lor, tuk tuk or song taew by the hour or by the day to explore the ruins but the prices are relatively high by Thai standards (150 bahts/hour, or 500 bahts for the entire day).

Another interesting activity is chartering a boat from the Tha Chan Kasem (Chan Kasem Pier, next to Hua Ro Market) for a semicircular tour of the island and seeing some of the less accessible ruins. A long tailed boat with a capacity of up to 8 people can be hired for 400 bahts for a 2 to 3 hour trip with stopovers at Wat Phutthaisawan, Wat Phanan Choeng and Wat Chai Wattnaram.

Mini - bus services operating from the railway station into the city are also available. Hiring a mini - bus within Ayutthaya costs 250 - 300 bahts/day. If you wish to travel between Ayutthaya and Bang Pa - In, mini - buses regularly leave Chao Prom Market (on Chao Prom Road). Daily schedules start from 6.30 a.m. with a fare of 30 bahts. The trip takes approximately 50 minutes.
 
Cycling Routes in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

 

Route 1: Journey Back to History Route: Ayutthaya Ancient City, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 
Route Overview 
Destinations: Ayutthaya 
Tour Duration: Day Trip 
Ride Distance: 25 Kms. 
Level of Difficulty: New Rider/Family
Type of Bike: MTB / Hybrid
Terrain: Flat 
Season: All Seasons

Tour Briefing:
Not far from Bangkok, this route is perfect to discover the historic treasures of Thailand. You can enjoy the ride through a UNESCO World Heritage site and see the ancient citys walls and pagodas. Feel the atmosphere of the place that was once the capital city of Thailand and absorb its history through direct experience. 

Route Details:
Leave from Bangkok to Ayutthaya province in the early morning. Launch biking to discover the past along the historic road and lovely river views. The stories are told by layers of ruined bricks and remains. The starting point is Ayutthaya Historical Park -remarkable ancient historical sites on the UNESCO List of World Heritage. Then ride further to visit Ancient Palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet - the places representing the image of Ayutthaya Kingdom. During the trip you will have a chance to learn and experience the way of living of people in the past through the charm of Thai traditional teak houses constructed by antique Thai wisdom and decorated with refined art in Khun Phaens Residence. Continuing tour, you then will arrive to sightseeing Wat Phra Men which is one of Ayutthayas most beautiful and celebrated temples. At Klong Sa Bua Community you can ride along a small road paralleling peaceful Sa Bua Canal and know how the farmers live their lives, be touched by local villagers hospitality and engrossed with alluring ambience of the countryside. Besides Wat Phra Men, on Lop Buri River, Wat Choeng Tha is another scenic temple to stop in this journey. It is a popular spot for photo taking with friends or family crossing a wooden bridge in front of the temple. After lunch, travel by boat to Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. The palace has a long history dating back to King Prasatthong in the 17th century. It is set amidst magnificent surroundings that you can enjoy in a shady setting. The harmonious mixture of diverse architectural styles derived from Thailand, China, and European countries is astonishing and dont miss the art on show in the buildings around the palace. 

Route 2: From the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya to the hidden paradise of Amphawa
Route Overview 
Destination(s): Ayutthaya - Amphawa 
Tour Duration: 2 Days 1 Night 
Ride Distance: 55 Kms. 
Level of Difficulty: New Rider / Family 
Type of Bike: MTB / Hybrid 
Terrain: Flat 
Season: All Seasons 

Tour Briefing:
The charm of this trip is to get the feel of two different provinces - from treasured historic sites to simple lifestyles dependent on the river. Explore the grandeur of a UNESCO World Heritage site full of palaces and monasteries indicating the prosperity of a kingdom of the past. En route you will see the simple lives of farmers in riverside communities leading an existence that has hardly changed as time passes quickly by.

Route Details: 
Depart from Bangkok to Ayutthaya in early morning to discover Ayutthaya Historical Park designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Bike to backtrack and imagine you are standing at Thai capital existing in the 14th century and nowadays shelters many temple and palace ruins bedecked with architectural styles and artworks such as, Khmer Phrang of Wat Phra Mahathat. Then cycle to pay homage the City Pillar Shrine (Lak Muang) where is provided for the guardian spirits of the city. Go further to Wat Phra Si Sanphet a state temple on the 15th century and Ancient Palace built since King U-Thong reign. At Khun Phaens Residence you can trace Thai-style house according to a popular Thai literary work. Also get in touch with peoples living in the past and learn ancient wisdom of Thai craftsmen from teak traditional Thai-style house in the old days harmoniously designed to blend with the environment. After that visit Wat Phra Men with Viharn created in a very old typical Thai style. Continue riding through route along a tiny road paralleling peaceful Sa Bua Canal. Here you will touch villagers plain living in Khlong Sa Bua Community where has manufactured earthen jars since Ayutthaya Kingdom before heading to visit very large old reclining Buddhas at Wat Lokkayasuttha. Next program after lunch is a riverside open market of Wat Don Wai, Nakhon Pathom province. You can purchase food from vendors travel by boats, the ambience of market dating back to King Rama VI period. Moreover, old riverside community here has still remained the old ways of living. In a next morning, travel to Samut Songkhram province and start biking past fruit orchards, temples and agricultural villages to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. You will experience traditional market life style by paddle boat regularly crowded and tumultuous with numbers of vendors and purchasers selling and buying goods such as fresh food, fruits and vegetables mostly brought from their own orchards. Next destination is to touring in Amphawa district such as House of Siamese Cats and Wat Bang Kai Noi. Cruise along Amphawa canal and Mae Klong River after luncheon. Take a pleasure boat trip with serene river, light breezes, and greenish banks at both sides with tropical fruits and typical Thai houses, temples and panorama of lively children swimming. Arrive at local market and transfer back to Bangkok.

Route 3: A journey through the cultural and historical lands of the Central Plains
Route Overview 
Destinations: Bangkok Samut Songkhram Nakhon Pathom Kanchanaburi - Ayutthaya 
Tour Duration: 4 Days 3 Nights 
Bike Distance: 155 Kms. 
Level of Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging
Type of Bike: MTB / Hybrid
Terrain: 60% Flat , 40% Ascending Descending , Off-road 
Season: All Seasons 

Tour Briefing:
This extended tour allows you to explore Thai life in depth, cycling along waterways through local communities in which cultural heritage has been well preserved. Visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi. Relax and freshen up at Kanchanaburi, the site of the Bridge over the River Khwae. Visit Ayutthaya and be fascinated by the Ayutthaya Historical Park and to absorb the glorious past of the world heritage site. 

Route Details:
The 4-day 3-night trip is taken in the historical and cultural land in the neighborhood of Bangkok, getting bicyclists to the heart of Thai life, past and present. Starting in Samut Songkhram, visitors can pedal their ways through the rich agricultural area with typical Thai rural communities, temples, coconut groves and fruit orchards, to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, a traditional waterborne bazaar in the Mae Klong River, a meeting point for agriculturists in Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram. Enjoy Amphawa delicacies and a cruise along the Amphawa Canal and the Mae Klong River, with an overnight stay in Samut Songkhram. In the next morning, take a ride on back roads along Damnoen Saduak Canal past rural villages, temples, elephant camp and fruit orchards to Nakhon Pathom, the site of the great pagoda, Phra Pathom Chedi, a major landmark of the country. Nakhon Pathom is also famous for delectable dishes. From here travel by van to Kanchanaburi with a stopover at the Tiger Temple, a forest monastery where wild animals roamed freely. After a pleasant stay on the River Khwae, take a ride up and down hill along the River Khwae, past elephant camps, teak forests and agricultural villages to Sai Yok District. Travel by van to visit the world famous Bridge over the River Khwae, and further to Ayutthaya, the former royal capital of 417 years and a world heritage site, with the ruins making up Ayutthaya Historical Park. Following a deserved rest at a riverside resort, take a ride through the Historical Park, visiting the Ancient Palace, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and the typical Thai house, Khun Phaens Residence and Wat Phra Men, before turning to back roads and alleys to visit the countryside around Ayutthaya such as Khlong Sa Bua Community, formerly the pottery producing site, and Wat Choeng Tha on the Lopburi River, where King Taksin the Great once studied. Then youre ready to catch the van bake to Bankok. 

 

 

 
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ͧѡ mr.Hotsia ç ç ѷ Chris Luck