Ayutthaya Tours and Vacation Packages
Founded around 1350, Ayutthaya was the second capital of Thailand, known then as Siam after Sukhothai. By 1700, Ayutthaya was the largest city in the world with 1 million inhabitants complete with golden palaces and temples and was a major trading centre. In 1767, the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya and almost completely burnt down the city. Now only ruins remain from this period. However, on a visit to this city on a Thailand vacation, 76 kilometres/46 miles north of Bangkok, it is easy to imagine how the temples etc. looked in their heyday. Those that remain are the ones that were made of stone. Today, Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The important temples include Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the largest temple in Ayutthaya, housed in a former royal palace and once used for religious ceremonies, Wat Phra Mahathat, a large temple with its row of headless Buddhas, Wat Ratchaburana where a major find of golden statues was made in 1958 and Wat Thammikarat, a working temple that contains the ruins of a large chedi with 52 surrounding lions. There were three palaces in Ayutthaya, the Grand Palace, Chantharakasem Palace (the Front Palace) and Wang Lang (the Rear Palace).
The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum is Ayutthaya’s largest museum and contains artifacts excavated from the crypts of temples which include gold, jewellery, hand-carved friezes and numerous Buddha statues, some dating back to the 7th Century. The Thai Boat Museum is a private museum which contains 100-year-old wooden boats.
Other attractions in Ayutthaya on Thailand tours include the Chao Phrom Market which offers clothes, food and souvenirs, the not-for-profit Royal Elephant Village where you can see elephants at work and play while having a 20-minute ride in one and enjoy a show and the Floating Market with over 200 shops consisting of merchandise and food. The market puts on a performance of Thai dance and songs depicting the history of Thailand.
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