The Splendor of Ayutthaya
One of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan city’s during the 14th to 18th century is definitely the City of Ayutthaya in Thailand. Its strategic location, an island surrounded by three rivers connects this city into the sea. The ideal location is what protected this place from sea marauders during that time. An attack by the Burmese army in 1767 razed this city to the ground. Every one of its inhabitants abandoned this city and was never rebuilt in the same location as of today. The old site for this city is now one of the archaeological ruins that attract visitors to this province of Thailand.
Most of the surviving architects and builders were tasked to form a good reproduction of the old mythical city once known as Ayodhaya. It is now the capital of Bangkok. The whole island of Ayutthaya is now designated as a World Heritage property covering the most important sites such as the Royal Palace precinct and its immediate surroundings. To the world, this historical city is now a historical park. It was King U-Thong who founded the ancient city in 1350. Visit Elephantstay at the Royal Elephant Kraal and Village for a fantastic experience by playing with elephants. Stay at this elephant conservation village. You can live and work with the elephants if this sounds like a good adventure to you.
Most of this city was burned to the ground but a temple has managed to remain intact through it all. Wat Naphramen escaped the blazing fires. You can view the beautiful black Buddha statue which is dated back from the 15th century. The largest reclining Buddha image can be found in Wat Lokoyasutha. The magnificent Buddha is 42 meters long and serves as the gate keeper to the former Royal Temple.
Phet Fortress is one of the 16 fortresses that were built to protect this city from attacks. This was also used to check the incoming merchant ships before they enter with their cargo to the inner city. If you wish to pay tribute to the monks you can visit Wat Phananchoeng which is one of the most popular monasteries in this city. You can go there in the early morning to catch a glimpse and the blessings of the monks before they take their breakfast. If you love Buddha statues, this is the best place to see several versions of them.
The Dutch Settlement is where merchant Dutch traders settle during the 16th century. Now there stands a museum to honor this Dutch settlers newly inaugurated in 2011. The Thai Boat Museum is a real treasure for those who love to look at old Siamese boats and its miniature versions. For the child in you, visit the Million Toy Museum which is a pretty magical place for lovers of Godzilla and life size Superman figures. If you wish to find a majority of good places to stay when in Ayutthaya better take a ride in the Train Station. Not far from this Train Station is the ferry boat that you can ride into the inner city island to take your tours. It will take a few days or even a week to fully enjoy the splendor of Ayutthaya.