Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya
Ayuthaya succeeded Sukhothai (another World Heritage) as capital of Siam (now Thailand) during the 15th century. 417 years later, Bangkok took over from Ayuthaya.

The income of the city came from agricultural products, and from duties levied against foreign trade. From the 16th century, European visitors from Portugal, France, Holland and England were received in Ayuthaya. The Europeans were very impressed at the wealth they encountered. At its height, Ayuthaya was one of the most important trading centers in the area.

In 1767, as a result of 2 years of war, Ayuthaya was conquered by the Burmese army. They destroyed everything that was sacred to the Thais. The city became abandoned, and fell into ruins.

Year Decision Comments
1991 Inscribed Reasons for inscription



Visit January 1999

Ruins here really mean ruins. The former splendor is not easy to recognize, though the now red stone statues have their own charm.

From the two former capitals that are now World Heritage Sites, I prefer Sukhothai. Actually, from all Thai capitals in history I prefer Bangkok. When will this city become a World Heritage?

Reviews

Elisabeth Fransisca Situmorang (Indonesia):
Outstandingly beautiful! It is actually one of the reasons I took a trip to Bangkok in the first place. The ruins really takes you to the ancient times... still well maintained so that you could feel that you're in the different lifetime when visitiing..

The stone craft detail is just beautiful..
Words couldnt do it justice..

Three temples to be recommended: Wat Phra Si Sanpet, Wat Maha That and Wat Chai Wattanaram (the best!)
Date posted: August 2008
julie bethell (Austraila):
hello, my husband and I with our three kids went to Ayuttaya in August 2006. We had a great two days there exploring the ruins of the old city, It was a very peaceful and spiritual feeling kind of place. We loved it, it was just beautiful, the ruins the park and the thai people are very welcoming and lovely..we hope to one day return.
Date posted: October 2006
Frederik Dawson (Netherlands):
As the former capital of Thailand for more than 400 years, it can easily to imagine what this city was in the old time by assuming from the beautiful old part of Bangkok which was modeled after Ayutthaya. The city is situated on a river island surrounded by three rivers and used as a perfect fortification. After many war with Burma this city fell and was destroyed.
I visited this place during the cooler season of Thailand, but for me it’s still extremely hot. First time I saw this city; I quite disappointed since most of the city is very new and built in a western style architecture make this city looks like a typical city in SE Asia with many avenues and big market. However, after the new part of the city, the whole area changes to be a large park with many ruins. I knew almost immediately that I was in the Ayutthaya Historical Park which is the world heritage Site. Most of the ruins are gigantic Buddhist temple which built in different styles during the long history. Most ruins are in a very good condition due to many restorations and one temple is rebuilt. I really enjoyed seeing these beautiful temples each temple has its own styles and make me hardly bored. The former royal chapel with three big pagodas is truly a highlight for many tourists. But my favorite is Wat Ratchaburana that has Cambodian style pagoda and archeologist discovered the gold treasures inside the pagoda which are now display in Ayutthaya museum (one of Dan Cruickshank 80 treasures). After that I went to Wat Na Phra Meru which is the only temple that survive the destruction of the war, the temple is very beautiful and the Buddha is truly unexplainable with its majestic bright of gold in the dark solemn building. See this temple make me wonder what most temples in Ayutthaya were look like in that time and this make me quite sad. War is truly a bad thing, and Ayutthaya is a good example how war can destroy this beautiful civilization.
Overall, Ayutthaya is great for every one. But there is one thing I don’t understand – the name of this WHS. Historic City of Ayutthaya and associated historic towns, where are associated towns, the only inscription is just a small part of Ayutthaya Historical Park. This make me confused and not only that I also surprised to note that many great temple such as Wat Chaiwattanaram, the most beautiful in my opinion, Wat Na Phra Meru, the only survived temple, or even Wat Yai with big reclining Buddha are not in the WHS! The most confused for me is when I read many brochures and websites about Ayutthaya as a WHS, the pictures they used normally are Wat Yai which is not a WHS! I think UNESCO or Thailand should make it clear in the inscription that there is no associated historic town. And it would be great that in the future Thailand will extent the WHS zone to cover all beautiful temples ruins I mentioned.
Date posted: June 2006
PHUSA A-LASAT (Thailand):
I feel proud of my country for the great and long history especially Ayutthaya City. I and my family visit Ayutthaya every school's vacation. I like to visit the temples in order to respect the old historic image Buddha. Whenever I went there it made me feel that I had been in the Ayutthaya period again for the imagination to the brave kings fighting the enemies on the head of their elephants among the brave Thai soldiers for protecting the freedom of Ayutthaya. It will be your special day if you like to visit the ancient things or places. This historic city appropriates for being on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Please visit here, it is not far from Bangkok. You can travel by passenger-boat along Chao Phraya River or by car or bus on Phrahon Yothin Road. You won't find it disappointing.
Date posted: October 2005
Ben Pastore (USA):
I visited Ayutthaya in March 2003 after seeing only a small photograph in a guidebook. I wanted to get a feel of old Siam and was not in any way disappointed. Sure the splendor is gone, but this sprawling complex was most certainly the real deal. Hiring a tuk tuk driver for ten bucks was a wise investment, and we got to all the main sights. Getting to Ayutthaya was no problem, though the train was a more comfortable ride even the the cost (approximately $1US) was the same. Whichever way you get there, this is an easy and worthwhile day trip form Bangkok
 


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