General Information of Ayutthaya

 In Brief
The ancient city of Ayutthaya, or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, The Thai capital for 417 years, is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in a city that was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong when the Thais were forced southwards by northern neighbours. During the period of Ayutthaya being the Thai capital, 33 Kings of different dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was sacked by the Burmese in 1767.

Ayutthaya is 76 kilometers north of Bangkok and boasts numerous magnificent ruins. Such ruins indicate that Ayutthaya was one of Indo - China's most prosperous cities. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya a Historical Park, a vast stretch of historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city, has been included in UNESCO's list of world heritage since 13 December ,1991.

Ayutthaya covers 2,556 square kilometers, and is administratively divided into 16 districts (Amphoes). It is conveniently accessible due to good roads and a short distance from Bangkok.

The Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya or Ayutthaya in short, is one of Thailand's 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.

History
Ayutthaya is an ancient city, founded by "King U- Thong or Ramathibodi I " in 1350. It was used as the capital of Thailand for 417, during the Ayutthaya period, 33 Kings of 5 Dynasties reigned over the Kingdom.

During the first 180 years , the city was peaceful. The main activity then was about the state affair and trading which made Ayutthaya one of the most prosperous city in ASIA. But nine years after King Ramathibodi ll's death in 1529 Ayutthaya became involved, for the first time , in a war with MYANMAR which led to many wars after that.

Ayutthaya was first defeated by the Burmese in 1569 , but 15 years later it was back to its glory again by " King Naresuan the Great ". Ayutthaya was peaceful again and enjoyed the activities in foreign affairs for about 118 years. It came to its peak until it was invaded and destroyed beyond repair by the Burmese in1767.

The capital was moved to Thonburi by "King Taksin the Great" who had fought against the Burmese and defeated them. After 15 years of King Taksin's reign. The capital was again moved to Bangkok by "King Rama the first". The founder of the present Chakri Dynasty.

How To Go to Ayutthaya

By Car
Alternative I: Take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road.) then take Highway No. 32 to Ayutthaya.
Alternative II: Take Highway No. 304 (Chaeng Watthana Road.) or take Highway No. 302 (Ngamwongwan Road.); turn righ to Highway No. 306 (Tiwanon Road.), then take Highway No. 3111 (Pathum Thani - Samkhok - Sena) and turn right at Amphoe Sena to Highway No. 3263.
Alternative III: Take Highway No. 306 (Bangkok - Nonthaburi - Pathum Thani Road.) then take Highway No. 347.

By Bus
Ordinary buses run between the Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) and Ayutthaya's main terminal on Naresuan Rd. every 20 minutes between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. The fare is 30 bahts and the trip takes around 2hours. Air-conditioned buses operate the same route every 20 minutes from 5.40 a.m. to 7.20 p.m. (every 15 minutes between 7a.m. and 5p.m.) at the rate of 47 bahts, the trip takes 1.5 hours when traffic to north of Bangkok is light, otherwise it will take two hours.

By Train
Trains to Ayutthaya leave Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station approximately every hour between 4.20 a.m. and 10 p.m. The 3rd class fare is 15 bahts for the 1.5 hour trip. Train schedules are available from the information booth at Hua Lamphong Station. Alternatively, call 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020, or 1690.

By Boat
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.

Activities in Ayutthaya

More Attractions in Ayutthaya

Interesting Festival in Ayutthaya

Songkran Festival

Date: April 13
Location: In Front of Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
Detail: The traditional Thai New Year is an occasion for merry making in Ayutthaya, with religious ceremonies as well as public festivities. Anyone who ventures out on the streets is likely to get a though soaking, but all in a spirit of fun and welcome at the peak of the hot season.

Bang Sai Loi Krathong ( Festival of Lights ) and International Boat Racing

Date: November
Location: The Royal Folk Arts & Crafts Center At Bang Sai
Detail: Celebrations include traditional float (Krathong) and beauty contests, handicrafts demonstrations and exhibitions, and krathong - launching beneath the full moon.

Ayutthaya Loi Krathong

Date: November
Location
: In Front of Chantakasem National Museum
Detail: At the Loi Krathong Festival, little floats with candles are set adrift on the river under the full moon, creating a beautiful sight.

Ayutthaya World Heritage Site Celebrations

Date: December
Location: Ayutthaya Historical park,
Detail: The ancient Siamese capital of Ayutthaya was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991. Ayutthaya celebrates its glorious past with historical exhibitions, traditional cultural processions and performances, light & sound presentations around city ruins, and numerous forms of entertainment.

Some Suggestions that might be useful