World Heritage Route Ayutthaya

| March 7, 2016

Mentioning the old capital Ayutthaya. and the people’s minds turn to the glorious temples and palaces. elaborately built and decorated. housing fine Buddha images that defy all descriptions. Ayutthaya is a World Heritage Site that all Thais are proud of. This World Heritage route to Ayutthaya. only 70 kilometers from Bangkok. is taking you through the past glory of the Golden Age of Thai culture.
Starting on Highway No.32 heading north, turn left at the multi-level intersection into Ayutthaya at kilometer 71. The city of Ayutthaya comes alive before your eyes amid the ruins of the old capital. Continue to the Circle of Wat Chedi Sam Pluuem and turn left on Highway 3059. About 1.5 kilometers further is Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, with the tallest pagoda in Ayutthaya. To the back of the temple is the shrine to King Naresuan, the greatest warrior king of Ayutthaya.
Once in the area delicacies of Ayutthaya should not be neglected such as traditional Thai sweetmeats in Banana leaf wrappings, or try some snacks such as noodles at Wat Yai, famous with noodle soups with steamed beef, pork, and chicken. Another renowned restaurant is in traditional Thai wooden houses, called Ruean Thai Mai Suai, offering inimitable Thai dishes. Next, continue on Highway 3059 for some 3 kilometers to Wat Phananchoeng, situated to the right on the Chao Phraya River. Enshrined here is the huge sitting Buddha, much revered by Thai and Chinese Buddhists. It is the largest cement Buddha in the country. Not far from Wat Phananchoeng is the Japanese Village, revived as a living museum A building has been put up for permanent exhibitions. A detailed map of the city island of Ayulllaya is also displayed here. Across the river is the Portuguese Village, revived in the same manner.

Wat Phanan Choeng Ayutthaya Thailand

Turning back on Highway 3059 passing Wat Phananchoeng on the left take the turn into the rail side road up to the intersection under King Naresuan Bridge and Pridi-Thamrong Bridge. Drive straight under the bridge and turn right into the main road previously taken up to the Circle of Wat Chedi Sam Pluem, turn left towards archeological sites outside the city island. About 1 kilometer to the left is Wat Samana Kottharam, now in ruins. In the neighborhood are Wat Kudi Dao, with remaining lotus-bud capitals of Ayutthaya colonnade to be seen, Wat Pradu Songtham with old murals largely effaced, and Wat Ayodhaya, also in ruins. Across the road. take the left turn to Wat Maheyong, the only temple in Ayutthaya with a pagoda surrounded by elephant figures, with only bases left.
Turning back towards the Circle of Wat Chedi Sam Pluem, head for King Naresuan Bridge and cross the Pasak River into Rochana Road, the main road of the city island. The first site to the left is the Historical Study Center, with permanent exhibits showing the evolution of the old capital. Further on at the end of Rochana Road is a large white hall exhibiting plaster faces of well-known kings. The building was originally the provincial hall, presently the tourist information center.
Now, follow Si Sanphet Road northwards to the circle. Passing the circle, to the left is the Elephant Center, offering tours on elephant-back Next to it is Khum Khun Phaen, a typical Thai group-house, showing the lifestyle of wealthy Thais of Ayutthaya Period. To the right is Wat Phra Ram with a big stupa located near Phra Ram Marsh a popular recreation site. Wat Mongkholbophit lies next to Khum Khun Phaen. A huge bronze Buddha is enshrined in the temple hall. Next to it is Wat Phra Si Sanphet, with three pagodas housing the ashes of three kings of Ayutthaya. The temple is located within the compound of the royal palaces of which only extensive bases remaining.

Across the road is Wat Thammikarat, distinctive with the pagoda supported by mythological lions, the style of early Ayutthaya Period. Coming out of Wat Thammikarat, turn right into U Thong Road, and continue up to the intersection. Turn right into Chi Kun Road, crossing Pa Maphrao Road to the intersection. To the right is Wat Ratchaburana, with a towering stupa once containing precious items such as royal belongings and gold images. It was heavily looted. Remaining items are kept in Chao Sam Phraya Museum, opposite Historical Study Center on Rochana Road.
The next destination is Wat Mahathat, another significant temple, from where the familiar sight of the Buddha’s head in the mesh of banyan roots originated. The real highlight of the temple, however, is the main pagoda housing the holy relics of the lord buddha.
At the end of Chi Kun Road, turn into U Thong Road, which rings around the city island. Turn left to Petch Fort, the only remaining fort of the fortified city, and Wat Suwan Dararam, the temple of the Royal House of Chakri, featuring intricate murals. U-Thong Road runs parallel to the Pasak River. Emerging from under King Naresuan and Pridii- Thamrong bridges, to the right is Ban Khun Phra Guesthouse, featuring old Thai houses on the Pasak River. A delicious meal in a pleasant riverside atmosphere here is recommended. From the intersection, the road runs through a busy commercial area from Chao Phrom Market to Hua Ro Market, at the bend of the Pasak River.
Passing the commercial area, the road runs along the well-shaded city moats. At Maharat Bridge, turn right across the bridge to Wat Na Phra Men, about 200 meters ahead on the left. Enshrined here is a beautiful full royal costume. Turning back on the same route into U Thong Road, the sparkling gold top of Si Suriyothai Pagoda is seen on the left, opposite to Wat Kasatrathirat, and a long row of riverside Thai – style restaurants on the Chao Phraya River. Famous is Watcharachai Restaurant, with snakehead fish baked in straw as the main delicacy.

From the back of Si Suriyothai Pagoda, follow the sign to Wat Lokayasutharam, about one kilometer further, to view the largest reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya. Turning back on the same route to U Thong Road, take the right turn across the bridge to Wat Chai Watthanaram, about 2 kilometers further to the left. The temple features a group of stupas built towards the end of the Ayutthaya Period. Turn left and continue for about 2.5 kilometers to Wat Phutthaisawan to the left, with a great stupa of Ayutthaya and Khmer art forms. 2 kilometers further, to the right is the Portuguese Village, where a large number of utensils and skeletons were dug up.
The trip can be made as a round trip on the U Thong Road, leading out to Rochana Road and heading for Bangkok. For a different scene, after passing Wat Chai Watthanaram on the right, turn left into Highway 3263, heading for Sena District, with spreading rice-fields and clusters of Thai houses on both sides. Entering Bang Sai District, take the left turn into Highway 340 to Bang Bua Thong District, Nonthaburi Province, to gel back to Bangkok, concluding an impressive tour of Ayutthaya World Heritage Site.

Ayutthaya Map Thailand

Category: Ayutthaya