Ayuthaya in Thailand
Ayuthaya was the capital of Thailand from 1350- 1760 and is today the most significant archeological site in Thailand. A total of 33 kings reigned from Ayuthaya until the city was destroyed by Burmese invaders in 1767. Surrounded by rivers on all sides to provide strategic defense for the city, Ayuthaya is most noted for the famous rows of headless Buddhas to be found in the city, as well as an interesting mixture of Khmer and Cambodian architecture. It comes as no surprise then that some of the best and most interesting museums in Thailand are in Ayuthaya.
Day Trips to Ayuthaya
Ayuthaya is situated only 50 miles away from Bangkok making it an easily accessible day trip destination from the modern capital of Thailand. There are several tour operators who run day trips from Bangkok to Ayuthaya complete with meals and tour guides. These tour operators usually allow about three hours for touring Ayuthaya, although if you are really interested in the history of this place you could easily spend longer here.
Chao Sam Phraya National Museum in Ayuthaya
This is the second largest museum in Thailand after the National Museum in Bangkok. Located opposite the TAT office on Rojana road, this museum in Ayuthaya is replete with historical and religious artifacts recovered from the ruins of the city. These include bronze antique Buddha statues and images as well as clothing and ordinary utensils that would have been used by Ayuthaya’s inhabitants. Entrance to the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum costs 30 baht and opening hours are from Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 4pm. Some of the artefacts recovered from Ayuthaya have been donated to other museums in Thailand including some museums in Chiang Mai.
Ayuthaya Historical Study Centre
Similar to the National Museum in that there are plenty of artifacts from Ancient Ayuthaya this centre also has some particularly interesting scale models of the royal palaces of Ayuthaya and the ships that would have sailed to and from the city. There is also a fascinating display about the earliest Europeans to come to Ayuthaya. This centre served as a resource bank for students and scholars of Thai history so is full of interesting and detailed information. Located on the Rojana road, this centre is open from Monday to Friday 9-4.30pm. Entrance costs 100 Baht.
Chandra Kasem Palace in Ayuthaya
This palace is a branch of the National Museum. Originally constructed in 1577 by the 17th King of Ayuthaya, it was later destroyed by the Burmese before being restored to it’s present condition by King Mongkut. Inside the palace are displays of Buddha images, jewelry and other daily objects dating from between the 13th and 17th century. The palace is located in the north east part of the old city of Ayuthaya and is open from 9am-noon then 1pm until 4pm. The palace is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.