700 years of independence

Moving into Thai period proper, dating from the 13th century, the historical development of the Kingdom can be glimpsed at several ancient sites. Reflecting past glories into the fullest are the surviving ruins of the first two capital cities: Sukhothai, founded in 1238 and Ayuthaya, which was the power of centre for over 400 years until its destruction in 1767. At both places, the former located on the northern edge of the Central Plains and the latter situated some 80 kilometres north of Bangkok, are impressive ruins attesting to the architectural achievement of the Thais.

Today it is a carefully restored World Heritages Site, maintained under the watchful eye of the Fine Arts Department and the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).This marvelous cultural wonder, whose name means “Dawn of Happiness”.

The ancient city of Ayutthaya, formally designated Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya was the Thai capital for 417 years, and is one of Thailand’s major tourist attractions.

Ayutthaya province is relatively small at 2,557 sq. km. and is easily accessible due to good road, rail and river connections and its proximity to Bangkok. Straddling the Chao Phraya River, the nation’s principal waterway, the province is extremely important, as it was the Siamese capital for four centuries.

Ayutthaya Thailand
Ayutthaya Thailand

The city of Ayutthaya is 76 km. north of Bangkok and boasts numerous magnificent ruins from its days as the capital. Just to the south, in perfect condition, stands the royal palace of Bang Pa-in set in splendid gardens. The province is also noted for H.M. the Queen’s Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre.

The ancient city of Ayutthaya, formally designated Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya was the Thai capital for 417 years, and 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 when Ayutthaya was capital, 33 kings and several dynasties ruled the kingdom, until the glittering city was sacked by the Burmese in 1767, ruined and abandoned.

The extensive ruins and the historical records demonstrate that Ayutthaya was one of Southeast Asia’s most prosperous cities. In recognition of its historical and cultural importance, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, the location of the ruins adjacent to today’s city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991.

How To Get There

By Car
1. Take Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road.) then take Highway 32 to Ayutthaya.
2. Take Highway 304 (Chaeng Wattana Road) or Highway 302 (Ngamwongwan Road), turn right onto Highway 306 (Tiwanon Road.), then take Highway 3111 (Pathum Thani – Sam Khok
– Sena) and turn right at Sena onto Highway 3263.
3. Take Highway 306 through Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani, then take Highway 347.

By Bus
From Bangkok Bus Terminal on Kamphaeng Phet II Road
Air-conditioned buses leave for Ayutthaya every half-hour from 5.30 a.m. to 7.20 p.m.
Non-air-conditioned buses leave for Bang Pa-in, Bang Sai and Ayutthaya many times daily from 5.30 a.m. to 7.20 p.m.
More information please call Tel: (66) 2936 2852-66 call center 1490

By Rail
Trains leave from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
Call (66) 2220 4334 or Hotline 1690  for more information.

and Intercity Transportation in Thailand Page