Only three hundred years ago, Atutthaya was the largest city in the world where one million people lived. However, in 1767 the Burmese took over and razed the city to the ground, ending the rule of the great capital of Siam. These days, the only thing left of this former glory is the many ruin temples and other stone buildings scattered throughout the area.
When they are visiting Ayutthaya, many people will head to the ruins, temples and museums. They are definitively the main attraction, as the city as awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 1991. However, after seeing the ruins – is there anything else in Ayutthaya that you can include in your visit? Let’s take a look at the other attractions here:
Baan Hollande and the Japanese village
The Japanese Village has an interesting museum that tells the story of ancient Ayutthaya and the role that the Japanese played in the history. Also, make sure that you visit Baan Hollanda, which was a Dutch village built in 1634, located on the Chao Phraya River.
Explore the Muslim Quarter
A very interesting part of Aytthaya is the Muslim Quarter, which is where many Muslim-Indian and Perisan traders once made their homes. There are many mosques to explore in this area, as well as interesting lanes and pathways and plenty of great little shops selling delicious Muslim-Thai food. There is also a very large and impressive Mosque located along the riverside road out to Chedi Phu Khao Thong from Wat Na Phra Men.
Visit the Thai Boat Museum
This fascinating museum offers hundreds of models of traditional Thai boats, many of which are no longer used on the waterways of Thailand. The museum is located in a traditional Thai teak house and is the project of a Thai man who loves boats and their history. It is open every day from 8am until 5pm.
Shop at the Chao Phrom Market
If you are looking to pick up some clothing or souvenirs, take a trip to the Chao Phrom Market which is located next to the Pasak River on U-Thong Road. There are plenty of stalls, selling more authentic goods than the cliché tourist trinkets. The food is also fantastic, in case you get hungry when shopping and want to grab a bite.
Enjoy an Elephant Stay at the Elephant Kraal Pavilion
Elephants are very important within Thai history and culture, so if you want to learn more about these beautiful beasts in a caring setting, you can visit the Elephant Kraal which is located around four kilometres northeast of Ayutthaya. Visitors are able to stay at the kraal for up to 28 days, learning about how the elephants are cared for ethically and trained. It’s a truly unforgettable elephant experience that will give you a deep appreciation for these beautiful beasts.
These are just a few of the fun attractions that you can enjoy in Ayutthaya, above and beyond the ruins themselves. With so many things to see and do here, you might want to book an extra few days!
Have you been to Ayutthaya? What did you do there during your visit? Please feel free to share your stories with us in the comments below.