along the main Road in Ayuthaya City is a perfectly restored ancient Thai Teak House that is now a museum and inside are typical house instruments and things that are used and the traditional decorations. the musuem is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday and admission is free for local thais and about 25 baht for tourists.
the teak house is located at the 2/4 Rojana Road | Phra Nakhon Si, Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand. it is not included in an ayuthay day tour package, so if you are touring ayuthaya on your own, you can add this on your ayuthaya things to see.
Since Ayuthaya was the capital of the Ayuthaya Kingdom which was destroyed by the Burmese Army in the 17th century, there are many assorted wats and temples lying along the City and are not often visited by foreign tourists for lack of time and due to the more remote locations and lack of parking spaces near the sites. remember that there are more than 400 wats in ayuthaya city that was destroyed partially or wholly by the burmese more than 300 years ago.
the more common sites visited by tourists are the Wat Sri San Pet, Wat Chai Wattanaram, Wat Lokayasutra Ayuthaya, Wat Naphrame, Wat Maha That, Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit and a few more. if you are planning to have a multi day ayuthaya tour, then your tour guide can guide you to these various ruined temples that are off the beaten track.
Years ago, I spotted a picture on the internet. Of a head stuck in the middle of a tree. And the image had forever burnt itself in my mind. A bit of research gave me it’s location. Ayuthaya, Thailand. I’ve been to Thailand before… but always to Bangkok. I was that near?!? And so, on another trip to Bangkok, I made plans to split from my group to explore Ayuthaya on my own.
And so, hardly thinking of any danger, I set out with only my handwritten directions, my trusty camera and my little tripod. From the MRT, I got off at Victory Monument and took one of the white vans heading to Ayuthaya. It was a bit of a struggle finding out which van to take as no one spoke English and the signs were in their local alphabet. I got by with using the words “Ayuthaya” “old palace” and ended up sketching a tree with a head on it. Ah! They understood. I had to wait until the van got full before we left the station…but after 20 mins, we were off and I settled in for an hours ride to Ayuthaya.
Being alone, and travelling for the first time without any companions in a non-english speaking place, I again had to struggle. I can’t fall asleep! And yet, try as I might, my eyes would close and I probably took a 20min unforeseen nap in the van—clutching my things tightly to my chest. I woke up when the lady next to me poked me in the arm. And to my alarm, the driver kept telling me to get off! They opened the van door and made me get down. Coming from sleep, I was groggy and stumbled out of the van. Was I there?
I found myself on the sidewalk of a highway. No ruins to be seen.! Where was I?
I did spot a couple of Tuk-tuks and after a stop-and-start conversation in halting English, I gathered they were there, waiting for tourists like me. I hired one TukTuk to take me around the ruins for the day—I was able to bargain for 600baht for the entire afternoon.
The one nice thing about these TukTuks is that they’re used to tourists. My TukTuk driver had a handful of postcards which he fanned out to me. He asked me, using sign language, to point out where I wanted to go. So I plucked cards out of his hands and handed back to him the different ruins I wanted to see. Nodding and smiling, he arranged them in order and again, in sign, basically showed me we will go to each place in the order he placed them. Logistics I suppose?
There started my beautiful journey thru the ruins of Ayutthaya. I went from spot to spot, basically hugging myself in silent glee. With no one with me, I didn’t have to worry about the fact my companion might be bored as I took my time taking my pictures and clambering up the ruins to get a better view.
It was the peak of the afternoon and my TukTuk driver kindly lent me his pink floral umbrella. So I walked along… exploring. Making the acquaintance of the grand ol’ Ayuthaya ruins.
This was the ol' world and I finally got to visit and pay my respects. The entire time, regardless if it was boiling hot... I was in silent awe. I feel like I didn't speak the entire time I was there. And I didn't have to. The ruins were talking to me...and I to them.
The place was beautiful in it's ruined grandness. So if you get to go to Bangkok... take the time to visit. THIS place is worth more than any of those temples within the city. If you make me choose between the gold of a buddha statue versus the texture of rough red brick... I pick brick.
TIP: Buy water. Keep yourself hydrated. And if possible, bring a hat. There’s hardly any shade to be had.
A little bit further up the river, the Thai kings came here on retreat from the teeming capital, where they used to elephant hunt.
Europeans managed to import their own architecture here (see picture): this was the house built for Vichayen, Constance Phaulkon, the controversial Greek Chief Minister who was executed in a palace coup in 1688.
On the road that crosses the river north of the island to the Elephant Kraal, keep going down that road a couple hundred meters and turn off the right. There sits a place next to the home of a wealthy Thai man who has taken it upon himself to take care of elephants. Elephants are, sadly, in surplus in Thailand, since their livelihoods in the logging industry were halted by the near complete cutting down of many Thai forests. The elephants that give rides around the ruins in Ayuthaya are quartered, fed, and cared for at this place. I'm told that the fares for these rides support the elephant facility here.
At this facility, several females and their young are kept in a set of pens and you can feed the mothers and offspring a specially prepared feed for them. Donations to defray the costs expected. Baby elephants are a hoot, but don't neglect the mothers or they will blow hot air at you with their trunks. I could spend all day at this place.
You may witness some training of younger elephants. The sponsor of this facility is apparently attempting to conserve as the more humane methods of training elephants. Young women and men are trained to by mahouts here as well. Finally, you may witness some of the elephants receiving medical care for foot wounds, etc. as we did when we visited.
Beyond the nursery pens are visible the pens of the older males.
I don't think anyone at this place speaks English, but asking permission may be done through the universal language of questioning and gesturing. It's obvious that visitors are regular and expected or they would not have the special feed and the donation box hung next to the nursery. But I didn't notice any road signs announcing this place.
If you can find a boat and take a small tour of the canals around the area, you'll see interesting other local boats, some floating, others slowly decaying in the marsh lands. But you can also see some of the homes and farms from a closer angle.
Well, Ayutthaya certainly has its characteristics and its not just Siem Reap which can lay claim to trees taking over the temples... it appears that it happens in Ayuthaya as well........
Made an interesting picture though dont you agree...?
Being an animal lover, i tend to look for animals in the strangest of places so imagine my surprise when i was feeding the fish in a pond near Wat Si Sanphet... it just poked its head out the water, and vanished again.. on a few occasions, perhaps to get the bread i was feeding the fish with, but certainly something i was surprised with :)
Mu Ban Protuket is the Portuguese village located in Tambon Samphao Lom, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and to the south of the city. The Portuguese were the first Europeans who travelled to trade with the Ayutthaya kingdom. In 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque, the Portuguese governor to Asia, dispatched a diplomatic troupe led by Ambassador Mr. Duarte Fernandes to Ayutthaya during the reign of King Ramathibodi II. After that, some portuguese came to the kingdom for different purposes : trade, military volunteers in the Ayutthaya army, or on a religious mission. They built a church as the centre of their community and to serve religious purposes.
Presently, some traces of former construction have been found at the village site. At the ancient remains of São Pedro, a Dominican church, some antique objects were excavated together with human skeletons such as tobacco pipes, coins, and accessories for a religious ceremony.
Bishop Landrabe de Lamot, one of the leaders of the seven missions assigned by the pope to establish Christiany overseas, arrived in Ayutthaya in 1962. Actually, he intended to go to China, but came to Ayutthaya instead because his ship was wrecked in a storm. Also, at that time there was strong dispute against Christianity in China. Thus, Bishop Landrabe stayed in a Vietnamese camp. In 1665 Bishop Landrabe asked King Narai the permission to establish a school in Ayutthaya. The King supported him with land and building materials. The school was later called St. Joseph Camp.
This monastery is over a kilometre behind Wat Suanluangsopsawan adjacent to Wat Worachettharam. Accessible by the road inside the compound of the Distillery Plant, or through the road behind the Phlapphla Trimuk (three-gabled roof pavilion), It is in the area of the Acient Palace passing Wat Woraphot and Wat Worachettharam going to the site of the large reclining Buddha, made of brick and covered with plaster, approximately 29 metres long. Many large hexagonal pillar ruins near the image are believed to be the ruins of the Ubosot.
This ancient monastery named “Wat Sua” is behind Chankasem Palace. The main attractions are two Buddha images : Phra Samphuttha Muni, the principal image enshrined in the Ubosot, and Phra In Plaeng enshrined in the Wihan ; both were transferred from Vientiane.
Located near Wat Kudidao, it was renovated by Chao Phraya Kosa (Lek) and Phraya Kosa (Pan) during the reign of King Narai the Great. The main attraction is a large Prang having an unusual outlook different from the others. It is believed to imitate the design of Chedi Chet Yot of Chiang Mai.
Si Suriyothai Park is located within the area of the Ayutthaya liquor plant adjacent to Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai. On its total area of 5 rai, there is a common building, a Somdet Phra Si Suriyothai pavilion, a mound with marble Semas (boundary stones of a temple) aged over 400 years where the fragmented parts of Buddha images taken from Wat Phutthaisawan were buried, etc. The Liquor Distillery Organisation, who sponsored the construction of the park, wished to devoted all good deeds in transforming the former inner part of the royal compound to all of the late kings who used to live here before. King Rama IX graciously named the park “Suan Si Suriyothai” on 25 May, 1989. Then, the park was conferred to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the eve of Her 60th birthday anniversary. The park opens daily for the public from 09.00-17.00 hrs.
This is located 1.5 kilometres far from Wat Phanancheong in Tambon Ko Rien. There is an additional building of the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre, where the foreign affairs of Ayutthaya Period are on exhibition.