Ayutthaya Historical Park – A World Heritage Site

Ayutthaya, or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, was once the capital of Thailand (Siam back then) and considered the most spectacular place on Earth with 1,700 temples and over 4,000 golden Buddha statues. In 1767, all this came to an end during the Burmese invasion, and the city was almost completely destroyed. The spectacular ruins that now remain have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.

Ayutthaya is located about 80 km north of Bangkok, and for as little as 60 baht you can go there by minivan from Victory Monument. To find the van zone, head out of the BTS station at exit 4 and ask your way. Since there are no more minivans from Victory Monument, I recommend going by train. It’s safer, cheap and more fun!

The Historical Park is huge, and some people rent bicycles on arrival. We hired a tuk-tuk, and the driver showed a map of the park for us to pick what temples we wanted to see. We came here for the temples that appear in the movies Mortal Kombat and Kickboxer with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Yay! We visited six different temples, but there are over 20 impressive temples.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Situated by the Chao Phraya River, Wat Chaiwatthanaram was my favorite temple in Ayutthaya. It was incredible walking around pretty much alone, taking in the Mortal Kombat atmosphere. The temple was constructed in 1630 by the King Prasat Thong, and the central prang (reliquary tower) is believed to contain relics of the Lord Buddha.