Find the best day tours, sightseeing activities, excursions & things to do in Ayutthaya. You can also search tours of which either depart from, visit or finish in Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya Sightseeing Tours
Highlights of Ayutthaya
Thailand has a splendid history and retains many buildings, temples and statues that hearken back through the ages to a time of magnificent pomp and grandeur - it will be an amazing experience seeing these places on one of our featured cultural tours. Of particular interest is the nearly 400 year old temple of Wat Chaiwatthanaram that sits beside the Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya. The monastery was built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong. The layout and design is very similar to Angkor Wat in neighbouring Cambodia and it is believed to have been built as a memorial to the king's victory over that country.
Wat Phananchoeng is another must-see temple, because the origins of this edifice are lost in the mists of time and history: no-one knows exactly when it was built or by whom, but it was in existence when Ayutthaya became the capital. The temple contains a large image of Buddha that is said to have wept when the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya. The temple of Wat Traimit is the home to an opulent work of art that serves to remind us of the ingenuity of people when under imminent threat. A three metre tall statue of Buddha made of pure gold; the statue is a miracle of engineering. The statue separates into nine pieces, with the help of an unlocking key, for ease of transport. This ability to come apart is vital, as the complete statue weighs a staggering 5 tons! The statue is thought to have been made in the 13th century, but was completely covered with a thick layer of plaster in order to prevent it being seized by the invading Burmese in the 1400s.
The statue was assumed to be of no value and was left untouched in the ruins of Ayutthaya. The statue was moved into another temple, still clad in plaster, where it remained until 1955 when it was decided to move the statue to a new temple that had been recently constructed. During the process of moving the statue, it was damaged, an occurrence that turned out to be a very lucky occurrence indeed. The old plaster chipped and began to fall off, revealing the pure golden gleam underneath! Rather than being an old plaster piece, the statue is worth approximately US$250 million!
The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is worth a visit, to spare a thought for all the fallen soldiers whose story was immortalised in the movie 'The Bridge over the River Kwaii.' This is rather more modern history, but speaks to a time moving out of living memory, and, as such, deserves notice. Living comfortably side by side with the modern world are the Thai boat people. Be sure to visit the floating market and take the time to meet these people who live as their ancestors did, making their living on and by the water, plying their trade on the rivers and canals of Thailand.