Points of Interest
Experience a historical Thai adventure as you cruise along the Chao Phraya River in the comfort of our luxurious Anantara Cruise in Bangkok and witness striking landmarks of a bygone era. From Nakhon Sawan province, the Chao Phraya River journeys south for more than 360 kilometres before emptying into the Gulf of Thailand at Pak Nam. In the 17th century, it was one of the busiest river routes in Asia, particularly the final stretch leading to the great city of Ayutthaya. Today, a trip up the historic waterway will introduce you to stunning temples, fascinating museums and folk traditions.
A tall Pagoda built by King Ramesuan in 1384, Wat Mahathat houses a relic of Lord Buddha, several golden Buddha images and many other objects in gold, ruby and crystal. Believed to be one of Ayutthaya’s oldest temples, Wat Mahathat is located in front of the Grand Palace, next to Pa Than Bridge. Its central prang, of which only the base remains, once rose to a height of 50 metres. Traces of the original stucco decorations can still be seen on some of the surrounding chedis.
The Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre
Since 1990, a special feature has set this national research institute apart from other museums: it does not focus on collecting and arranging priceless antiques such as Buddha images, pottery and jewellery, leaving visitors to imagine for themselves what the Ayutthaya Kingdom was like. Instead, its aim is to use historical evidence to recreate the social and cultural life of Ayutthaya through accurate scale models of various structures, places, and activities. Maps of Ayutthaya drawn by foreigners, overseas contracts, replicas of traditional Thai houses, models of ancient palaces and the Elephant Kraal are all displayed in the museum, a visit not to be missed.
Wat Phra Phuttha Saiyat Pa Mok (Wat Pa Mok)
According to the chronicle, King Naresuan rested with his army here to pay respect to the Reclining Buddha before his great white elephant battle with the Burmese Crown Prince, King Maha Uparacha. Now a royal grade monastery (Wora Wihan), this temple is an integration of two former buildings, Wat Chi Pakhao and Wat Talat. During the reign of King Thaisa of Ayutthaya, the temple was known as Wat Pamok because of the existence of so many “Mok” or Apocynarea trees in the area. At 22.58 metres long, the Reclining Buddha is one of Thailand’s oldest and most beautiful.