Ayutthaya is primarily an ancient city in Thailand that offers historic monuments, museums, galleries and temples. But there are also activities like elephant riding, hiking, biking, golf and river cruises in Ayutthaya. The biggest attractions, however, are in the Ayutthaya Historical Ruins, in the western half of the river island, while the modern city is in the east. Considering it importance, the Ayutthaya Historical Park was given a UNESCO World Heritage Site status, including the ruins of ancient palaces and historic temples scattered throughout the area. This is a city sacred to the Thais, filled with historical and Buddhist shrines.
Historians comment that Ayutthaya was one of the most flourishing cities in it’s time. It was a highly developed international urban centre with a huge population, similar to that of the popular European capitals. The prosperity and riches of Ayutthaya resulted in the greed of the neighbouring country, Burma, and was subsequently looted and ransacked by the Burmese army. Now, the most visited ruins include Wat Phra Si core Sanphet, the largest temple in Ayutthaya, Wat Mongkhon Bophit and Wat Phra Mahathat. The peripheral Phramongkol Viharn Bophit includes one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand.