Ayutthaya once served as the capital of Thailand for over 400 years before it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. The magnificent ruins of the city survive to this day. Between 1956 and 1975, the monuments and temples at Ayutthaya were explored and many artefacts were recovered. A museum was built to exhibit these artefacts and was named Chao Sam Phraya National Museum in honour of King Borommaracha II (Chao Sam Phraya). The National Museum consists of three buildings and is the second largest museum in Thailand. It was opened in 1961, with the addition of a second building in 1970.
The first building is one storey tall and the ground floor contains a number of artistic pieces, most of them images of the Buddha done according to different regional styles including Ayuttaya and Lopburi. In addition to elegantly sculptured bronze statues, visitors will find many intricately carved wood panels. The first floor consists of two rooms; one room contains ancient Buddhist relics including finely preserved terra-cotta Buddhist votive tablets, while the other room contains gold objects unearthed at the Wat Ratchaburana. The jewel among this invaluable display is definitely the Royal Sword, which has a gold scabbard and crystal handle.
The second building also houses art pieces from different regions. The third building is actually a group of Thai styled houses that depict daily life in Thailand during ancient times. Local art and handicrafts are also on display here. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, and is considered a ‘must see’ when visiting Ayutthaya.
Thailand is a country with many tourist attractions and it would be impossible to visit them all during a single vacation. By going on a cruise one can visit the most popular attractions, including Ayutthaya, in a short space of time. There are a number of cruise operators, but those who want to travel in style and luxury should try Anantara Cruises Thailand. The origin of the Bangkok Cruise Tour is at the pier in front of the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa. The Chao Phraya Bangkok Cruises are not only a delightful way of getting to know Thailand, it is also a magical experience laden with adventure and discovery.