Wat Ratchaburana

Top choice ruins

in Ayuthaya

The prang (Khmer-style spire) in this large temple complex is one of the best extant versions in the city. There are giant stucco-sculpted Garuda on the corners and many smaller stupas surrounding it. If you aren't afraid of heights, small spaces or bats, you can climb inside the prang to visit the crypt, decorated with faint murals of the Buddha from the early Ayuthaya period.

The temple was founded in 1424 by King Borom Rachathirat II on the cremation site for his two brothers who died while fighting each other for the throne.

The crypt's gold treasures were famously looted in 1957. The thieves were tracked down, though it was too late for the priceless gold artefacts, most of which had been melted down and sold on. The remainder are on display in Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.