Ayutthaya, Thailand rests just north of Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River. Founded around 1350, the city eventually became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Because of it’s central location with easy access to the rest of Asia, Ayutthaya became one of the must important trading centers in the world. By 1700 the Siamese capital was the world’s largest city with over 1 million inhabitants. Today the Ayutthaya temples and temple ruins are some of the most impressive in all of Asia, drawing huge crowds to the small city.
Ayutthaya successfully held off many western invaders and Thailand was never colonized. However, the Burmese successfully sacked the city in 1767, riding on elephants and knocking the heads off of every Buddha statue they could find. The occupation was short lived, as the Chinese had seized the opportunity to move their armies into Burma. The Burmese forces retreated to their homeland with a majority of the Thai gold, burning the Ayutthaya temples in their retreat. The following years were plagued by civil war in Siam until control was taken by King Rama I. The founding member of the Chakri dynasty, which still reigns in Thailand to this day, Rama I relocated the Thai capital from the ruins of Ayutthaya to present day Bangkok.
Renovations at our first temple stop
An ornamental bull
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
There are temples all over the city, but the best area for biking is inside the old city’s moat where the temples are more numerous.
The view from Wat Ratchaburana.
It’s always yoga time for this aspiring yoga teacher
Here is a good website to book your transportation from Bangkok to Ayutthaya.
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