Ayutthaya is one of Thailands major tourist attractions, many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in a city that was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong, about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok. The city covers approximately 2,500 square kilometers, which is divided into 16 districts, it was the Saim Capital from 1350 to1767.
During the period of Ayutthaya being the Thai Capital 33 kings reigned in the kingdom from different dynasties, for 417 years the Kingdom of Ayutthaya was the dominant power in the fertile Menam or Chao Phraya Basin, its capital was Ayutthaya an island city situated at the confluence of three rivers. The Chao Phraya River, the Pasak River and the Lopburi River, which grew into one of Asias most renowned metropolises. The city must indeed looked majestic, with hundreds of monasteries, criss-crossed with canals and waterways which served as roads.
Wat Phananchoeng, home of a huge Buddha image just outside the island-city, was cast over twenty years before King Ramathibodi 1 moved his residence to the city area in 1350, its easy to see why the Ayutthaya area was settled prior to this date since the site offered a variety of geographical and economic advantages, not only is Ayutthaya at the confluence of three rivers, plus canals, its proximity to the sea also gave its inhabitants an irresistible stimulus to engage in maritime trade, in its heyday, Thai culture and commerce flourished in the city.
Ayutthaya even had diplomatic relations with Louis XIV of France, plus lots of foreign merchants resided in the capital, Japanese, British, Dutch, Portuguese, to name a few, the Thais, who had been some what to fortunate and complacent, having enjoyed over a century of comparative peace, in April 1767 after a 15 month siege, Ayutthaya finally succumbed to the Burmese, who sacked and burnt the city, putting an end to one of the most politically glorious and culturally influential epochs in Thai history. In 1782 Bangkok became the capital of Thailand the move was historically important.
Thai power shifted closer to the coast, Thailand became more oriented towards commerce, their capital would never again be inland. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, a vast stretch of a historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city, included in the UNESCO list of world heritages is within easy reach for the many tourists that stay in Bangkok has become one of Thailand’s most popular sightseeing tours, visited by thousands of tourists a year from all over the world.
Getting To Ayutthaya:
Train: Trains depart from Bangkoks Hua Lamphong Railway Station on the hour, the journey takes approximately 80minutes, excellent for families with young children.
River Curises: A great way to travel to Ayutthaya from Bangkok lots of interesting sites to see on the journey, times and prices vary depending on boat and service.
Bus: Buses depart from Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal every 30minutes, the journey takes approximately 90minutes.
Tour Companies in Bangkok, offer many different tour options, the majority visit Autthaya for 3 to 5 hours returning back to Bangkok after lunch, one of the nicer organized tours is to travel to Autthaya by air conditioned bus, wander around the ancient city grounds, explore some of the temples, visit Bang Pa In (Summer Palace of the late King Rama V) return to Bangkok, on a luxury air conditioned cruiser along the Chao Phya River, lunch is served on board.
Hotels & Accommodation:
The province has plenty of accommodation with prices to suit all budgets, many travelers simply get the bus from Bangkok approximately 90 minutes, after exploring the city move on to another town, offering them an inexpensive way to tour and see the real Thailand.