Ayutthaya Historical Park
- Ayutthaya Historical Park is the ruins of the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. It is the site of mass murder, rape and enslavement of Siamese people and destruction of the Ayutthaya city, its art and buildings by the Burmese in 1767.
- Also close for tourism are the ancient city of Lop buri and the Summer Palace. Ramathibodi [ U Thong ] and remained the capital of The Kingdom of Siam for 417 years until it was destroyed by the Burmese invaders in 1767.
- Ayutthaya is important as it was the center of the Ayutthaya Kingdom for 417 years, the creative center for the Ayutthaya style of art, the defining kingdom in Southeast Asia and the start for the subsequent Bangkok Empire which was later founded by the survivors of the Burmese sacking.
- The Kingdom saw 5 dynasties, 33 kings and was involved in 70 wars. In 1352, King Ramathibodi of Ayutthaya conquered the Khmer and in 1378 the Ayutthaya Kingdom conquered Sukhothai to its north.
- Again in 1431 the Ayutthaya Kingdom waged war with the Khmer finally sacking Angkor after a 7 months siege. From 1548-1578 the city was under siege from the Burmese. In 1767 the City and Empire collapsed and was sacked and burnt down.
- Ayutthaya Historical Park is the most important tourist site for Thailand tourism outside Bangkok in Central Thailand. Ayutthaya is a one hour drive north from Bangkok.
- To understand Ayutthaya one needs to understand the belief systems, the role of personalities including foreigners, the role of rivers and the canal system, the role of elephants and guns in warfare, the places of cultural heritage, the strengths and weaknesses of Kings and other royal and noble members in Siam society and the role of foreign communities from Japan, the muslim world, Portugal, France, Holland and Britain. Well informed with a sense of history, events and people a trip to Ayutthaya is well worth while.
- When taking tours be careful to insist on giving enough time to see
these important sites and not be diverted with time wasting diversions.
To see everything requires several days. If you seek to see it all in
one day a private tour or taxi is needed with an early start.
- Ayutthaya was an international trading center in Southeast Asia and a visit to the ruins, temples and monuments today will be greatly enhanced by prior reading about the characters who shaped Ayutthaya, their belief systems and fate in history.
- This is a very exotic period in Thai history when Kings and their subjects believed Kings were gods, when the Catholic Church from France sought to change Siamese Buddhist minds, when Portuguese traders controlled trade and Portuguese mercenaries influenced war selling their modern methods of warfare and when Asian feudal Kings played war between themselves and with other lives as a game of egos and adventure.
The major sites to see at Ayutthaya are:
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet [ 1448 ] Wat Phra Ram [ 1369 ], Wat Maha That [ 1374 ], Wat Ratchaburana [ 1424 ], Wat Chai Wattanaram [ 1630 ], Wat Yai Chaimongkol [ 1357 ], Wat Phanan Choeng [ 1324 ], the Phet Fortress [ 1350 ] [ Pom Phet ], the ruins of the Royal Palace Ayutthaya, The Elephant Kraal, Chedi Si Suriyothai, Wat Suwan Dararam, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum Chan Kasem National Museum Bang Pa-in Palace [ Summer Palace ] Wat Lokayasutha Wat Phuttai Sawan ,Wat Phra RamWat Wora Chet Tha Ram