Ayutthaya, a small city not far from Bangkok, is best known for the multitude of temple ruins scattered around its historical centre.
Founded in 1350 as the capital of the Siamese Kingdom, Ayutthaya flourished for more than four centuries, growing into one of the largest cities of the period. Thanks to its strategic location on an island surrounded by three rivers, and with a direct connection to the sea, it became a key centre of commerce and global diplomacy. During it’s heyday, it was a grand and wealthy city full of ornately decorated palaces and temples. In 1767 the city was brutally sacked by the Burmese who burned Ayutthaya to the ground. Following this, the Thai capital moved to Thonburi (in present-day Bangkok), and remained there even after Ayutthaya was retaken from the Burmese, and the regions of Thailand were unified into a single kingdom.
Visiting the Palaces and Temples of Ayutthaya
Extensive ruins of many of the former capital’s palaces and temples remain virtually untouched; the city of Ayutthaya having regrown gradually around them.