Published: January 7th 2009January 4th 2009
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Constructed in the mid 1400s. Ayuthaya was originally the capital of Thailand (at that time called Siam). At its peak, it had a population of 1 million people. The temples and palace were mostly destroyed when it was conquered by Burma in the 1700s.
From Bangkok I took a train 1-1/2 hours north to get away from the pollution and traffic for a few days. The town of Ayuthaya was actually much larger than I expected, and had its own share of traffic and pollution. However, the historical ruins were well worth it.
Ayuthaya was the capital of Thailand (then called Siam) for 400 years. With a population of 1 million at its peack, it was actually one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities until 1767, when the Burmese eventually conquered and destroyed it. Fifteen years later, the new capital was moved to Bangkok by the surviving Thai army that fled Ayuthaya.
Many of the city's temples were levelled, and buddha figures decapitated. Now the site where a majority of the ruins lie is a dedicated historical park and World Heritage Area. I could easily imagine how splendid this city must have been in its hay day.
There are more photos below