Ayuthaya, Thailand

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April 13th 2009
Published: April 19th 2009
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Ayuthaya was the Thai capital before Bangkok, founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. Its located about an hour and a half north of Bangkok by train. The day we went, the train tracks within central Bangkok had been closed due to a serious escalation of conflict between the “Red-Shirts” (former prime minister Thaksin supporting protestors) and the current government. International news showed tanks and buses turned over on fire, but it was localized in certain parts of Bangkok, while elsewhere everything seemed to continue as normal. We had to take the MRT (subway) to a northern train station and leave from there.

Ayuthaya, like Chiang Mai in the north, is a town surrounded by a square mote. This was probably affective until the Burmese invaded in 1767 and the capital was first relocated south to Thonburi, then across the river to Bangkok. It is thought that the population of Ayuthaya around 1700 was about 1,000,000 people making it one of the largest cities in the world at the time.

That is difficult to believe because now the town is small enough to navigate on foot, or preferably a bicycle. Much of the main part (within the surrounding mote) is made up of parks and ruins. As always the Thai people were very nice and helpful.

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