Trevel back to a different time in one of the country's many impressive historical sites. Ayutthaya is just a couple of hours from Bangkok and is one of Thailand's historical hilights. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya for over 400 years before the Burmese sacked it in 1767 forcing the movement of the capital to Bangkok.

The splendor of Ayutthaya's past can be glimpsed in its magnificent ruins that are scattered around the modern city like pebbles on a beach. Majestic is a word that does not do justice to the relics of this ancient kingdom. Phra Nokhon sri Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World
Heritage site. This vast stretch of ruins is near the heart of the modern city. It is home to many significant ruins like the Wihan Somdet Hall; which is cloistered on three sides and was the first building in Ayutthaya to be covered in gold leaf. A fitting decoration for coronation, and investiture ceremonies that used to he held there.

Relaxing away the long weekend visit the Wihan Phra Mongkol Bophit in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, it is home to one of the Thailand's largest bronze Buddha images. Even though a restoration of the original which was badly damaged by a lightening strike, this Buddha image is still impressive.
The ancient city walls are visible below their later reconstruction by Rama IV. It is fun to have the kids trace the original extent of this old city. The building style too is interesting being a fascinating mix of Hindu and Khmer-inspired motifs and styles.

A little way outside Ayutthaya is the Prasat Nakhon Luang - the skeleton of the former summer retreats of the Ayutthaya kings. It sits on the banks of the Pasak River, one of the rivers and canals that formed the city is defences.
Today there are groups of ruins and rows of headless Buddhas where once a grand empire thrived, but even in their present un-restored state the relics of Ayutthaya are breathtaking in their grandeur and awe-inspiring in their antiquity.
There are so many sites of interest in and around the city that the most efficient way to see them all is to hire a bicycle at one of the many hire shops.

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