Ayutthaya, Thailand

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is an ancient city in Thailand, about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok. It used to be the capital Kingdom of Siam (Thailand’s former name), and a prosperous international trading port, from 1350 until razed by the Burmese in 1767. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues.  I got to visit three historical temples in Ayutthaya with the first being Wat Chaiwatthanaram; the second, Wat Mahathat, where you can see the famous Buddha head embedded in a Banyan tree; and third, Wat Lokayasutharam, Temple of the Reclining Buddha.  If you google any temples in Ayutthaya, you will find that the results will give you hundreds of different temples because that is what Ayutthaya is famous for.  Most of these temples were also constructed during the 1600s or even earlier.  Eventually in 1767 when the Burmese invaded Siam, these temples were destroyed; theft, sale of bricks from the ruins and the beheading of the Buddha statues were also common, which explained why a lot of the Buddha heads were missing from the temples.

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Aside from the temples, Ayutthaya is also famous for its rivers because Ayutthaya is an island at the confluence of three rivers: the Chao Phraya River, the Lopburi River and the Pa Sak River.  So everywhere you go in Ayutthaya, you’ll also see these rivers and temples.


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