Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand

Travel to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya (อยุธยา), full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา), is an ancient capital and modern city in the Central Plains of Thailand, 85 km (53 mi) north of Bangkok.

Founded around 1350, Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. It was named after the city of Ayodhya in India, where legend has it Rama, one of the avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu, had his capital city, and whose rule is considered by Hindus to be the epitome of good governance and moral society. Throughout the centuries, an ideal location between China, India, and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia and even the world. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. Many international merchants set sail for Ayutthaya, from diverse regions as the Arab world, China, India, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands, and France. Merchants from Europe proclaimed Ayutthaya as the finest city they had ever seen. Dutch and French maps of the city show grandeur with gold-laden palaces, large ceremonies, and a visiting flotilla of trading vessels from all over the world. All this came to a quick end when the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya in 1767 and almost completely burnt the city to the ground.

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