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Trip Report Ayutthaya & Bangkok - Travel Report

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The history of Ayutthaya and Angkor are intertwined in the 14th century as the two capital cities represented the two great Southeast Asian empires at that time: Khmer and Siam.

Conflicts arose between the two countries in the 15th century and the collapsed of Khmer Empire was deeply connected with the great Thai migration....

Check out knycx.journeying blog about the history and photos!: http://wp.me/p5Lw9a-17F

The Ayutthaya Kingdom hence became the new great power. The city was a major trading hub in the region and one the most populated city in the world at that time. However, the kingdom came under repeated attacks by the Burmese since the mid-16th century. The Burmese-Siamese War finally ended in 1767 with the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya and ransacked the city. Ayutthaya was burnt down and the Buddha statues were beheaded. Again in the 19th century, the Burmese were defeated by the British Empire army and became part of the British India. Birth… Rise… and finally, collapse. See how history (interestingly) keeps looping itself?

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Ayutthaya or Sukhothai?

There were questions about whether visiting Sukhothai or Ayutthaya – both of them are the ancient capitals of the Siam Kingdom. For me, I would say both of them worth seeing as they have their own stories and features. Generally speaking, Ayutthaya is much easier to get to, as it’s closer to the city of Bangkok. It would be a better choice for a short trip in Thailand, but that means we have to expect a lot of crowds and busier traffic in the historical park. Sukhothai is located in northern Thailand, about 4-hour drive away from Ching Mai. It is a larger site that closer to the scale of Angkor, it takes much time to get there and probably need a few days to complete all the sights. The upside – visitors could enjoy the serenity and spirituality of the heritage. More, the temples and sites are better preserved in the Sukhothai historical park.

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Check out knycx.journeying blog about the photo of Ayutthaya!: http://wp.me/p5Lw9a-17F

Today, the Ayutthaya historical park (yet another Unesco World Heritage Site) is only an hour (85 km) away from Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, which makes it perfect for a day trip. The park, wrapped by the Chao Phraya River, actually has numerous sites for visitors to see, and it’s nothing wrong to stay in the city for a few days to visit them all. Like Angkor, (In a smaller scale, though), the ancient capital of Siam has left spectacular ruins of palace and monasteries, Buddha statues, and temples. All of these were built under the ruling of 35 kings from 7 dynasties.

First, we visited the Bang Pa-In Palace. The complex has kept an interesting mix of Thai, Chinese, and European Architecture, like Gothic statues, Thai temples, and Chinese-style residence. Today, the site is infrequently used for state occasions.

Afterward, we moved on to Wat Maha That and Wat Chaiwatthanaram. These are the classic temple ruins of Ayutthaya (After the sites were ransacked and almost completely destroyed). One of the most recognized attractions would be Buddha’s head entwined in a Bodhi tree roots. Here, the temple design referenced the Khmer architectural style with a hint of the structure of Hindu temples. The foundation size and the remaining towers manifested the significance during its time. Another important site is the Wat Lokayasuttharam. The Temple is where the largest reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya located, which is 8m high and 42m long.

After a short day trip, we traveled down back to the city of Bangkok on a cruise trip down the Chao Phraya River, and enjoyed views interesting and famous places like boathouses, imperial palace, Wat Arun, and more!

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