Snapshot in Time: Thailand’s Ancient Capital of Ayutthaya

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With its skeletal remains and tranquil air, the ruins of Ayutthaya only hint at the grand scale of Thailand’s former capital city.

After being founded in 1350, it took its place as the trading capital of Asia thanks to its ideal setting between China, India and the Malay Archipelago. An empire quickly built up around the city and its one million inhabitants as merchants from across the known world came to witness its splendour and be awed by its golden palaces, huge monasteries and regal pageantry.

However, this was not to last and in 1767 the invading Burmese army razed Ayutthaya to the ground, leaving it as a shell of its former glory and consigning this once glorious metropolis to the history books.

Given its proximity to Bangkok, a day-trip is an ideal way to soak up Thailand’s storied past. Parts of Ayutthaya’s remains were recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 and visitors have the chance to soak up the ambience and heritage of one of the kingdom’s truly cosmopolitan and wealthy cities.

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