Ayutthaya city is the capital of Ayutthaya province, in Thailand. Located at the junction of two large rivers and sprinkled with the oldest ruins and temples from Thailand, Ayutthaya is often named “Venice of the East”.
Chaiwatthanaram temple. Photo source: yourholidayhomes
Surprisingly or not, Ayutthaya is not the only Venice of the East, in Asia. There are more than 20 cities from different parts of Asia called Venice of the East. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is also called Venice of the East. However, because of its ancient history and reliquary towers and gigantic monasteries, Ayutthaya is flooded with tourists.
Legends says that the city was founded in 1351 by the U Thong who was ruling the Lavo kingdom (Lopburi in our days). U Thong decided to move in Ayutthaya after a plague struck the old capital. Because the region was surrounded by the water he thought this would save him from pestilence and protect the inhabitants against invaders.
U Thong later became King Ramathibodi I and Ayutthaya was proclaimed the capital of his kingdom.
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Photo Source: thailandforvisitors
Since then, on the course of 400 years, the city grew richer day by day. It was crossed by major trade routes between India and China and it was the main point of control of what is now Thailand. By the mid 17th century the city population reached around 1,000,000. Ayutthaya become one of the world’s largest cities of those times.
The grandiose era of Ayutthaya is destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767. The invadors took the gold, set fire to the temples and leveled important buildings at the king’s palace. The Lavo kingdom collapsed.
Most of the ruins of the old city are found today in the region named Ayutthaya Historical Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Ayutthaya city is usually visited in a one day trip from Bangkok. The main attractions are the forts and fortresses, the Pagodas and its temples.
Whit such rich ancient sites is no wonder that tourist come in great number to visit Ayutthaya. What do you think about this Venice of the East? Does it have any resemblance with the original Venice?
Pom Phet Fortress. Photo source: teakdoor
Historic City of Ayutthaya. Photo source: en.unesco
Pagodas in Ayutthaya. Photo source: en.wikipedia
Head of Budha, Wat Mahathat. Photo source: commons.wikimedia
Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple. Photo source: thelovelyplanet
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