Ayutthaya was founded in 1351 by King U Thong to escape an epidemic. He chose the rich floodplain of Auytthaya on a island surrouded by rivers which turned into the greatest seaport in Southeast Asia. At its peak, Ayutthaya was the richest and biggest in the East.
The court of famous King Narai (1656-88) had strong ties with Versailles under King Louis XIV of France whose ambassadors compared Ayuthhaya to Paris! When the Thai ambassador visited Versailles in 1686, his robe was so encrusted with diamonds and precious gems he could hardly walk and had to be supported by courtiers!
It was this surfeit of riches that led to Ayutthaya's downfall. Its palaces and temples were coated with gold and studded with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, pearls and coloured gems and were the stuff of dreams. The Burmese were envious and plotted to rob Ayutthaya.
One of Thailand's greatest moments in its golden history was the epic battle between Thai King Naresuan and Burmese Crown Prince Mingyi Swa. It was a duel on elephants and King Naresuan famously slew Mingyi Swa and the event is celebrated on 18 January as Royal Thai Armed Forces Day.
Unfortunately, Ayutthaya's star eventually dimmed after several attacks by the Burmese. The first few failed but one succeeded in sacking Ayutthaya in April 1767 and ended the kingdom.
The Burmese carted away all the gold and gems from Ayutthaya to embellish Schwedagon temple in their capital Yangon. It is said should the Burmese sell off all the gold and treasures they looted from Ayutthaya today, they could clear their National Debt and be one of the wealthiest nations in Southeast Asia!
After the downfall and utter destruction of Ayutthaya which could not be rebuilt, General Thaksin established a new kingdom downriver at Thonburi and proclaimed himself King. After his death King Rama I moved the capital across the river to what is now Bangkok.
Delicious food aboard our river cruise
Kee Hua Chee gives thumbs up
The boat costs RM 200 to hire but food is extra, around RM 30 to RM 50 per person depending on dishes
That is Apple from TAT
Restaurant with view
Statue of King U Thong and generals
TAT hired the whole boat for usCatholic church
Ong Suat Cheng and Apple
Historic Wat Phra Si Samphet
The remains of 3 Kings are interred here
A summer palace of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit
Grand riverine staircase
Kee Hua Chee and Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Kee Hua Chee the Tiger
Classical dance going on
New iconic temple
Barges carrying sand and earth to Bangkok on Chao Phraya
Aye aye captain
Stunning new temple
Ong Suat Cheng and Rozita Shuib
The only fort out of 16
The Burmese destroyed the remaining 15 forts
The only standing fort of old Ayutthaya
What a view
Kee Hua Chee was impressed
We fed them with bread
These greedy pantin fish!
Fighting for bread
Battling for food
As these fish are by the temple they could not be caught so they have a great life!
Pantin fish by dusk
I am attending this tomorrow!