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AYUTTHYA, THAILAND

Ayutthaya is an ancient city, founded by King U-Thong or (Ramathibodi I) in 1350.  Located76 kilometers north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya was the capitol of Thailand for 417 years. During the Ayutthaya period, 33 Kings of five Dynasties reigned over the Kingdom. During the first 180 years , the city was peaceful. The main activity then was about the state affair and trading which made Ayutthaya one of the most prosperous city in Asia. But nine years after King Ramathibodi ll's death in 1529, Ayutthaya became involved for the first time in a war with MYANMAR (Burma) which led to many sunsequent wars.  Ayutthaya was first defeated by the Burmese in 1569 but 15 years later it was back to its former glory during the reign of King Naresuan the Great.  Once again Ayutthaya enjoyed a peace that laster for about 118 years.  Then in 1767, when the city was at its peak, it was again invaded by the Burmese and destroyed beyond repair.  The capitol was moved to Thonburi by King Taksin the Great, who had fought against the Burmese and defeated them.  After 15 years of King Taksin's reign the capitol was again moved to Bangkok by King Rama I, the founder of the present Chakri Dynasty.

Ayutthya
Ayutthya
Ayutthya
Pedicabs line up to haul passengers around the ruins
Another way to tour the ruins - atop an elephant
Elephants lumber around the ruins
Ayutthya
Ayutthya
Ayutthya
Ruins of Ayutthaya
Buddha statues are venerated with garments and offerings of food and flowers are set before it.
Ruins of Ayutthaya
Ayutthya
Ayutthya
Ayutthya
Ruins of Ayutthaya
The Vihara housing the giant seated golden Buddha
A blind man weaves grasshoppers out of palm leaves
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