(Day 267 to 268)
14.08.2010 - 16.08.2010 37 °C
The city of Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 by King U Thong, who went there to escape a smallpox outbreak and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom. By 1685, the wealthy city had a population of over 1 million, about double that of London at the same time.
The city was once home to 1,700 temples and over 4,000 golden images of Buddha, a symbol of a kingdom at its mightiest. In 1767, though, the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, resulting in the collapse of the kingdom. The ruins of the old city are what everyone goes to see and which is recognised internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The ruins are very impressive but we only needed a day by motorbike to see the ones that interested us. Wandering through the different sites, you could imagine how impressive and dramatic the buildings were. Very intricate details and arches and hundreds of Buddha images (without the heads) everywhere. The Burmese army had chopped of the heads during the invasions.
After a full days sight seeing we decided to catch the 12 hour night train north to Chiang Mai, rather than taking the same journey the following morning. It turned out to be a good choice as the train was really comfortable.