Ayuthaya was, between 1350 and 1767 the capital city of ancient Thailand (then known as the Kingdom of Ayuthaya). It is located 76 kilometres north of Bangkok and boasts numerous magnificent ruins. Such ruins indicate that Ayuthaya was one of Indochina's most prosperous cities. The Historical Park, a vast labyrinth of important ancient ruins in the heart of Ayuthaya city, has been included in UNESCO's list of world heritage sites since December 1991.
The Kingdom of Ayuthaya reached its apex in terms of sovereignty, military might, wealth, culture, and international commerce in the 16th century when the Kingdoms territory was extended far beyond present-day Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The Kingdom of Ayuthaya even had diplomatic relations with Louis XIV of France and was courted by Dutch, Portuguese, English, Chinese and Japanese merchants. The park is now home to many decaying but atmospheric ruins that make a great day trip from Bangkok. The picturesque ruins, temples and statues can be accessed by road from Bangkok or, in our opinion much more atmospherically, by over night traditional rice barge along the Chao Phraya River.