Ayutthaya World Heritage Site Celebrations
Thailand - The annual celebrations is held at the ancient city of Ayutthaya in Thailand, the ruins of which were recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
The annual celebrations at the ancient city of Ayutthaya in Thailand, the ruins of which were recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, include son et lumière shows, displays of traditional culture and other forms of entertainment.
The original kingdom of Ayutthaya dominated the region for about 400 years. The city was officially founded in 1350 BC by King Ramathibodi I, although the area had been settled long before then. In the years of its ascendancy, Ayutthaya was a powerful city-state which traded extensively with the Chinese, the Dutch and the French. Its rulers built a magnificent town, filled with monasteries, canals and monuments, bearing comparison with the greatest cities in Europe of the time.
Unfortunately, Ayutthaya also had a powerful rival in the nearby kingdom of Burma. There were frequent wars. The city was first captured by King Bayinnaung of Burma in 1569, but regained its independence a little over a decade later. Prince Naresuan, who led the battle for independence, became one of Thailand's great military heroes when he defeated the Crown Prince of Burma in elephant-back combat. But the tide of history was against them and, in the 18th century, a series of conflicts culminated in the sack of the city by the Burmese in April 1767.
Ayuttaya town is 80km (50 miles) north of Bangkok, at the conjunction of the Chao Phaya, Lopburi and Pa Sak rivers. The best way to get there is to take the one-and-a-half-hour train ride from Bangkok?s Hualampong train station. Taxis will get you there faster but are a lot more expensive.
When:13 - 19 Dec 2007 (annual)
Where:Ayutthaya Historical Park