A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict. Thailand is currently facing armed violence in its five Muslim-majority southern provinces.
(1)Ayutthaya, a former capital of Thailand from 1350 to 1767, is interesting historic spot visited by large numbers of tourists and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991. During the glorious moment, 33 kings from the overall 5 dynasties successively ruled over the kingdom with their sovereignty extended into the present Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Ayutthaya is located 76 km north of Bangkok. Geographically, it has 3 main rivers running around it, namely, the Chao Phraya River on its west and south, the Pasak River on its east and the Lopburi River on its north. The city then looks like an islet surrounded by rivers and originates flourishing Thai riverfront lifestyle.
Since Ayutthaya is the ancient Siamese capital, most of the attractions concentrate on the historical sites, ancient palaces, monasteries, religious remains and ruins, museums and traditional villages. (2)Only within the area of the Ayutthaya city are situated a myriad of historical and cultural attractions.
There are three main palaces within Ayutthaya city. The Grand Palace, currently called ‘the Ancient Palace', was the royal residence of successive Ayutthaya kings for 98 years. It is located near the city wall at the north, encompassing the central and southwest areas of the inner city.
Front Palace is located at the bank of the Pasak River, northeast of the city. It was completely destroyed by the Burmese. The restoration of the demolished palace was ordered by King Rama IV to be a royal residence his visit to the province. Now, the palace has been turned to be Chankasem National Museum showcasing antiques such as Chinaware, ancient weapons, King Rama IV's personal belongings for daily life, Buddha images and sculptures.
The Rear Palace or locally called ‘Wang Lang' is situated near the city wall on the west. It was developed from a single royal residence hall in the park used during the royal visits into the Royal Palace for Prince Ekathosarot. Later on, this palace was designated as the residence of royal family members and does not have many things left to be seen as the historical evidence after being destroyed by the Burmese.
Wat Phra Sri San Phet is the biggest ruin of temple in Ayutthaya Historic City. It was the Royal temple situated within the boundary of the grand palace. (3)During the reign of King Bhorom Trilokanatr, the building was turned to be the royal monastery for important religious ceremonies. Within the area, there were three main stupas constructed to keep the ash of King Bhorom Triloknatr and King Ramdhibdi II and III.
Unlike other tourist centers, Ayutthaya's main attraction is not its beautiful scenery, but its calm atmosphere with the remains resulting from the destruction by the invading Burmese army in 1767. The ruins offer the visitors a glimpse of old Ayutthaya, with once was a prosperous and majestic capital with over 400 magnificent Buddhist monasteries.
designated「指名する」 dynasty「王朝」 ruled「支配した」 sovereignty「主権」Geographically「地理学的に」 namely「すなわち」 islet「小島」 Siamese「シャムの」myriad「無数の」 residence「住宅」 endorse「是認する」 encompass「取り囲む」restoration「復元」 demolish「取り壊す」 belonging「所持品」 images「像」 Wat Phra Sri San Phet「ワット・プラ・シー・サンペット；アユタヤで最も有
名な遺跡の一つ」boundary「境界」 stupas「仏塔」 ash「遺灰」 Burmese「ビルマの」