wat phra kaeo temple in bangkok

A Walk Through History – Top 5 Historical Sites In Thailand

Thailand has gained popularity as a beach getaway and party central with its beautiful coastal Phuket attracting honeymooners from all over the world, and its metropolis of Bangkok. However,the country has a large wealth of historical sites which are worth a visit, and which make it much more specialty than the average, everyday vacation destination. I always enjoy a historically and culturally rich location for a holiday retreat, as there is something magical about walking among ruins thousands of years old or a building built in an age long gone. It has a haunting affect which produces a feeling of being transported to the past to witness something great, while at the same time maintaining an unsolvable mystery as to the specific stories these places have lived through. Ayutthaya Founded in 1350 AD by King U Thong, Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) after Sukhothai. It was the most populous city of Siam, and lived of the duties earned from foreign trade with Portugal, France, Holland and England. Its strategic central location ensured its immense growth throughout the years. The city fell to ruins after it was sacked and destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767, which resulted in the fall of the Kingdom, and all that is left of it now is palaces and temples. The ruined city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its red stone building palaces and temples are haunting shadows of their former glorious selves. The city lays North of Bangkok in the Valley of the Chao Phraya River, and can be easily accessed by car. You can visit it for a day or an overnight excursion. The magnificent temples, monasteries and pagodas of the city are now preserved in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, and are definitely a must-visit. Sukhothai Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town is even more ancient. It was built in the 13th century by the Khmers, and flourished under the first Thai Kingdom in the 12th and 14th centuries. It was the Capital of Siam before Ayutthaya.This historic city is the birthplace of the Thai language and alphabet, invented by the famous King Ramkhamhaeng in 1283. King Ramkhamhaeng led his kingdom to wealth and power and many neighboring cities paid tribute to him. Ruins of 20 Wats (temples) lie within the Sukhothai park, and the site is a historical as well as historical wonder. I feel these building are much better preserved than those at Ayutthaya, even though they are much older; the huge and magnificent Buddhas are a site to behold. The city lies 400 km away from Bangkok. Ban Chiang ban-chiangBan Chiang is a pre-historic excavation site located near Udon Thani in Isan. It is the true definition of “pre-historic” as it is the oldest settlement to be discovered in Southeast Asia. It belongs to the bronze-age, and some of the pottery and bone fragments along with other artifacts have been dated as far back as 2000 BC. It was discovered in 1957, and the first scientific excavations were made in 1967, when several skeletons and bronze grave gifts were discovered. The oldest graves belong to a Neolithic culture, while the latest ones belong to the Iron Age. Walking through these excavated ruins is an otherworldly experience, and is something worth trying. Do not miss the Ban Chiang Museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, skeletons, and the famous red painted pottery discovered at the site to make it an educational and exciting visit. The museum helps the tourists understand what the discovery of the settlement means, and what scientists and archeologists have been able to learn about these people and that age through the objects discovered. Grand Palace, Bangkok This is one of the more popular historical tourist sites as it is located in the great cultural and economic hub of Bangkok. It was built in 1782 by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, when Bangkok first became the capital of Thailand. The palace used to be the primary residence of a long succession of kings of 18th century Thailand, until 1946 when King Ananda Mahidol’s baffling death made his brother and successor King Bhumibol Adulyadej shift to Chitralada Palace. The beautiful and elegant design of the palace is a mixture of Ayutthaya architectural style as well as Western. The Palace is situated at the heart of the city and is a large complex of buildings which still hold many official events and royal ceremonies. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, and also includes the Wat Phra Kaew, which is the temple that houses one of Buddhas oldest and most well-known statues, the great Emerald Buddha. Phimai The Phimai temple at the Nakhon Ratchisima Province in Isan lies at the end of the Khmer Highway, which connects this sandstone temple to the Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The magnificent sanctuary was built by King Jayavarman VI when the Khmer Empire came into Thailand. It is a great example of 11th century Khmer architecture. The city of Phimai which houses the Temple and the surrounding Phimai Historical Park was an important city in the Khmer Empire, and is mostly built in the Baphuon, Bayon and Angkor Wat style. What is interesting about this temple is that even though it was built by Hindus, it is still built as a Buddhist Temple. These five different historical sites show exactly how far back the history of Thailand goes, and how it has progressed through the centuries into the modern metropolis of today. These ruins belong to widely different time periods, but are just as interesting in nature, and offer but a taste of the historical and cultural as well as spiritual treasures that the beautiful country of Thailand has to offer.
I am Shahil Shah, a traveler and blogger! I bring stories from the places for you to cherish the experiences of my travel. Stay tuned!"



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