This bicycle tour has been designed to introduce some of the most important historical sites and foreign settlements in the southeastern rim of Ayutthaya’s city island. The tour will take 3 to 4 hours depending on the time spent at each location point. A few highlights on this itinerary have been listed more for the sake of smoother navigation and referencing, although they may also appeal to many bicyclists as points of interest. Therefore, individual cyclists can choose where to stop according to their own tastes and time constraints.
Similar to the northeast area, this section of the city possibly existed prior to King U-Thong’s foundation of the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1351. Evidence suggests that it may have been populated as early as the Dvaravati era (6th to the 11th centuries); and that the Khmers latter set up an outpost here as early as 850-1100 AD. This Khmer city was named ‘Ayodhya’ after one of the holiest Hindu cities of India (the old capital of Awadh in the Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh).
The area was later invaded by Anawrahta, the King of Pagan (r.1044-1077) and controlled by the "Burmese" for about a hundred years. After the Burmese influence waned, it was conquered once again by the Khmer and held until the mid 13th century. The Tai seized political power shortly afterward by combining the Lavo and Suphannaphum Kingdoms. When King U-Thong arrived at Wiang Lek in 1347, a number of architectural structures already existed.
Evidence also suggests that Chinese merchants set up in the southeastern area as an important stopping point for conducting trade with the Sukhothai kingdom. These ancient Ayodhya communities were situated on the stretch of land formed by Khlong Hantra, Khlong Ban Bat, Khlong Kramang, Khlong Khao San, and Khlong Suan Phlu. This area was originally connected to the city island, since the Pa Sak River had yet to be dug for defensive and navigational purposes. However, the boundaries of the ancient city are still subject of debate.
If you are interested in viewing photographs of the temples in advance or would like additional historic information about these ruins, visit this website.
Historical signboard in situ is marked as (*) Entry fee required is marked as ($)