This kayak tour is designed to bring you along one of the most important former canals east of Ayutthaya, bordering the ancient Ayodhya area. This area east of the city island 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 (6-7th 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 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 these architectural structures still existed.
Evidence also suggests that Chinese merchants set up in this 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.
Khlong Hantra was initially a river bed of the Pa Sak River. A shunt north of Wat Pa Kho had been dug, deviating the Pa Sak River into the old Lopburi River surrounding the city island that time. The north-south stretch, before called the Front city canal, became finally the Pa Sak River at present joining the Chao Phraya River on the southern tip of Ayutthaya
The tour will take 3-4 hours according to your level of physical fitness, the conditions of the water current, and your personal kayaking experience. Travel time will expand if you stop to visit every highlight listed on this tour itinerary. Nevertheless, we have listed a few extra sites for the sake of smoother navigation and to alert paddlers to possible locations for obtaining water and other supplies. Individual paddlers can choose where to stop according to their own tastes and time constraints.
If you are interested in viewing photographs of the temples in advance or would like additional historic information about these ruins, visit this website.
Markings: Historical signboard in situ is marked as (*) Entry fee required is marked as ($) Boat dock present marked as (+)