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Ancient Places to See in Thailand

Though Thai civilization dates back to 3600 BC, Thailand announced its independence for the first time around 1238, when the Great King Intaradit founded the Sukhothai Empire and the rule of the Khmers came to an end. Since then the Lanna Kingdom was founded at Chiang Mai and from around 1280, ancient Thailand under the rule of King Ramkamhaeng, a descendant of King Intaradit, enjoyed great prosperity during the so called golden age. Today King Bhumibol Rama IX is the reigning monarch since 1946, the 9th King in the Chakri dynasty. It makes him the longest reigning monarch of the modern world and much loved and revered by his people.

Here we have compiled a few recommended historical sites to see in Thailand, including temples, ancient cities and Wats (temple compounds). Especially in Chiang Mai which is the historic capital of Thailand, places like Kanchanaburi which include the infamous WWII death railway and hell-fire pass, Ayudhaya which is the ancient capital located approximately 3 hours from Bangkok and Sukhothai, also a former city kingdom will resonate well with visitors who enjoy history.

Ayutthaya Thailand
Ayuthaya is located 3 hours from Bangkok and a must see historical attractions. Until approximately 350 years ago Ayuthaya was the Siamese nation's capital and flourished in commercial trading until it finally fell to the war making Burmese in 1767. Shortly after this the capital was moved to an area what became the Bangkok we know today. Ayuthaya is a UNESCO heritage site showcasing fascinating temples and remaining ruins of the city.
Ban Chiang
Ancient Places Ban Chiang Image
Ban Chiang is another UNESCO site located in Udon Thani Province. It was discovered as recently as 1966 when ancient pottery in the area was found by chance. Graves and articfacts that were subsequently unearthed indicates that the area and some of its earliest inhabitants dates back to the iron age.
Lopburi Province Thailand
The history of Lopburi dates back to the Dvaravati period more than 1000 years ago. The oldest ruins that can now be found are all Khmer Temples since all preceding structures were destroyed when they invaded the area. Today the city is most famous for the hundreds of Crab-Eating Macaques.
Prasat Hin Phimai
Prasat Hin Phimai Historical Park Nakorn Ratchasima Image
The Phimai historical park feature the most important Khmer temples of Thailand. It is located in the town of Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima province. The temple marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor.
Prasat Khao Phra Viharn
Ancient Places Prasat Khao Phra Viharn
The Khemer Prasat Khao Phra Viharn Temple is situated on top of a 525 meter high cliff in the Preah Vihear province of northern Cambodia and near the border of eastern Thailand.  The the International Court of Justice recently awarded ownership to Cambodia.
Si Satchanalai
Si Satchanalai - Sukhothai Province Thailand
In the northern most district of Sukhothai province, located on the banks of the Yom River is the city of Si Satchanalai. Considered the twin city of Sukhothai, this was also where the seat of governance used to be and home of the crown prince of the time.
Sukhothai Thailand
Sukhothai was part of the Khmer empire until approximately 800 years agao when two Thai chiefs declared their independence and established this Thai-ruled kingdom to see the birth of the Thai nation. Other less known Thai kingdom, such as the Lanna kingdom, Phayao and Chiang Saen were established around the same time. Forming alliances with the other Thai kingdoms, Sukhothia expanded and adopted Theravada Buddhism as the state religion.

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Tel: +66 86 762 0662 | Author: George Conradie