Ayutthaya, full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, is an ancient capital and modern city in the Central Plains of Thailand, 85 km north of Bangkok. The Historic City of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350, was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. It flourished from the 14th to the 18th centuries, during which time it grew to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a center of global diplomacy and commerce. Ayutthaya was strategically located on an island surrounded by three rivers connecting the city to the sea. The great cultural value of Ayutthaya’s ruins were officially recognized in 1991, when the Historic City became an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its proximity to Bangkok make it a popular day-trip destination for travelers from Bangkok. Ayutthaya is usually visited as part of a packaged day trip from Bangkok, which usually includes stops at the Bang Pa In palace as well as the Bang Sai royal arts center. You can spend a leisurely day here and see the main sights, or a quick stop.