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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Thailand series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential information about Thailand, Thai Culture and Thai People. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 9 - Ayutthaya Province
Ayutthaya, or พระนครศรีอยุธยา (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya), is about 76 kilometers north of Bangkok. Local people call the city กรุงเก่า(Krung Kao), literally meaning “old city.”
Ayutthaya was the capital city of the Ayutthaya kingdom of Siam for 417 years, starting in 1350 and spanning until 1767, the year it was destroyed by the Burmese army. Thirty-three kings were enthroned during this era.
There is ample evidence that an impressive city once existed at this site in the form of relics of the culture of the Ayutthaya kingdom, which have been extracted from the two hundred magnificent structures and ruins that were found both inside and outside of the Ayutthaya Historical Park. The park received international recognition in 1991 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you have the time, the fascinating ruins of this area are well worth a visit. One of these ruins is วัดพระศรีสรรเพชญ์ (Wat Phra Si Sanphet), which is the largest temple in Ayutthaya. Housed within the grounds of the former royal palace, the temple was used exclusively for royal religious ceremonies. The three main Lanka pagodas in this temple contain the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings.
Another famous ruin is วัดมหาธาตุ (Wat Mahathat.) It is located in the center of the park. Here, you can spot a famous tree that has grown around a Buddha head, placed alongside rows of headless Buddhas.
There are many means of transportation that can be used to get to Ayutthaya, including car, train, boat, bus, and van. Vans or minibuses are called รถตู้ in Thai, and Bus in Thai is รถโดยสารประจำทาง. Traveling by boat is the most frequently used mode of transportation among foreigners. Also, there are many ways to get around the city to see ruins more conveniently, including bicycle, tuk tuk, boat, and taxi.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What would you want to do if you were in Ayutthaya?
Leave a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com! Until next time!