Ayutthaya is the "old capital" of Siam (Thailand today), about a two hour drive north of Bangkok on the confluence of three rivers. One of these, the Chao Phraya River, heads south around Bangkok before emptying into the Gulf of Thailand. King Ramathibodi founded the city in 1350 as the capital of his Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. By 1700, Ayutthaya contained an estimated one million people, making it at the time one of the world's largest cities. In 1767 the Burmese army destroyed the city and took about 30,000 captives back to Burma. The capital moved south along the Chao Phraya to Thonburi, and finally across the river to Bangkok. The ruins of the old city form the Ayutthaya historical park, and has been recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

      Yock, Nut and the van driver took us to Ayutthaya, where we spent the day, first in the floating market, then in the rain in temples and the ruins, and finally in a boat tour around the island.