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Sunday, October 2, 2022

A cosmopolitan kingdom

The Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers converge at Bang Kacha, the capital of Ayutthaya where ships came and went. (Photo: Thana Boonlert)

A ferry sailed through the confluence of two rivers that form the heart of Bang Kacha, the ancient capital of Ayutthaya (1351-1767). Its gigantic fort was once the first sight of friends and foes. Remains of foreign settlements overlook the bank of the river, a reminder of how cosmopolitan the city was.

“It was like Sukhumvit Road in modern-day Bangkok, bustling with foreigners who came here by ship,” said Assoc Prof Santi Pakdeekham, a historian and vice-secretary of the Office of the Royal Society, on a one-day trip held by the Media Centre for Arts and Culture, Thai PBS, on July…

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