Founded in 1351, the city of Ayudhya was an important economic and political center of Siam for more than 400 years. Despite being situated about 90 kilometers from the coast and away from the main international sea-routes that pass Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, by the second half of the fifteenth century Ayudhya had become a major political center in the Menam Basin, as well as an important trading post. Historians often wonder how a hinterland kingdom with the majority of its population not even skilled in sea-farring activities, were able to enter maritime trade so successful, a commerce that was dominated by Chinese, Indian, Arab, and Malay-Indonesian stocks. The answer probably lies in the fact that the early settlers on the Gulf of Siam were Chinese and they played an important role in Ayudyha’s early success. In 1767, Ayudyha was overrun by the Burmese and a replacement Siamese capital was built in Thonburi-Bangkok.
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