The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Ayutthaya way back in the early 1500s.
They introduced the Thai kings to firearms, bread and other baked goods, and they gained favour in Ayutthaya by working as mercenaries on the kingdom's endless military pursuits against the Lanna, Burma and Khmer empires, to name a few.
All that remains of a once-thriving Portuguese community are a handful of centuries-old skeletons and basic information on their history in the area. If the building appears locked, try the door around the back.
On the way to the Portuguese settlement, just after a large factory on your left, is a small boatyard set back from the road. The owner is quite happy to receive visitors and let you have a quick wander among various boats under repair and renovation in this working boatyard.
Continuing on, if you have a bicycle and fancy taking the long way back to town, just carry on past the Portuguese settlement and keep going until you come to a bridge about six kilometres further on. Turn left over the bridge and then left again and you'll be back in town in a couple of hours.
How to get there
To get here, follow Route 3469 east passed Wat Putthaisawan and look for the signs.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 27th November, 2014.