This is the first of four films introduced by the Singaporean scholar Peter Lee who visits, explores and talks about the great empires of SE Asia as part of the series: The Mark of Empire, for Channel New Asia (CNA).
In the first episode Peter begins as he means to go on, by getting involved in everything he speaks about, whether that be on poacher patrol, washing elephants, painting fans or making bricks.
In between he takes time to relate the arising of the great kingdom in Central Siam, the reason it became to powerful, and the problems it faced, as well as looking at the artifacts it has passed down to later generations.
It is also clear that this includes not just material remains, like buildings, murals and books, but also a certain culutral legacy, which at present is undergoing a revival as things Ayutthaya are in fashion again in Thailand, and are inspiring a whole new generation.
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