An unexpected excursion: the first account of Spaniards in Ayutthaya (1585)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Although the Portuguese established contact with Thailand soon after their conquest of Melaka in 1511, it was thought that Spaniards did not go there until the disastrous expedition of Diego Belloso in 1596. However, in a little-known manuscript from about 1600 there is an account of an inadvertent visit by a small group of Spaniards in 1585, after they had been blown off course trying to return to Manila from Macao. This includes a description of Ayutthaya, presented here, together with an account of the trials and tribulations they endured in getting back to Manila. The Spaniards had gone to Macao with the Jesuit Alonso Sánchez, ostensibly to sort out a mutiny on a galleon bound for Acapulco, but Sánchez also wanted to pursue his agenda of converting China to Christianity and his reports do not mention this extraordinary adventure of some of his companions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-372
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


    • Alonso Sanchez
    • Ayutthaya
    • Christianity in China
    • Diego Belloso

    Cite this