In Thailand you just have to visit some temples. And Ayutthaya is the place to do that. Ayutthaya in Thailand is known for the many ancient Buddhist temples that are located there. The city was founded in 1351 and was one of the largest cities of that time around 1700. It was destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767, causing the kingdom to collapse. The ruins are located in the Ayutthaya Historical Park. In 1991, part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is highly recommended if you visit Thailand. The temples here are different from, for example, the temples in Bangkok and definitely worth a visit. Here come the most beautiful temples, all a mouthful!
Most beautiful temples in Ayutthaya
Some temples are free and for other temples you have to pay a small entrance fee of about ฿ 50. Do you want to visit many temples? Then buy a ticket at one of the temple complexes with which you can visit 6 temples for ฿ 220 .
1. Wat Chaiwatthanaram
The Wat Chaiwatthanaram is considered one of the most beautiful temple complexes of Ayutthaya surrounded by a green lawn. It’s also one of the most famous sights in Ayutthaya. It’s a very large and impressive complex that is really worth a visit! The Wat Chaiwatthanaram is located across the river on the southwest.
Entrance to the Wat Chaiwatthanaram is ฿ 50.
2. Wat Mahathat
The Wat Mahathat is known for the Buddha head which a tree has grown around it. Next to this Buddha head there is a large complex that you can walk through. The complex is located right in the center.
Entrance to the Wat Mahathat is ฿ 50.
3. Wat Phra Ram
The Wat Phra Ram is located near the Wat Mahathat and the Wat Ratchaburana in the center. The gigantic tower of the complex certainly attracts attention. It is a somewhat smaller complex, but no less beautiful.
Entrance to the Wat Phra Ram is ฿ 50.
4. Wat Ratchaburana
The Wat Ratchaburana is located directly north of the Wat Mahathat. What’s the one most beautiful and largest in the city is the the main Chedi of the temple. The details are insanely beautiful!
Entrance to the Wat Rathaburana is ฿ 50.
5. Wat Phanan Choeng
The Wat Phanan Choeng looks different from the temples in the list. This temple is known for the 19 meter high Buddha statue which is located inside. Inside you can admire the gigantic Buddha statue. Wat Phanan Choeng is located in the southeast on the opposite side of the river.
Entrance to Wat Phanan Choeng is ฿ 20.
6. Wat Phra Si Sanphet
The Wat Phra Si Sanphet is one of the most important and most sacred temples in Ayutthaya and can be recognized by the three round stupas in a row. It served as a royal temple and private court. This complex is also surrounded by a lawn and some trees where you can cool down a bit. The Wat Phra Si Sanphet is located in the center near the old palace.
Entrance to the Wat Phra Si Sanphet is ฿ 50.
7. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
The Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is located on the east side of the river and is therefore a short distance from the center. The rows of Buddha statues are impressive to see. But the real eye catcher is the 7-meter long Buddha statue, partly decorated with gold leaf.
Entrance to the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is ฿ 20.
8. Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit
The Phra Mongkhon Bophit is also built in a different style. The temple looks beautiful from the outside as well as from the inside. Inside is one of the largest bronze Buddha statues in Thailand. The statue is 9.5 meters wide and almost 12.5 meters high. The Buddha statue is on a high base, making the total height no less than 17 meters. Surrounding the statue are busts of Buddhas decorated with gold leaf.
Entrance to the Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit is free.
How to get to Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya can be reached in about 2 hours from Bangkok by local train for very cheap. Also from Pak Chong, where you can visit the beautiful Khao Yai National Park, the city is super easy to reach by train.
After Ayutthaya you can easily travel by (night) train to Chiang Mai. Preferably choose the newest night train (trainset # 9) that leaves at 19:44. The train arrives in Chiang Mai approximately 11.5 hours later.
Check out my entire Thailand itinerary in 5 weeks here.
Transportation in Ayutthaya
The best means of transport between the sights in Ayutthaya is by bicycle or tuk-tuk.
You can rent a bicycle for ฿ 50. There are enough bicycle racks at the temples where you can park your bicycle. But in Ayutthaya it’s very hot during the day. It’s also quite a big city, so don’t be mistaken in the distances. Cycling is therefore not the most comfortable option. Also be careful on the bike, because in some places it is incredibly busy, especially during rush hour. There are a number of cycle paths, but often you also cycle on the busy road. When I visited Ayutthaya, I visited the temples by bicycle, but that was sometimes quite exciting in the hustle and bustle!
Prefer not to cycle? Then take a tuk-tuk. You pay about ฿ 200 per hour for a tuk-tuk. Agree the price in advance with the tuk-tuk driver and pay the driver afterwards. It is probably a safer and, above all, more comfortable option.
Where to stay in Ayutthaya?
The center of Ayutthaya is completely surrounded by a river. The most convenient places to stay in Ayutthaya are in the center, or near the train station on the east side of the river. If you are short on time, it’s very convenient to be close to the train station to easily travel to, for example, Chiang Mai or other places.
If you’re staying on the east side of the river, keep in mind that the last ferry to the center will depart at around 20:00. The only way to reach the center on foot is via a very busy car bridge. So will you arrive in Ayutthaya in the evening after 20:00? Then consider staying near the station on the east side of the river.
- It can get really hot in Ayutthaya. So bring plenty of water and prefer to wear light clothing.
- The temples are a sacred place for the Buddhists. So always dress appropriately: cover your shoulders and knees.
- Stay near the train station if you arrive in the evening and / or leave early by train.
- In some places in Ayutthaya, elephants are used for the entertainment of the tourists. Never, never ever take an elephant ride, because there is a lot of animal suffering behind it.