Ayutthaya Temple image

Ayutthaya Temple Tour: A Journey to Remember

As a tourist lover, I’m always seeking sacred sites that provide an opportunity for reflection and spiritual growth. During my recent trip to Thailand, the incredible temples of This UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya, offered just that. 

These historic ruins provide a glimpse into the past grandeur of the old Siamese kingdom, with elaborate pranks, statues, and chedis. I was in awe wandering the grounds of Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Mahathat, taking in the serene beauty. 

If you also want to experience the magic of Ayutthaya’s temples, read on for my recommendations.

Why Visit Ayutthaya?

Ayutthaya is special because it mixes different styles of old buildings from Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Buddhism. It’s like a treasure hunt in the remains of a huge city that was very important long ago. Come see and learn its secrets!

Ayutthaya Temple buddha

Top Temples to Visit in Ayutthaya

The top Temples to Visit in Ayutthaya are: 

1. Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Visiting Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya felt like stepping back in time. This temple, once at the heart of an ancient Thai kingdom, is a place filled with stories and beauty.

History: Wat Phra Si Sanphet was the most important temple for Thai kings in the old city of Ayutthaya. It was part of the royal palace and was used for special ceremonies. Unlike other temples, it was not home to monks.

Key Infrastructure: The temple is famous for its three large chedis (stupas) that stand tall and proud. These chedis are about 16 meters high, which is tall, almost like a 5-story building!

Top Attractions in Wat Phra Si Sanphet:

  • The three big chedis are the stars here. They hold the ashes of Ayutthaya’s kings.
  • The temple’s layout is also fascinating. It shows how the royal family lived and worshiped.
  • Look for the Buddha statues and the remains of the old halls.

Location: You can find this temple at Naresuan Rd, Tha Wasukri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand 

Open: It’s open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM. 

Entry Fee: 50 Baht or about $1.51 per person. 

It’s not just old stones and statues; it’s a place where you can feel the history and imagine the past.

2. Wat Phanan Choeng

When I visited Wat Phanan Choeng in Ayutthaya, it was like meeting a gentle giant. This temple is home to one of the biggest and most beautiful Buddha statues I’ve ever seen.

History: Wat Phanan Choeng was built even before Ayutthaya became a kingdom, making it really old and full of stories. It’s famous for its huge Buddha statue, which has been watching over the city for centuries.

Key Infrastructure Stats: The star of the temple is the giant Buddha statue, standing at 62 feet/19.20m high. That’s as tall as a 6-story building!

Top Attractions in Wat Phanan Choeng:

  • The giant Buddha statue, called “Luang Pho To,” is a must-see. It’s not just big; it’s beautifully made and very peaceful to look at.
  • The temple is also full of colorful paintings and decorations that tell stories from a long time ago.

Location: This amazing temple is at 12 Moo 2, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Open: Daily from 7 am to 6 pm. 

Open: You can visit every day from 8 AM to 5 PM. 

Entry Fee: It costs 50 Baht or about $1.51 to go in. 

3. Wat Ratchaburana

Exploring Wat Ratchaburana in Ayutthaya felt like uncovering a hidden gem. This temple caught my eye with its striking tower reaching up to the sky.

History: Wat Ratchaburana was built in the 15th century by a king to honor his brothers. It’s known for its fascinating underground crypt, filled with ancient treasures and murals.

Key Infrastructure Stats: The temple’s main tower, or prang, is impressive, standing tall at about 62 feet. It’s a sight you can’t miss!

Top Attractions in Wat Ratchaburana:

  • The crypt with its ancient wall paintings and the treasures it once held.
  • The towering prang offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area if you climb it.

Location: It’s located at Chikun Alley, Tha Wa Su Kri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.

Open: Visit any day from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Entry Fee: Entry is 50 Baht or about $1.51 per person.

Wat Ratchaburana

4. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Visiting Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya was like stepping into a peaceful part of history. This temple, with its tall chedis and serene Buddha statues, felt like a place of calm and strength.

History: Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon has a rich past. It was built to celebrate a big victory and also served as a place for monks to learn. It’s full of stories from centuries ago.

Key Infrastructure Stats: The temple is famous for its large chedi, which is about 12.45m high. It’s a towering structure that you can see from far away.

Top Attractions in Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon:

  • The big reclining Buddha statue is very peaceful to look at.
  • The rows of sitting Buddha statues that surround the temple area.

Location: You can find this temple at 40 Khlong Suan Phlu, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.

Open: It’s open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM, giving you plenty of time to explore.

Entry Fee: The entry fee is 50 Baht or about $1.51 per person.

5. Wat Na Phra Men

When I visited Wat Na Phra Men in Ayutthaya, it felt like discovering a hidden treasure. This temple stands out with its unique architecture and peaceful atmosphere.

History: Wat Na Phra Men has been around since the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It survived the Burmese invasion, which destroyed much of Ayutthaya, making it a special place full of history.

Key Infrastructure Stats: One of the main attractions is the large sitting Buddha statue inside the main hall, which is impressively maintained.

Top Attractions in Wat Na Phra Men:

  • The large Buddha statue is known for its intricate crown and beautiful decorations.
  • The temple’s architecture includes a rare type of roof design not seen in many other temples.

Location: It’s located at Lum Phli, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.

Open: You can visit from 8 AM to 5 PM every day.

Entry Fee: The fee to enter is 50 Baht or about $1.51 per person.

6. Wat Mahathat

Visiting Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya was like walking into a page from a history book. This temple, with its ancient ruins and mystical aura, truly captivated me.

History: Wat Mahathat is one of Ayutthaya’s most important temples, known for its central role in the old city’s spiritual life. It was built in the 14th century but was later destroyed during the Burmese invasion, leaving behind a hauntingly beautiful ruin.

Key Infrastructure Stats: Although much of it is in ruins, the temple’s layout with towering prangs (reliquary towers) and Buddha statues gives a glimpse into its past grandeur. The most famous feature is a Buddha’s head entangled in tree roots.

Top Attractions in Wat Mahathat:

  • The iconic Buddha head in tree roots, a must-see for its unique blend with nature.
  • The vast array of headless Buddha statues and the central prang.

Location: It’s at Chikun Alley, Tha Wa Su Kri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.

Open: Open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Entry Fee: Entry costs 50 Baht or about $1.51 per person.

Wat Mahathat

7. Wat Phra Mahathat

Walking into Wat Phra Mahathat in Ayutthaya, I felt like I was stepping back in time. This temple is a mix of ruins and history that tells many stories.

History: Wat Phra Mahathat was a major temple in Ayutthaya, built in the 14th century. It’s famous for its Buddha head entwined in tree roots.

Top Attractions in Wat Phra Mahathat:

  • The Buddha heads in the tree roots.
  • The large central prang and surrounding smaller ones.

Location: Address is Naresuan Rd, Tha Wasukri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.

Open: Daily, 8 AM to 5 PM.

Entry Fee: 50 Baht or $1.51 per person.

8. Wat Lokayasutharam

I found Wat Lokayasutharam in Ayutthaya to be a place of peace and history. This temple is home to one of the largest reclining Buddha statues I’ve ever seen.

History: Wat Lokayasutharam has seen many years pass by. It’s known for its enormous reclining Buddha, a reminder of the temple’s significance in Ayutthaya’s spiritual life.

Top Attractions in Wat Lokayasutharam:

  • The huge reclining Buddha statue is both impressive and serene.
  • The peaceful surroundings invite quiet reflection.

Location: It’s at Uthong Rd, Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon, Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.

Open: You can visit from 8 AM to 5 PM every day.

Entry Fee: 50 Thai Baht or $1.51 per person.

9. Wat Phra Ram

During my visit to Wat Phra Ram in Ayutthaya, I was struck by its serene beauty and historical depth. This temple, surrounded by water, felt like a peaceful oasis.

History: Wat Phra Ram was built on the cremation site of King U Thong, the founder of Ayutthaya. It’s a place rich in history and spiritual significance.

Top Attractions in Wat Phra Ram:

  • The majestic prang (tower) that dominates the temple complex.
  • The beautifully landscaped grounds and reflective ponds that surround the temple.

Location: It’s located at 9H36+H6W, Tambon Pratuchai, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.

Open: The temple welcomes visitors daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Entry Fee: Visiting costs 50 TBaht or $1.51 per person.

10. Wat Phutthaisawan

This temple, with its ancient murals and serene Buddha statues, felt like a journey back in time.

History: Wat Phutthaisawan was founded by King U-Thong upon establishing Ayutthaya. It’s known for its historical significance and beautiful architecture.

Top Attractions in Wat Phutthaisawan:

  • The striking main Buddha image in the ordination hall.
  • The beautifully painted murals depict scenes from the Buddha’s life.

Location: It’s located in the southern part of Ayutthaya, near the river, making it a picturesque spot.

Open: The temple is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM, offering ample time for exploration.

Entry Fee: 50 Thai Baht or $1.51 per person, contributing to the temple’s maintenance.

Wat Phutthaisawan

Planning Your Visit

So, you’re ready to explore the ancient wonders of Ayutthaya? Awesome choice! But before you pack your bags, let’s talk about timing and travel.

Weather Wisdom:

Ayutthaya gets sunshine year-round, but the best time to visit for comfy weather is during the cool and dry season, from November to February. Expect pleasant temperatures, perfect for exploring the ruins without getting too sweaty.

Festival Fun:

If you love a good celebration, consider your travel dates around these exciting festivals:

  • Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair (December): Dazzling light shows and cultural performances bring the past to life!
  • Loy Krathong Festival (November): Release your wishes on beautiful floating lanterns.
  • Bang Pa-In Palace Royal Light & Sound Festival (November): Magical illuminations paint the palace in a new light.

Bangkok to Ayutthaya:

Getting to Ayutthaya from Bangkok is a breeze! Here are your options:

  • Train: Affordable and scenic, taking about 1.5 hours.
  • Bus: Faster and more frequent, reaching Ayutthaya in 1-2 hours.
  • Minivan: Comfortable and convenient, perfect for groups or families.

Insider Tip: Book your transport in advance, especially during peak season!

With this info, you’re all set to plan an unforgettable Ayutthaya adventure! 

Travel Tips 

Ayutthaya Eats & Treats: Insider Tips!

Foodie Fun:

  • Khao Soi Noodles: Don’t miss this creamy curry noodle dish with crispy egg noodles, perfect for a warm lunch. Look for local street vendors!
  • Boat Noodles: Slurp up delicious noodle bowls in flavorful broths on tiny riverside boats. It’s an Ayutthaya must-try!
  • Mango Sticky Rice: Cool down with this sweet and refreshing classic Thai dessert. You can’t go wrong!

Shopping:

  • Ayutthaya Handicrafts: Take home hand-painted silk scarves, wood carvings, and ceramic elephants – all made by local artisans.
  • Antique Treasures: Hunt for unique finds at Ayutthaya Antique Market. From old coins to vintage pottery, it’s a treasure trove for history buffs.
  • Herbal Goodies: Stock up on natural remedies and fragrant soaps made with local herbs at Wat Phra Mahathat market. They make great gifts or personal keepsakes.
Ayutthaya Temple Thailand

Insider Tip: Be sure to haggle politely at markets for the best prices. It’s all part of the fun! And remember, respect the local culture and don’t buy any souvenirs made from endangered animals or protected plants.

FAQs

How many temples are there in Ayutthaya?

There are over 41 temples in Ayutthaya

How old are the Ayutthaya temples?

The Ayutthaya temples date back to the founding of the city in 1350. They span over 400 years, up until the city’s fall in 1767.

Who built Ayutthaya temples?

The Ayutthaya temples were built by various Thai kings and nobles throughout the Ayutthaya Kingdom’s history, each adding their architectural styles and religious significance.

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