7 Temples To Visit During Your Ayutthaya Day Trip

Ayutthaya is about an hour drive from Bangkok and it is really easy to get there. There are a number of options — public transport, tours, self-drive, or you could hire a driver. We decided to hire a driver as it seemed to be the most convenient option and we could choose what we wanted to see. Here are the temples we visited during our Ayutthaya day trip.

This list is also in the order of which we visited and the route was planned by our driver. You can follow this route if you’re self driving.

Quick glance at the list:

  1. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
  2. Wat Mahathat
  3. Wat Ratchaburana
  4. Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
  5. Wat Phra Si Sanphet
  6. Wat Lokaya Sutharam
  7. Wat Chaiwatthanaram

1. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon - Ayutthaya day trip

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is one of the most important temples in Ayutthaya and it is still an active temple, also serving as a residence for monks.

At this temple, you’ll find a main bell-shaped chedi with 2 giant Buddha statues. Visitors can climb up the stairs to a platform for views over the temple complex.

Reclining Buddha at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon - Ayutthaya Day Trip

There is also a reclining Buddha near the entrance of the temple.

Opening hours: 8am – 5pm
Entrance fee: 20 THB (≈ SGD 0.76)

2. Wat Mahathat

Famous Buddha head embedded in roots of a tree - Ayutthaya Day Trip
Famous Buddha head embedded in roots of a tree

Arguably one of the most iconic temples in Ayutthaya, the centre of attention at Wat Mahathat is a Buddha head that has been embedded in the roots of a tree.

Wat Mahathat was located near the royal palace and important ceremonies were held here. It was destroyed when the Burmese invaded in 1767.

Walking around the temple grounds and seeing the remnants of the destroyed Buddha statues made me feel a certain type of way, especially with the crazy situation the world is in right now — pandemic and war.

Opening hours: 8.30am – 5pm
Entrance fee: 50 THB ( ≈SGD 1.90) [Included in temple pass]

You can also opt to get a temple pass for 220 THB ( ≈SGD 8.36) which includes access to the following six temples:

  • Wat Chaiwatthanaram
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet
  • Wat Phra Mahathat
  • Wat Ratchaburana
  • Wat Phra Ram
  • Wat Maheyong

I purchase the temple pass at the entrance of Wat Mahathat, but they also sell it at the temples the pass gives access to.

3. Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchaburana, the Temple of the Royal Restoration, was constructed in 1424, King Borom Ratchathirat II as a memorial for his two elder brothers, who died in a power struggle for the throne. King Borom Ratchathirat II ascended the throne after the death of his brothers and was the seventh king of Ayutthaya.

The main prang (tower) of this temple is considered one of the most well preserved in Ayutthaya and used to house treasures before some were looted in 1957.

This temple is near Wat Mahathat so it can be visited in combination with that.

Opening hours: 8am – 4.30pm
Entrance fee: 50 THB ( ≈SGD 1.90) [Included in temple pass]

4. Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

This is the only modern temple in this list as we only wanted to visit Ayutthaya ancient temples, and this was initially not in our plans. Our driver recommended visiting this temple as it was next to Wat Phra Si Sanphet, a temple that we wanted to visit.

Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit is home to the one of the biggest Buddha statue from the Ayutthaya era. Sitting at 12m tall, the golden Buddha statue is truly a sight to behold.

Fun fact: the biggest Buddha statue in Ayutthaya is at Wat Phanan Choeng, sitting at 19m tall.

As this is a modern and functioning temple, it can get rather crowded. There were also pictures in the temple which showcased the process of the temple’s construction and history, which I found really interesting despite not being able to read the Thai words.

Opening hours: 7am – 6pm
Entrance fee: 20 THB ( ≈SGD 0.76)

5. Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Well recognised for the 3 bell-shaped structures, Wat Phra Si Sanphet was a Royal temple used by the Ayutthaya Kings. Much of the temple was destroyed by the Burmese when they invaded in 1767.

This temple is also next to Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit, so it’s worth visiting them both together.

Opening hours: 8am – 4.30pm
Entrance fee: 20 THB ( ≈SGD 0.76) [Included in temple pass]

6. Wat Lokaya Sutharam

Wat Lokaya Sutharam Reclining Buddha
Statue of reclining Buddha

Also written as Wat Lokayasutharam, Wat Lokaya Sutharam is home to a 42m long and 8m high Buddha statue. Not much is known about the temple except that it was near the royal palace. Many devotees still visit this temple with offerings so it can get busy.

Opening hours: 8am – 5pm
Entrance fee: Free

7. Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Chaiwatthanaram - Ayutthaya day trip

Wat Chaiwatthanaram was built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong as a memorial for his mother and is a Khmer-styled templed, modelled after the Angkor Temple. It has a main platform has a 35m tall central prang with 4 smaller prangs. The main platform is surrounded by eight chedis, making up a rectangular shape when seen from above. One of the chedis was under restoration works during our visit but it did not affect the experience as it was just a small area.

Across the street from Wat Chaiwatthanaram are a row of Thai traditional outfit rental shops. You can rent Thai outfits to level up your photos and temple experience but we didn’t as we already did it in Bangkok.

Opening hours: 8.30am – 5pm
Entrance fee: 50 THB ( ≈SGD 1.90) [Included in temple pass]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Temple pass

Is there a dress code?

Most temples in Thailand requires visitors to be dressed moderately. This means that sleeveless tops and shorts are not allowed. Stricter temples may also not allow body-hugging clothes such as yoga pants or ripped jeans.

How to get around Ayutthaya?

Grab/taxis/tuktuks
Grab and taxis are available in Ayutthaya, but we did not use any while we were there. Tuktuks are also widely available.

Bicycle
Another popular option seems to be bicycles. Ayutthaya is relatively small and can be explored on bike, but personally, I wouldn’t do it as the weather is way too hot.

Getting a driver
In my opinion, the most convenient option would be to get a driver for the day. Not only do you not have to worry about the weather and time, the driver can recommend you spots you may not find online. If you hire a local driver, he/she can also help you with communicating with the locals, which was the biggest plus for us as many locals we came across in Ayutthaya could not speak English.

Self drive
Self driving is also possible. This list of temple is also in the order which we visited and the route was planned by our driver. You can follow this route if you’re self driving.

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