So, I got the chance to finally visit Ayutthaya on my last trip to Thailand. It might be a rush one, but it definitely leave a mark in my heart. Since I only come here once and it was a rush day trip, I can’t say that I’m an expert on this one, but based on my experience, would like to share some tips and places to visit in Ayutthaya. You can either rent a car / taxi, go by minivan or train to this place. Traveling by car / taxi and minivan will only takes you around 1 hours something, but since I’m afraid of traffic, I decided to go by train. It’s quite easy to make the ticket booking. You can book it one day in advance through the Thai Railway website and print out your ticket, and then you’re ready to go with the printed out ticket on your hand. Just show it to the staff and they’ll let you board the train. There are several type of trains you can choose, and I’d like recommend to take the rapid express one, since it offers you the fastest route and their 2nd class cabin is air conditioned. The other type of train only have a fan on their 2nd class cabin although they will write the cabin is ‘air conditioned’. So for your convenience and comfort during the trip, I’ll recommend to take the rapid express one.
After a 2 hour ride on the train, I finally reached the Ayutthaya Railway Station. And whether or not you’ve planned your trip, to save time to find grab and moving from one location to another location, taking tuk-tuk and paid them hourly will be a better option. They’ll open the price at 300 THB per hour, but then you can get it at around 200 THB per hour, or maybe less than that if you’re really good at bargaining. Renting them for 5-6 hours would be enough to see all the main temples around the city, and you’ll even have time for a relaxing lunch.
Next question is, which temple did I visit during this visit? I didn’t really get to see all of the famous temple around due to my rush schedule, but I did manage to visit some which really capture my heart. And be warned to prepare lots of water, the weather is really hot here and most of the ancient temple basically don’t have roof to shelter you from the sun, so it’ll be a very hot sweaty and dehydrating visits if you don’t do well on your preparation. I even get myself a handheld electric fan to help me fight off the heat. LOLZ!
Either you decided to go by tuk-tuk or you go by your own choice of transportation, this temple should be your first destination. It located not too far from the railway station and this temple is listed as one of the must visit temples if you visit Ayutthaya. This temple was constructed in 1630 by the king Prasat Thong as the first temple of his reign to commemorate his mother’s residence in this area. This temple was a royal temple where the king and his successors performed religious ceremonies, aside princes and princess also got cremated here.
The temple complex is quite spacious in this one, and if you plan to opted out your visit to Lokaya Sutharam to see the Reclining Buddha statue, you might want to visit the reclining statue they have in Wat Chaiwatthanaram, which I must say is quite amazing.
Wat Phra Mahathat
This temple was being built in 1374 by King Borommaracha I, and was expanded in 1384 by Ramessuan (his successor cum his nephew) and that’s when this temple got its current name.
Aside from the wonderful looking temple, one of the most favorite photo spot in this temple area would be the photo I took above, the Buddha’s head which was being embedded in to the banyan tree, since there are a lot of people waiting to get the turn to take a photo, so you might want to make it fast and don’t make the others to wait for too long.
Wat Phra Ram
If you compare it with another temple complex around the city, this temple might be smaller in size. But, this temple is one of the oldest temple built during the Ayutthaya period. The monastery was created on the cremation site of King Ramathibodi I, who is the first Ayutthaya monarch a.k.a the founder of Ayutthaya kingdom. And since the complex is not too big, this site has a significantly less visitor compare to the other temple complex. But still, I personally think that this place really worth the visit.
Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit
This temple located just right next to the Wat Phra Si Sanphet, so I bet after a visit to the Wat Phra Si Sanphet, you might want to spend sometime to see this temple, since the entrance fee for both temple are sold as one. Inside this place there is one of the few statues which survived the Burmese armies sacking of Ayutthaya in 1767. You can see a super big Buddha statue inside.
Unlike the other historical temple complex in the area which is no longer functioning, this temple still function and can be considered as ‘active’ temple, which means there’s still a lot of people visits this place during the day to worships the Buddha. The big Buddha’s statue inside the temple is a bronze Buddha which is being sculpted in 1538, moved to the current place in 1610, then burnt during the Burmese attack and being reconstructed quite a few times. The last reconstruction took place in 1955. And not until 1990, that the foundation decided to cover the Buddha image with golden leaf. It took two years to finish off the covering job and you get the Buddha statue you could see now.
And that summarized the day trip I had in Ayutthaya. I actually planning to try out the Summer House Ayuttahaya restaurant, which get a good review here and there, but too bad the place closed during my day trip. So, instead having a dinner while enjoying the scenery along the river side, I decided to go back to the railway station and take an earlier train back to Bangkok.
For another travel posts on my blog, please check out these~!
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I love to travel and eat!! I'm a freelance Korean English Chinese Bahasa Indonesia interpreter, who love to blog and write. I worked in a plastic surgery hospital in Korea for 5 years before pursuing my interpreting and writing jobs. My previous blog on plastic surgery (which has been permanently closed down T-T) has been published in a book.