Ayutthaya Historical Park (Easy Waking Route)

What's In This Guide?

An Easy Guide to Ayutthaya Historical Park

Ayutthaya was once the capital of Thailand, and believe it or not, the largest city in the world. That’s right, just over 300 years ago Ayutthaya had a huge population of over 1 million people!

These days this ancient city is best known for its temples spread about the UNESCO listed Ayutthaya Historical Park. A range of temples dates back to the mid-1300s in all states from crumbling ruins to refurbished everyday places of worship.

There are a total of 67 temples and ruins within the Ayutthaya Historical Park. I haven’t seen this many temples in a single city since I was in Luang Prabang while traveling Laos.

With so many temples in Ayutthaya, which should you choose?

Here are five temples I recommend visiting on your trip to Ayutthaya. I suggest visiting these in the order as listed, which will make walking or cycling as easy as possible.

If you’re still craving temples after this trip, then you must check out these 12 temples in Bangkok too!

 

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Ayutthaya Temple Map

Ayutthaya Temple Map
Ayutthaya Temple Map

 

Best Ayutthaya Temples


1. Wat Ratburana

Ayutthaya Historical Park

Wat Ratburana was built in 1424 by King Borommarachathirat (long name!)

The highlights of this temple are the three-headed Naga (a mythical serpent) and the central Prang built In the Khmer (Cambodian) style, similar to Prasat Muang Sing in Kanchanaburi. Climb the steep stairs up to the central Prang, then go inside to find a set of secret stairs leading down to a secret crypt. Down here you will find original and unrestored images of Buddha on the walls.

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm

2. Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat is located right beside Wat Ratburana, an easy walking distance.

This ancient temple is known for having the iconic Buddha head stuck inside the roots of a Banyan Tree. Probably one of the most iconic photos in Ayutthaya. It is believed the Buddha’s head was originally part of the tall statues nearby in the temple grounds. There are plenty of other stories about this temple which you may read about such as the famous battle around the tree where this Buddha’s head is lodged.

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm

 

3. Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

This is the largest temple in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, also commonly called the Grand Palace (not to be confused with the Grand Palace in Bangkok). Wat Phra Si Sanphet has a row of three large chedis which are an iconic image of Ayutthaya. Climb the steep stairs for a good view over the whole area.

Along the way to Wat Phra Si Sanphet, you may also like to make a quick stop at Wat Phra Ram.

After visiting Wat Phra Si Sanphet, walk next door to the temple Wihaan Phra Mongkhon Bophi. This is a modern temple visited by the Thai people as a place of worship. You will be amazed by the huge golden Buddha statue in here.

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm

 

4. Wat Lokaya Sutha (Reclining Buddha)

Wat Lokaya Satha is home of the 42-meter-long 8-meter-high reclining Buddha statue. That is an enormous Buddha statue! Normally you will find the Buddha statue dressed in bright orange cloth.

This temple is located in the northwest of the city near the eastern bank of the Chao Praya River. Again, this temple was damaged by the Burmese attack in 1767 and restored in 1956.

Opening hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm

 

5. Wat Chai Wattanaran

Wat Chai Wattanaran

This temple is located on the western bank of the Chao Praya River, quite a bit further away from the previous four temples we’ve visited. Here there are a total of 120 Buddha statues throughout the temple grounds, and the Chedis are connected by a set of secret passageways.

You can climb to the top of Wat Chai Wattenaran for a great sunset view over the ancient city.

Wat Chai Wattanaran was constructed in 1630 by King Prasat Thong. This temple, like most in Ayutthaya, was damaged by the Burmese attack in 1767, restored in 1987, and reopened to the public in 1992.

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm

 

Ayutthaya Historical Park Opening Hours


The Ayutthaya Historical Park is open from 8am to 6pm daily. Outside of the opening hours, there will be no entry permitted to those temples.

Some temples outside of the historical park may be open longer hours or even 24 hours. The Ayutthaya Historical Park does not contain all temples listed in this guide. You can also check out this article for a more general guide to Ayutthaya.

For sunrise and sunset photos, I suggest visiting the temples outside of the historical park as these are not affected by the opening hours.

 

Getting Around Ayutthaya Historical Park


Ayuttaya is hot in the summer, very hot. Therefore you may want to rely on the abundance of songtaews or Tuk-Tuk which will cost about 100 THB per journey. For the five temples listed above, and transport to the train station or bus terminal you can budget 500 THB.

A cheaper way to get around is to hire a motorcycle from about 200 THB or bicycle from about 50 THB per day. You can also hire a bicycle for the day, though I suggest doing this on the western side of the river if you do.

 

Bangkok to Ayutthaya Directions


Bus from Bangkok to Ayutthaya

A minivan from Bangkok is the quickest way of getting to Ayutthaya. Tickets and timetables here. Vans depart from either Khao Sarn Road for about 300 THB, or Mo Chit Bus Terminal for about 100 THB, one way. Vans will drop passengers at Ayutthaya’s Southern Bus Terminal, which is a 4 to 5-minute Tuk-Tuk ride to the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

 

Get There

 

Train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya

Trains depart Hua Lampong Station for Ayutthaya and are scheduled to take about 1.5 to 2hrs each way. However, note that trains in Thailand are notorious for being delayed. Once I took the train and after 3hrs I have just passed Rangsit.

The train station in Ayutthaya is located about 5 minutes by Tuk-Tuk from the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

 

Bangkok Travel Guide

Explore Bangkok like a local.

Over 50 destinations in and around town.

(including local secrets)

 

Where to next?

 

Photo credits: Wat Chai Wattanaran, Wat Lokaya Sutha

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