Discover Ayutthaya: Must-Visit Temples and Tips

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Discover Ayutthaya: Must-Visit Temples and Tips

Discover Ayutthaya’s captivating history through our essential temple guide. Uncover must-visit historical sites and practical tips for an enriched experience in this former capital of Siam.

ayutthaya-temples-must-visit-tips

Ayutthaya boasts a wealth of historical heritage, with numerous remnants from the past. From pagodas to sacred sites, the city offers a trove of over fifty places to explore, bearing witness to its rich history as the former capital of Siam.
Given the abundance of options, prudent selection becomes essential unless one has ample time. In light of this, we will provide concise introductions to the “must-visit” sites and share our personal favorites, deliberately excluding museums for this overview.

Wat Phra Mahathat

Let’s commence with a must-see attraction: the city’s most frequented temple, Wat Phra Mahathat. This ancient temple holds a significant place in Ayutthaya’s history, drawing visitors not only for its historical remnants but notably for the renowned Buddha head entwined in the roots.

Legend has it that the amalgamation of the Buddha head and the tree roots is a result of the city’s devastation by the Burmese in 1569. In addition to demolishing the temples, the Burmese decapitated numerous Buddha statues. One such head found its way to a tree, where it became embraced by the roots. Today, both the head and the tree are revered as authentic relics. It’s important to note: adhering to photo guidelines is crucial. Approaching or standing above the Buddha’s head is strictly forbidden and should be respected.

Wat Phra Mahathat - Practical information

  • Location: Wat Phra Mahathat - Ayutthaya Historical Park, Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Entrance Fee: Typically around 50 Thai Baht for foreigners (subject to change)
  • Photography: Respect photo guidelines. Do not approach or stand above the Buddha’s head.
  • Attire: Wear modest clothing covering shoulders and knees as a sign of respect for the sacred site.

Wat Thammikarat

A short distance away, Wat Thammikarat is a worthy detour, inviting you to embark on a brief ascent up the stupa. The climb is a bit steep, and upon reaching the interior, you’ll find a (somewhat precarious) staircase leading to a small room showcasing original paintings. Recently made accessible to the public, this dimly lit enclave offers a unique opportunity for exploration.

Wat Thammikarat - Practical information

  • Location: Wat Thammikarat - Ayutthaya Historical Park, U-Thong Rd, Tambon Tha Wa Su Kri, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
  • Opening Hours: Typically from early morning to late afternoon, but specific hours may vary.
  • Entrance Fee: Typically around 50 Thai Baht for foreigners (subject to change); it’s advisable to check at the site or with local information for the latest details.
  • Accessibility: Accessible by foot, tuk-tuk, or bicycle within the Ayutthaya Historical Park.
  • Photography: Be mindful of photography rules within the temple premises.

Wat Phra Si Sanphe

After exploring the old palace, our next stop will be at Wat Phra Si Sanphet, a temple that traces its origins back to the 15th century. Renowned for its three white Chedi positioned amidst a dilapidated cloister, this temple carries an air of ancient grandeur.

Originally housing several gold-covered Buddha statues, the temple suffered considerable damage during the Burmese siege. Among them was the colossal Phra Si Sanphet, standing over 16 meters tall, after which the Wat is named. Due to its compromised condition, this significant statue was carefully transported to Bangkok and enshrined within the renowned Wat Pho.

Wat Phra Si Sanphe - Practical information

  • Location: Wat Phra Si Sanphe - Ayutthaya Historical Park, Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
  • Opening Hours: Typically from early morning to late afternoon, but specific hours may vary.
  • Entrance Fee: Around 50 Thai Baht for foreigners (subject to change); it’s advisable to check at the site or with local information for the latest details.
  • Photography: Be mindful of photography rules within the temple premises.

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Wat Lokayasutharam

The Wat Lokayasutharam, home to the reclining Buddha, is an essential stop. Stretching over 30 meters in length and standing 8 meters tall, this impressive statue also endured the impact of the Burmese siege. However, since 2010, it has undergone partial restoration, adorned in a saffron-orange toga that adds a captivating allure, concealing the remaining parts.

Wat Lokayasutharam - Practical information

  • Location: Wat Lokayasutharam - Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
  • Opening Hours: Typically from early morning to late afternoon, but specific hours may vary.
  • Entrance Fee: Entrance fees may apply; it’s advisable to check at the site or with local information for the latest details.
  • Photography: Be respectful of photography rules within the temple premises.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

ayutthaya-temples-must-visit-tipsayutthaya-temples-must-visit-tips

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is a must-visit, with its expansive Chedi visible from a distance and statues adorned in orange togas, creating a solemn ambiance that adds to the significance of the visit. Prepare for great photo opportunities!

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon - Practical information

  • Location: [Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon]https://goo.gl/maps/Ke8PNuz7jR7kWrV17) - U-Thong Rd, Tambon Ban Pom, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
  • Opening Hours: Typically from early morning to late afternoon, but specific hours may vary.
  • Entrance Fee: Around 50 Thai Baht for foreigners (subject to change) - Entrance fees may apply; it’s advisable to check at the site or with local information for the latest details.
  • Photography: Be respectful of photography rules within the temple premises.
  • Respectful Attire: Wear modest clothing covering shoulders and knees as a sign of respect for the sacred site.

Ayutthaya, balade autour du Chaiwatthanaram – épisode 19Ayutthaya, balade autour du Chaiwatthanaram – épisode 19Ayutthaya, balade autour du Chaiwatthanaram – épisode 19

Wat Yaichai Mongkhol

Wat Yaichai Mongkhol is a unique and intriguing temple that, despite occasional signs of disrepair, has a distinctive charm setting it apart from others. It has captured the amusement of many Europeans due to its peculiar devotion to a specific animal: the rooster.
The historical significance and reverence for this animal intertwine with arguments rooted in the symbolic aspects of the rooster in Thai cosmogony and the history of the kings of Siam. In the 15th century, a 9-year-old prince was given to the Burmese in an attempt to pacify their aggressive endeavors. Several years after his abduction, the Siamese prince achieved a symbolic victory by winning a cockfight against the Burmese prince. This initial triumph marked the beginning of a series of battles that eventually allowed the prince to reclaim his territory. The reconquest commenced with an unexpected yet symbolic victory—the victory of a rooster.

Wat Yaichai Mongkhol - Practical information

  • Location: Wat Yaichai Mongkhol - U-Thong Rd, Tambon Ban Pom, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
  • Opening Hours: Typically from early morning to late afternoon, but specific hours may vary.
  • Entrance Fee: Entrance fees may apply; it’s advisable to check at the site or with local information for the latest details.
  • Photography: Be respectful of photography rules within the temple premises.
  • Transport: By foot or local transportation such as tuk-tuks or bicycles.

Wat Chai Watthanaram

Certainly, not to be missed is the Wat Chai Watthanaram (วัดไชยวัฒนาราม), situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River to the west of Ayutthaya. Constructed in 1630 and relatively well-preserved compared to some city center temples, this Wat boasts rare beauty, especially during sunset. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a site truly worth visiting.

Wat Chai Watthanaram - Practical information

  • Location: Wat Chai Watthanaram
  • Opening Hours: Typically from early morning to late afternoon, but specific hours may vary.
  • Entrance Fee: Around 50 Thai Baht for foreigners (subject to change).
  • Photography: Be respectful of photography rules within the temple premises.
  • Transport: You can get there by bike - it takes 45 minutes (at a leisurely pace) from the pier (opposite the station).

Tips for an Enhanced Experience:
Evening Visit: Plan your visit in the evening. The lighting at Wat Chai Watthanaram enhances its beauty and reveals features that may not be as prominent during the day. Enjoy a more atmospheric and magical experience.

Exploring Ayutthaya: Practical Tips and Nighttime Delights

Don’t Forget:

  • Don’t forget that you can take a boat trip to discover the temples adjacent to Ayutthaya.
  • For those staying overnight, consider visiting Wat Chai Watthanaram, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Phra Ram, as they are illuminated between 7 pm and 9 pm.

Please Note:

  • It is not possible to visit the Wat temples after 4 pm.
  • Remember that the most famous temples charge 50 baht for entry.
  • Correct dress is required.

Reminder:

  • For those arriving by train, all documentation is available at the information desk.

For Any Other Questions: Your Quick Ayutthaya Guide!

Ready to explore Ayutthaya to the fullest? Find all the answers to your questions in our Comprehensive Ayutthaya Guide. Dive into the adventure now! Explore Complete Ayutthaya Guide

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