The Must-See Temples in Ayutthaya Historical Park

The Must-See Temples in Ayutthaya Historical Park

Are you thinking of going on a day trip to Ayutthaya? Don’t think twice, do it. The historic city of Ayutthaya – Thailand, once the reigning Ayutthaya Kingdom, houses magnificent temple ruins, a fascinating mix of cultures and delicious food.

Here is the list of must-see temples in Ayutthaya Historical Park, hope you can pick an pick the best of the best to add to your Ayutthaya day trip or multiple days itinerary.

1. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory)

This Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya is famous for its enormous, beautiful main chedi and reclining Buddha statue image. It was one of the most important temples of its time, and the complex is truly impressive. You can dive even deeper into its rich history and join the locals in their prayers, making your day trip to Ayutthaya a memorable one. 

– Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon opening hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

– Entrance fee: 20 Baht

2. Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Considered as one of the most photogenic temples of Ayutthaya, Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a lovely sight rising from the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. One of the best ways to see it is from a boat tour that goes around the three rivers surrounding the main Ayutthaya island. On the site itself, you’ll find a towering Khmer-style central prang and eight smaller chedis surrounding it. The chedis also have remnants of paintings depicting the Buddha’s life. It is an unmissable temple in Ayutthaya.

 – Wat Chaiwatthanaram opening hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

– Entrance fee: 50 Baht

3. Wat Ratchaburana

Located on the Ayutthaya island and part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the temple has one of the most beautiful main prang or central towers in the park. There are also elegant carvings and sculptures of mythical animals on the site. A crypt on the east side also held many relics, which are now on display at the Chao Phraya National Museum. The temple also has a heart-breaking story behind it, which I won’t spoil, but it’s worth walking through its history.

– Wat Ratchaburana opening hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

– Entrance fee: 50 Baht 

4. Wat Phanan Choeng 

If you can only see one grand Buddha image during your Ayutthaya day trip, make sure to visit the image at Wat Phanan Choeng. The gilded Buddha statue image stands at an incredible 19 meters inside a temple built in 1324, before the founding of Ayutthaya Kingdom. It has a long and fascinating history that you can learn all about during a tour there.

– Wat Phanan Choeng opening hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

– Entrance fee: 20 Baht 

5. Wat Mahathat

What are the chances that the head of a Buddha statue would be found wrapped in a Bodhi tree? This is the fantastic sight you will see at Wat Mahathat, one of the must-visit temples in Ayutthaya. The temple itself is also impressive, with many elegant Khmer-style towers. Back in the Ayutthaya Kingdom, the temple was also an important center of Buddhism, housing many precious relics found during later excavations. 

– Wat Mahathat opening hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

– Entrance fee: 50 Baht 

6. Bang Pa-In Palace 

Fun fact about Ayutthaya, back in the day, many foreigners from far lived, did business, and worked as officials in the royal palace. If you’re looking for a symbol to represent this diverse mix of cultures, find it at Bang Pa-In Palace. The architecture is a fascinating array of Thai, Chinese, and European styles. You’ll discover Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, a Buddhist temple built in a gothic revival style, especially striking.

– Bang Pa-In Palace opening hours: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM 

– Entrance fee: 100 Baht 

7. Wat Phra Si Sanphet

So beautiful is the architecture of this temple that the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), built later in Bangkok, was modeled after it. The most striking features here are the three grand stupas which hold the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings. Constructed in 1448, it was a royal monastery of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which held many important ceremonies of that time. 

– Wat Phra Si Sanphet opening hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

– Entrance fee: 50 Baht 

8. Wat Lokayasutharam 

Nearby Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Lokayasutharam is an impressive and essential place for locals to pay their respects to the Buddha. There, you’ll find an enormous reclining Buddha image statue depicting the Buddha at the time of his death and entering Nirvana, the revered state of nothingness after death central to Buddhism.

– Opening hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM  

– Entrance fee: Free to enter 

Jayka

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