The magnificent temples of Ayutthaya – Why this is a perfect day trip from Bangkok

Posted on April 19, 2015 by in TOP Travel Destinations

Please note: the information in this post is now outdated but have a read of our updated Bangkok Things to do Guide here.


Trip Index (what we have published so far):

Air France Economy Class Review Paris (CDG) to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK), Asia – AF 166

Eat fabulous Bangkok street food at Soi 36 (near BTS Thong Lo) and Victory Monument

Sample original Thai food at Somtam Nua, Bangkok near Siam Square – Bangkok’s best papaya salad?

Bangkok’s Top 5 best coffee places – where to work and drink delicious coffee in Bangkok

10 reasons to visit Bangkok’s stunning rooftop bars Vertigo and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Bangkok Review – a wonderful thing to do in Bangkok

Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class Review – Bangkok (BKK) to Hong Kong (HKG)

A lounge to forget – Cathay Pacific Lounge Bangkok Airport (BKK) Review

The Wing First Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific Review at Hong Kong Airport

I have been to Bangkok many times before, but never had the chance before (or took the time) to actually do the day trip to Ayutthaya.

Ayutthaya used to be the trading capital of Southeast Asia and once upon a time, in the 17th century, it was one the world’s biggest cities.

It is now a rather quaint and calm city with wide alleys, no crazy traffic, but really intense heat. It is usually 10-15 degrees hotter here than in Bangkok (which is not exactly a chilly place to start with).

There are a number of options to get you to Ayutthaya – I settled for the minibus option. They start from Victory Monument, which has lots of street food options, and can be reached via BTS Skytrain to go all the way into ‘downtown’ Ayutthaya. It is just 50 baht ($1.70) and the minibuses have AC and are well-organized.

The drive is about one hour without traffic. There were none going out of Bangkok on that Sunday morning, but lots coming back Sunday evening. Keep in mind that the last minibus usually leaves around 6PM and may fill up quickly, so try to go early to Ayutthaya so that you have enough time to enjoy it.

Once you get there, it is about a 10-minute walk to the first temple site. There are various shops there where you can rent a bike. Since it was 110 degrees in the shade and sunny, that was my first thought, so I negotiated a full day rental for just 30 baht ($1). This turned out to be a great idea, since it felt so much easier to get around on and enjoy some cooling wind.

There are about a dozen noteworthy main temple sites across the town of Ayutthaya. Each site charges 50 baht entrance fee. To see them all, it takes about 2-3 hours walking in one direction (then you can always return by bus or taxi) or 20-30 minutes of cycling.

Most temple ruins are on the ‘island’, although a few are off the island including the famous Wat Chaiwatthanaram, which appears on many travel guides as a landmark of Thailand.

The temples ‘on the island’ are in a park-like environment and it is a great pleasure to stroll or bike through them. Wat Chaiwatthanaram is further away (‘off the island’) and a bike ride there is by road, where things can get a bit strenuous.

It took me about 5 hours for the whole visit to Ayutthaya and I really enjoyed my time there. I’m sure I missed out on some temples, but I went home with more than 1,000 pictures and felt 10 pounds lighter. The temple sites are in good shape, there is little pollution and traffic around and the $1.70 entrance fee per temple seems very reasonable.

The only drawback was the enormous heat, but, well, that’s how things are there. I can highly recommended making the trip out to Ayutthaya so that you can see a bit more of ancient Thailand.

IMG 1696
IMG 1698
IMG 1701
IMG 1702
IMG 1706
IMG 1707
IMG 1713
IMG 1714
IMG 1717
IMG 1718
IMG 1719
IMG 1720
IMG 1722
IMG 1728
IMG 1729
IMG 1735
IMG 1741
IMG 1750
IMG 1755
IMG 1756
IMG 1758
IMG 1760
IMG 1761
IMG 1764
IMG 1766
IMG 1769
IMG 1770
IMG 1772
IMG 1773
IMG 1775
IMG 1778
IMG 1779
IMG 1780
IMG 1782
IMG 1786
IMG 1791
IMG 1792
IMG 1795
IMG 1799
IMG 1800
IMG 1803
IMG 1804
IMG 1807
IMG 1810
IMG 1812
IMG 1813
IMG 1814
IMG 1815
IMG 1817
IMG 1818
IMG 1819
IMG 1820
IMG 1821
IMG 1822
IMG 1823
IMG 1825
IMG 1826
IMG 1827
IMG 1828
IMG 1829
IMG 1830
IMG 1832
IMG 1833
IMG 1840
IMG 1844
IMG 1846
IMG 1848
IMG 1849
IMG 1851
IMG 1853
IMG 1854
IMG 1855
IMG 1862
IMG 1863
IMG 1864
IMG 1867
IMG 1868
IMG 1869
IMG 1870
IMG 1871
IMG 1873
IMG 1876
IMG 1877
IMG 1878
IMG 1883
IMG 1885
IMG 1889
IMG 1893

If you like this post – subscribe via email or follow us on Twitter.