Ayutthaya was once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam and is located around 85 kilometers north of Bangkok. Find out where to go and what to do in Ayutthaya so you may have the most memorable experiences possible.
In this post, we will provide a complete Ayutthaya Travel Guide, beginning with the monuments and continuing on to the most significant temples and ruins. In addition, we will suggest activities and adventures that you may partake in during your time in Ayutthaya that will contribute to the overall quality of your trip and make it even more memorable.
In the year 1350, King U-thong established the city of Ayutthaya. The Ayutthaya Historical Park, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1991 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is one of the most highly recommended stops along your tour through the city. You may explore some of Ayutthaya’s most famous temples and even get lost inside of them if you go to the historical park in the city.
Despite the fact that this city is well-known for the significant ruins that can be seen there, it is also well-known for its history as an important trading port in nations located in both Asia and Europe.
When you are making plans for your vacation, bear in mind that a visit to Ayutthaya for only one day will be sufficient for you to acquire an impression of the locations and monuments that are most representative of the area.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: Why travel to the city of Ayutthaya?
Tourists who are interested in history will find Ayutthaya, which is located in Thailand and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to be an exquisite paradise. It is believed to have been established in the year 1350 and served as the capital of the Siamese Kingdom for more than 400 years. During this historical period, it was both a significant urban region and a hub for commercial activity across the world. In the year 1767, the city was the target of a severe assault by Burmese forces, which caused the destruction of the majority of the city.
There are a lot of ruins left behind from this time period that may be explored today. If you wish to include Ayutthaya in your travel plans, you should read our comprehensive guide to the city since it has all of the information you want to make informed decisions about your time there.
Where exactly is the city of Ayutthaya situated? It can be found around 80 kilometres to the north of Bangkok, which is the capital of Thailand. Ayutthaya Historical Park is an island that is surrounded by the rivers Menam, Lopburi, and Pasak. This island is home to the majority of the remnants of the ancient temples and palaces of Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: What is the best time to visit Ayutthaya? Weather in Ayutthaya
The weather in Ayutthaya is often quite hot and humid during the entire year. On the other hand, the year may be broken down into three distinct periods:
- The dry season (July to October)
- The warmest season (March to June)
- The wettest season (March to October) (November to February)
It is recommended that you schedule your trip to this city, as well as the majority of this region of Thailand, between the months of November and February, when the weather is often a little bit more bearable.
- Best months of the year to visit Ayutthaya – The months of November, December, January, and February are ideal for taking pleasure in the metropolis (without rain and with more pleasant temperatures).
- Worst months of the year to visit Ayutthaya – In this part of the country, the heaviest rain falls throughout the months of July, August, September, and October. These are the months with the longest rainy seasons.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: Where to sleep in Ayutthaya?
If this is your first trip to Ayutthaya and you want to see the city’s temples, the area around the historic park is where you should look for a place to stay. You can reach the majority of the larger luxury hotels in the area through a quick tuk-tuk ride, but there are a great number of quaint and homey cottages within walking distance. If you are traveling on a tight budget, you may choose among hotels that are lower or mid-range in price. We are going to provide you with some rock-solid advice for accommodations so that you may make the most informed choice possible.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: What to see in Ayutthaya
A tour of Ayutthaya will allow you to learn about the country’s history and go back in time to explore the monuments and ruins that shaped the city’s past.
We explain what to see in Ayutthaya so that you are aware of the many locations that should not be left off your itinerary.
Ayutthaya National Park
When visiting Ayutthaya, a stroll through Ayutthaya National Park is a definite must. It is without a doubt the crown gem of the city and the most popular attraction in the region. In this ruinous complex, you may explore historic temples and palaces.
The Burmese destroyed Ayutthaya, the capital of Siam for three centuries, in 1767. As a result of the destruction, what were once temples and palaces are now simply ruins. During your time in Ayutthaya, you will notice that the National Park may be separated into two sections: “on the island” refers to the temples that are located in the city’s centre.
Visiting hours and prices
The Ayutthaya National Park is open daily from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. It is recommended to tour the park on foot as well as to rent a bicycle and pedal among the Ayutthaya temples.
In the complex of ruins, some temples are free to visit, while others pay roughly 50 baht (approximately €1.3). If you wish to visit many temples that have an admission price, you can purchase a daily pass for 220 bahts (about €5.6).
Here are the top temples in Ayutthaya that you should consider while picking what to see in Ayutthaya:
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Ayutthaya National Park’s main temple is Wat Phra Si Sanphet. It is situated in the heart of Ayutthaya on an island. The Burmese set fire to the temple in order to melt the gold statue of Buddha and demolish it. Wat Phra Si Sanphet’s Buddhist stupas (chedis) are currently the most well-preserved structures, since they were repaired a few years ago.
One of the most amazing areas of Wat Maha This is a massive statue of the Buddha’s head entangled in the branches of a tree. Despite being partially concealed, she is among the most well-known statues in this shrine. Do not overlook this classic picture!
Wat Maha This temple is also known as the huge relic monastery. It is constructed in the Khmer style, which is representative of Cambodian architecture. It was constructed in 1374 at the behest of King Borommaracha I, although neither its appearance nor the name he gave it were as they are now. Prior to his successor Ramesuan’s arrival, the monastery was not enlarged and given its current name.
The Buddhist Wat Chaiwatthanaram Temple was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991. It is located outside of Ayutthaya Island. In other words, it is one of the Ayutthaya temples not located in the Ayutthaya National Park’s historic core.
This temple is located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River and is accessible by road and river.
The temple was constructed in 1939 by Prasat Thong, who governed Thailand from 1629 and 1656. It consists of five large pagodas, four smaller pagodas, and one 35-meter-tall tower. Eight more pagodas surround the five pagodas that are situated on a rectangular platform.
Reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya at Wat Lokayasutharam
At the Wat Lokayasutharam temple is an enormous reclining Buddha that is 37 metres in length and 8 metres in height. This is the largest reclining Buddha statue in Ayutthaya, while other sculptures of a similar design may be seen around the city. The head of the Buddha rests atop a lotus blossom. This Buddha is located in the Pratoochai neighbourhood, behind the Old Palace, and is the most interesting landmark in its vicinity.
Wat Phra Ram
This Ayutthaya temple is located next to Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. It was the location of the Wat Phra Ram, where King Ramathibodi was cremated during the fourteenth century. However, the precise date of the temple’s construction is not known with certainty.
You will be able to witness a central prang and lesser stupas surrounding it. It is constructed in the Khmer style and resembles the temples found in Angkor today (Cambodia). The price to enter the temple is 50 Thai Baht (€1.3).
Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
If you’re wondering what to see in Ayutthaya after visiting the temples, we recommend paying a visit to the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. There are almost 2000 pieces of various types discovered during excavations at Ayutthaya temples. The majority of them are Hindu and, more specifically, Buddhist in nature.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: What to do in Ayutthaya?
Visit the floating market of Ayutthaya
Floating markets are common in Thailand, so stopping by the Ayutthaya floating market, also known as Klong Saba, might be a fascinating visit if you want to buy some local food. The Ayutthaya Floating Market takes place on a big pond on the city’s northwestern outskirts.
For just 20 baht (about €1.3), you may take a boat ride through this market’s 200 floating stores and buy mostly Thai culinary goods. You may also purchase antiques and souvenirs. This market, unlike other Asian marketplaces, does not need bargaining.
An tour to Ayutthaya and its floating market will provide you with insight into the city’s people’speople’s everyday lives and the local items they eat.
Take a bike ride through the national park
Renting a bicycle to explore Ayutthaya is a highly suggested alternative during your vacation. Even if you just have a short time in the city or wish to tour Ayutthaya in one day, a bike path will allow you to conveniently travel near to the city’s key areas of interest.
Renting a bike and going on your own path is extremely inexpensive. A day’s rental of a bike can cost as much as 30 baht (0.8€). If you prefer a guided trip, you may sign up for an Ayutthaya group tour, which will show you the highlights of the Ayutthaya National Park.
Take a boat ride on the rivers that surround the city
If you want to view the city in a new light, take a boat excursion via the rivers that surround it or the canals that intersect it. A canal trip in Ayutthaya costs around 200 Baht per person (about 5 euros). Some of the trips include stops at temples across the city.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: Festivals in Ayutthaya
In addition to the sights to view in Ayutthaya and the activities available on any given day of the year, it is worthwhile to consider the city’s festivals. We have some suggestions!
1) Loi Krathong
This event is held across the country, although Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai are particularly well-known. It is observed in November, precisely on the full moon night of the Thai lunar calendar’s twelfth month.
During this festival, Thais lay floating boats made of banana leaves or krathongs (incense sticks) in rivers or canals as a show of appreciation for water. The festival is conducted in honour of the water deity. During Loi Krathong, Thais also celebrate the end of the monsoon season.
2) Ayutthaya Heritage Fair
This festival is conducted in December to commemorate the designation of the Ayutthaya Historical Park as a World Heritage Site in 1991. It lasts a week and includes concerts, light and sound shows, singing and beauty contests, and many other events.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: How to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok?
We recommend taking a bus from Bangkok to Ayutthaya if you want the cheapest alternative, or a train, cab, van, or boat if you want a more exclusive and genuine choice.
From Bangkok to Ayutthaya by bus
You should proceed to the Mo Chit Bus Station (N8) in the city’s north. Every 20 minutes, buses depart from Bangkok for Ayutthaya. The trek takes about two hours.
From Bangkok to Ayutthaya by train
In this situation, you should take the train to Hua Iamphong station. The rail travels provide several alternatives. Tickets to Ayutthaya are mainly of the Rural Commuter kind.
From Bangkok to Ayutthaya by Cruise or Boat
If you want to have a genuine and unique experience, we propose sailing to Ayutthaya on the Thanatharee, a voyage that will enable you to get to know the nation in a new way until you arrive in Ayutthaya.
When you get in Ayutthaya, the Thanatharee organisation will leave you with some bicycles so you may explore the Ayutthaya National Park on your own. Return to the boat for lunch and enjoy a traditional Thai cuisine.
Thanatharee Ship – Thanatharee Ship
Aside from Thanataree cruises, there are other options for getting from Ayutthaya to Bangkok by water. The ride along the Chao Praya River is highly recommended since you may explore the natural and cultural environment of the surrounds, as well as visit some of the city’s most prominent temples from the boat.
Getting to Chiang Mai from Ayutthaya
Many people continue their journey across Thailand to the north, notably towards Chiang Mai, after spending one or more days in Ayutthaya. We’ll give you some ideas so you may explore what other options you have for getting from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai.
If you wish to go from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai, we recommend flying instead of driving because the trip is lengthy. Even yet, if you’re on a limited budget and don’t mind spending a few more hours on the road, the road is always a fantastic alternative. You can take the bus in this scenario. There is also a railroad that connects the two cities. Let’s take a closer look!
From Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai by plane
The flight from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya (or vice versa) takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes. It is the most convenient and comfortable alternative, but it is also the most expensive. Even so, keep in mind that internal flights are not particularly expensive, so it may be worthwhile.
From Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai by bus
It is the slowest choice, but it is also one of the least expensive. If you plan to go by bus from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai, keep in mind that the distance between the two cities is around 600 kilometres. This equates to around 9 hours by bus.
The journey will cost you around €25.
Train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai is the cheapest but also the slowest alternative. The journey lasts roughly 10 hours and costs between €11 and €45, depending on the class in which you travel.
Would you like to visit Thailand now that you know what to see and do in Ayutthaya and have had the finest experiences? Explore our tours through the greatest parts of the country, including the magnificent city of Ayutthaya and its national park.
Ayutthaya Travel Guide: Travel tips for Ayutthaya
We give some suggestions or advice that may be valuable to you, especially if you are visiting the region for the first time, so that your vacation to Ayutthaya is a resounding success and you enjoy it to the maximum.
- Dedicate more than one day to visit Ayutthaya – We recommend staying at least two nights in Ayutthaya unless you dislike cultural tours or temples. There is a lot of history to explore, as well as numerous ruins! One day is insufficient.
- Ayutthaya is a good escape option from Bangkok – If you are staying in Bangkok and want to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle, Ayutthaya is a terrific spot to go. In many respects, Ayutthaya is the polar opposite of Bangkok. It might be because the city is tiny, having a population of less than 60,000 people. Even the busiest temples were not overcrowded, and the people are really kind.
- Bicycling is the best way to see the temples in Ayutthaya – Ayutthaya has several temple remains, some of which are too far apart to cover on foot. Some visitors rented tuk-tuks to tour Ayutthaya, although this costs more money and limits your ability to travel at your own leisure.
- Wear light clothing, sunscreen and a hat – Even when standing in the shade, Ayutthaya is quite hot.
- The national currency is the optimal way to pay for purchases and services – The Thai baht is the country’s currency.
- Find out about the history of the ruins before visiting them – Unless you visit the ruins with a guide who explains the culture and history of the area on the spot, we urge that you learn about these topics ahead of time so that you may completely appreciate your visit experience and are more valuable to you.