The historic city of Ayutthaya is home to the ruins that once define the glory of the Kingdom of Thailand. Exploring this city is actually one of the easiest DIY day trips I’ve ever had in Thailand!
How to get there by train
Forget about vans or buses, for me the best way to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok is by riding the train. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes, but you get to be with the locals. And the best thing about it? It only costs 15 Baht. Just head to Hua Lamphong Railway Station (easily accessible via MRT) and buy a ticket to the next available train to Ayutthaya. It runs throughout the day so just be there are wait for the next one.
It’s a whole experience in itself. The windows are wide open so you see and smell the outside. It’s also interesting how the view transitions from the busy metro of Bangkok to the calmer towns north of it. You don’t even notice and you’re there already.
Exploring Ayutthaya Historical Park
When you get off the station, tuktuks are easily available to rent outside. It’s better to talk to fellow travelers and form a group of 4-5 people, that can save you some cash for souvenirs or food! A typical 4-hour tour costs around 500-800 Baht. You can talk your way to a lower price but that depends on the driver. This tour depends on where you want to go, but tuktuk drivers have typical routes. To get the most out of the ruins, go there first. And if there’s still time then go to the other places like the floating market.
A popular temple usually has a 50 Baht fee, and less popular ones are for 20 Baht. There is also a 6-Temple Pass for only 220 Baht.
That pass is for the following temples:
- Phra Si Sanphet
- Phra Ram
- Chai Wattanaram
And you can buy the pass at the ticket booth of any of those six listed above.
My Favorite Temples
Probably the most popular temple, this is where you can find the famous Buddha head locked in tree roots. There’s also a beautiful red-bricked ruin that I guess was some sort of a pyramid structure.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Also a popular place, this has the famous three giant white stupas that’s become a landmark of Ayutthaya.
A unique place because of its hallway entrance that leads to the prang (tower-like structure). Its prang is one of the finest in the city. And it’s also a nice place for a quick photoshoot, with lots of photogenic corners.
This is where you can find the giant statue of a reclining Buddha image. It’s right by the street and there’s no fee to enter the place. There’s not even a fence or a wall, so you can already see the statue from the street.
Wat Phanan Choeng
This is a special one for me because most of the places above are very touristy and could get crowded. As an active temple, you are most likely to see locals here, especially late in the afternoon. Here you will see a gigantic golden statue of a Buddha image. It’s very impressive and seeing it is something you cannot skip in Ayutthaya!
Other temples we visited:
- Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
- Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
- Wat Phra Ram
- Wat Chai Wattanaram
What I love about Thailand is how easily accessible the other parts are. The network of their railway system is amazing and it helped me a lot in all of my trips in this country. With Ayutthaya being so close to Bangkok, a short train ride is all it takes for an unforgettable day trip to Thailand’s best ruins.
Hope this little guide helped you! If you have any questions you can message me on my Facebook page here.