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What to see in Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Siam

Ayutthaya is a city that is located 85 km north of Bangkok. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam from 1350 to 1767.

Today you can visit the remains of this city, mostly temples and half-ruined stupas. These remains occupy 15m2 and is one of the most important historical places in Thailand. Without a doubt, it is an essential stop on your trip to the country. So if you are wondering if you should visit Ayutthaya, the answer is a big yes.

The remains of the ancient capital of Siam were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.

Being close to Bangkok it is possible to make a day trip. In this post I tell you how to visit Ayutthaya and everything you need to know about this place; a bit of history, how to get there, visit it on your own, visit it with an agency, day trip? spend a night in Ayuttaya?

Ayutthaya was the political and cultural center of Thailand for more than 400 years. Throughout this time, it had 33 kings and it is estimated that at the beginning of the 18th century there were around a million people living there. In that period, the city had about 500 temples, an important commercial port on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

Over the years, several kingdoms have ruled through Ayutthaya, including the Khmer and Burmese empires, so many of the temples, statues... were destroyed every time there was a change of empire, leaving traces and ruins in their wake. . In 1868, the Thai general Taksin managed to drive out the entire Burmese and founded the new capital of the Kingdom of Siam (present-day Thailand) and located the capital in Bangkok.


What to see in the Ayutthaya Historical Park

The ancient capital of Sima is located between the Chao Phraya, Lopburi and Pa Sak rivers. Here are the most outstanding places, ruins and monuments that make up the Ayutthaya Historical Park within the borders that mark these three rivers.

Ayutthaya Historical Park is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. The price is 220 baths or between 20-50 bahts depending on the areas you want to visit.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol

It is also known as Wat Phra Chao Phya Thai, and is located southeast of Ayutthaya. The temple was built in 1357 and its great chedi, 62 meters high, used more than 28,000 tons of brick. It is surrounded by hundreds of Buddha statues with yellow robes being one of the typical sights of Ayutthaya. In the temple there is a huge reclining Buddha.

Wat Lokaya Sutha

It is a huge reclining Buddha carved in cement called Phra Bhuddha Sai Yart. The Buddha's head rests on a lotus flower. It has dimensions of 8 meters high and 42 meters long surrounded by the remains of 24 brick columns that formed the vihara.

Wat Maha That

It is located in the central part of the island and was one of the most important temples in the Kingdom, reduced to ruins by the Burmese armies. It combines those of Ayutthaya and Khmer style, typical of Cambodia, and offers one of the most recognizable images of Thailand, a figure of the Buddha's head among the roots of a tree.

Viharn Phra Mongkol Bophit

This Ayutthaya palace is very similar to the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok. It is a Buddhist temple that is estimated to have been built in the year 1538 and was restored in the mid-20th century. The highlight is the huge statue of Buddha that houses inside, with a height of 12 meters.

Wat Phanan Choeng

It is a Buddhist temple that is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River and houses an immense golden statue of Buddha known as Luang Pho Tho, highly revered by the Thais, which reaches 19 meters in height. The walls inside the temple are decorated with gold leaf, and the smell of incense fills the entire room.

Wat Ratchaburana

This temple was built in the year 1424 and is in the place where the sons of King Intharachathirat fought for the throne and died. Its two towers built in his memory stand out.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

This temple is in the same enclosure where the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Siam was located. This complex used for royal ceremonies was built in the year 1448 and stands out for its three stupas or chedis that contain the ashes of three kings of Ayutthaya.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

This temple is located next to the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, it is one of the most imposing and best preserved royal temples in the entire historical park. It was built in 1630 by the king as a memory of his mother and stands out for its great central tower or prang 35 meters high in the Khmer style guarded by four smaller ones.

How to get around Ayutthaya?

If you have finally decided to get to Ayutthaya by mini van or train, once here you will have to look for alternatives to get around the city. It may seem from the map that everything is very close, but it is not.

The ideal and cheapest way is to move by tuc tuc from one temple to another. Keep in mind that the historical park is not small and although there are some routes that you can do on foot, if it is hot you will eliminate that option from your list quickly. Although you can go taking tuc tucs every time you need it, you can also agree with one in particular that is with you all day, waits for you every time you enter a temple and as soon as you leave, go directly to another place. It is usually cheaper to hire a tuc tuc for the whole day. Approx 25 euros.

You can also rent a bike, it's very cheap and you have the freedom to go where you want and when you want. In our hotel there was the option of free bicycles, so that's what we saved, but more or less you can get out for about 7 euros a day.

If you travel with children and it is hot, you can hire a taxi, it is better to take it for the whole day, so that it will take you to all the places and wait for you when you leave. With the taxi you benefit from air conditioning. However, it is the most expensive option.

What to see in Ayutthaya, outside the Historical Park

Once in the town there are several places you can visit. Of course, if you are going to spend only one day, focus on the Historical Park because you will hardly have time to visit something else. Are you thinking of staying one night? Here is a small list of more things you can do in the city.

Chedi Phukhao Thong

This Buddhist temple is characterized by its 50-meter Chedi, it is completely white. And it is located on the outskirts of Ayuttaya. A few minutes by car. It is located in the town of Phukhao Thong. From here there are very nice views of the city of Ayutthaya and the rice fields and fields.

Chao Phrom Market

It is the local market, and an almost obligatory stop. Here you will find stalls selling fruit, vegetables, fresh products, cooked food… There is a lot of atmosphere and it is a good place to eat (if you dare to eat food from street stalls). There are grilled meat stalls that are very good and you eat for very few euros.

Wat Niwetthammaprawat

This Buddhist temple completely fools you. And you will know as soon as you see the photograph. What if the photo is planted, the first thing you think is that it is a Catholic church? Well, despite its appearance, it is a Buddhist temple.

The construction of this temple dates back to 1876 and was commissioned by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). And the reason it looks like a Catholic church is because the architect was Italian (Joachim Grassi), and at that time in Thailand Western-style construction was becoming fashionable.

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat was built in the Gothic Revival style, with stained glass windows and a Gothic altar. Instead of a cross there is the image of Buddha.

Prasat Nakhon Luang

This archaeological site is located in the province of Ayuttahya It is located about half an hour by car from the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

Prasat Nakhon Luang is one of the five royal residences or palaces outside the city of


According to the royal chronicles of Ayutthaya, King Prat Thong sent a Siamese deligence to Angkor in Cambodia in the year 1631 to get the plans of the city of Angkor and the panels of its palaces. Although there is no truthful information that he obtained the original plans, the king ordered this Palace to be built according to “the plans”.

During the Burmese war, the palace was looted and destroyed, leaving the ruins that can be visited today, although it underwent renovations a few years ago.

The Western-style building contains four stone-carved Buddha footprints, each about eight feet wide and five and a half feet long.

Prasat Nakhon Luang was registered as a national monument in the year 1935, the year restoration of the shrine began. This restoration was not completed until 1994.

It is a very interesting visit, which without a doubt if you have time you cannot miss.


If you are not sure how to go to Ayutthaya, here is a post where I explain how to go from Bangkok to Ayuttaya: Best options.

If you are interested in booking an excursion or guided tour, here are the best options:

In Ayutthaya there is also a floating market, the church of St Joseph (Christian church) some more temples, and many routes to get lost on the bike and find more remains of the ancient capital of Siam.


In Ayutthaya there are few accommodation options. They are not luxurious, but there are options that are very well priced and that are great.

We found the Baan Tebpitak Elegant Ayotthaya hotel, a kind of home, very familiar, with comfortable and clean rooms and very cheap. The accommodation has a swimming pool and is ideal for spending the afternoon and isolating yourself a little from the heat.


I hope you enjoy your trip to Thailand very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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