Thailand: Ayutthaya

Our 9-day temple run vacation started in Bangkok. Since there’s no direct flight from Manila to Yangon, we decided to fly to Bangkok to spend half a day visiting the temples in the Ayutthaya Historical Park before boarding an evening flight to Yangon.

How to get there

We chose to ride a minivan to Ayutthaya because it was supposed to be faster and more comfortable than the train or bus. It was slightly more expensive at 60 Baht per person (20 Baht if by train), but it’s worth it.

The minivan terminal is located at the alley facing the Victory Monument near Victory Mall. They leave every 15 minutes (or once the minivan is full). We left Victory Monument at around 7:30 AM and reached Ayutthaya at 8:45 AM.

Victory Monument
Victory Monument
Minivan to Ayutthaya
Minivan Terminal (to Ayutthaya)

Getting around Ayutthaya

To get around Ayutthaya, you can either ride a bike or hire a tuktuk. We decided to hire a tuktuk since it’s more convenient. (It was extremely hot that day.)

Once the minivan drops you off the terminal, there will be a group of Tuktuk drivers standing by ready to offer their services to tourists who get off the van. Since we were only planning on visiting 3 to 4 temples, we tried bargaining for a 3-hour Tuktuk ride. Initial offer was 700 Baht, but after much persuasion a driver finally agreed to drive us around for 500 Baht.

Temples visited

Wat Chai Watthanaram

Entrance fee: 50 Baht

Wat Chai Watthanaram
Wat Chai Watthanaram

Wat Chai Watthanaram is located at the southwest outside “Ayutthaya Island”. It is said to be modeled after Cambodia’s Angkor Wat to commemorate King Prasat Thong’s victory over Khmer. Among the three temples we visited, I liked this the best.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Entrance fee: 50 Baht

Three Chedi of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet
Three Chedi of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the biggest temple complex in the area and is housed within the grounds of the former royal palace. The main attraction is the three restored chedis that enshrines the ashes of three Ayutthayan kings.

Wat Maha That

Entrance fee: 50 Baht

Closeup of Buddha Head embedded in Banyan Tree
Closeup of Buddha Head embedded in Banyan Tree

This temple is where you’ll find the famous Buddha’s head embedded in the Banyan Tree. Other than that, not much of the temple structure is left standing after the war between Ayutthaya and Burma in A.D. 1767.

Budget for Ayutthaya

  Cost (Baht)
Minvan to and from Ayutthaya 120
Tuktuk around Ayutthaya (500 Baht for 3 people) 167
Wat Chai Watthanaram entrance fee 50
Wat Phra Si Sanphet entrance fee 50
Wat Maha That entrance fee 50
Lunch 50
Total Baht 487 ~ US$ 15

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