Glorious Must-See Temples in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya temples

Outstanding Ayutthaya temples to see

BEST AYUTTHAYA TEMPLES

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet in Ayutthaya

The city of Ayutthaya was ancient Thai capital. Actually it was founded as the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Ayutthaya, or also called Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, was founded in the 14th century and it was destroyed by Burmese in the 18th century. At the peak in the 17th century powerful Kingdom of Ayutthaya ruled the area of today’s Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, parts of Burma and China. In the 18th century, Burmese burned the city of Ayutthaya to the ground and Thais moved their capital to Bangkok.

Today remaining Ayutthaya ruins and restored Ayutthaya temples portray the glorious history of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Ancient Ayutthaya is one of the most fascinating cities of Thailand. 

I have visited Ayutthaya Historical Park on a day trip from Bangkok. If you are wondering what to do in Ayutthaya and what to see in Ayutthaya or where to go in Ayutthaya, there’s only one answer – visit temples of Ayutthaya. Seeing Historical Park Ayutthaya is a must in Thailand.

Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok: Ayutthaya Historical Park on a day trip from Bangkok

But if you are planning to stay in Ayutthaya, you won’t regret it as it is a historic, romantic and wonderful place to visit in Thailand. Click here to get the best rates for your stay in Ayutthaya.

To help you to see the best of ancient Ayutthaya I have compiled a list of the best Ayutthaya temples in Thailand. with info on Ayutthaya temples opening hours and the entrance fees.

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Must see temples in Ayutthaya:

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO. 

1. WAT CHAIWATTHANARAM  

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya in Thailand

Or the “Monastery of the Victorious and Prosperous Temple” is a royal Buddhist temple from the 17th century on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It was a royal temple used by the King and Royal family. It was named after the victory of conquering the Khmer’s land.

Wat Chai Watthanarm is the most impressive Ayutthaya temple with central 35 m tall prang (tower) and surrounding 8 small chedis (pagodas) on each corner that served as chapels. The 8 smaller towers depict the Jataka tales of previous lives of Buddha.

Chaiwatthanarm Temple was built in Khmer style on the historical island surrounded by the Chao Phraya Ayutthaya river. The central tower represents the mountain Meru that stands in the center of Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The island was encircled by a moat symbolizing the Mount Meru surrounded by oceans.

This stunning Buddhist temple of Ayutthaya is one of the most popular Ayutthaya tourist attractions.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram entrance fee: 50 baht per person (∼ 1.50 USD)

Wat Chaiwatthanaram opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

2. WAT YAI CHAI MONGKHON 

Temples in Southeast Asia
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

 ‘Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory’ is a temple of Ayutthaya with a large stupa and reclining Buddha on the eastern side of Ayutthaya.

Restored temple with a monastery, stupa, and chedi is active today. The first monastery was built to rest ashes of two princesses who died of cholera. A legend says that the temple was also once home to a priceless ruby believed to be the wealth of the gods.

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Chai Mongkon in Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

The central chedi stands on a  30 m tall square platform with smaller chedi on the corners. A large Buddha statue sits at the top with splendid views of the city from the top. On the ground around the central ‘chedi’ there are numerous symmetrical Buddha statues.

Ayutthaya temples
Buddha statues in Wat Chai Mongkhon

The temple is also known for the 7m (23 feet) long reclining Buddha.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is believed to be built in mythical Ayodhya before the foundation of Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It is believed to be a part of the former Khmer temple complex with surrounding moat representing the ocean.

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3. WAT MAHATHAT  

Temples in Southeast Asia
Wat Maha That in Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

Or ‘the Monastery of the Great Relic’ is a Buddhist monastery from the 14th century in Ayutthaya Historic Park. Relics of the historical Buddha are said to have been kept in the main chedi. This former royal monastery today is best known for famous Ayutthaya Buddha head in a banyan tree. ‘The Great Chedi temple’ is one of the most popular Ayutthaya temples. The monastery is in the center of old Ayutthaya and just across the road from Wat Ratchaburana.

Ayutthaya Wat Mahathat was the seat of the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism and thus one of the most important Ayutthaya temples. Wat Phra Mahathat Ayutthaya was designed like the ancient Khmer temples of Angkor in Cambodia. A central prang stands in the center of the temple symbolizing Mount Meru surrounding by oceans.

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

In the 15th century, Ayutthaya attacked Angkor and took many sacred images from Angkor to War Maha That.  After the fall of Ayutthaya, the temple was burned by Burmese.

Maha That Temple is inscribed on the list of Ayutthaya temples that are UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya Historic Park.

Wat Mahathat entrance fee: 50 baht per person (∼ 1.50 USD)

Wat Mahathat opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

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4. WAT RATCHABURANA

Ayutthaya temples

Wat Ratburana or ‘the Temple of Royal Restoration’ built in the 15th century is the oldest temple in Ayutthaya. An Ayutthaya King built the temple on the cremation site of his two brothers (princes) who fought against each other and killed each other for their father’s throne. The temple’s main prang is surrounded with 4 stupas in Sri Lanka style and it is considered to be one of the most beautiful towers in Ayutthaya.

Ratburana Temple in Ayutthaya is just across the road from Wat Mahathat.

Wat Ratchaburana entrance fee: 40 baht per person

Wat Ratchaburana opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

5. WAT PHRA SI SANPHET 

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet © World Travel Connector

‘The temple of the Buddha Si Sanphet is Ayutthaya temple from the 15th century. Wat Phra Si Sanphet Ayutthaya was the holiest temple of Ayuthaya and the most important temple of Ayuthaya temples. Phra Sri Sanphet Temple is also known as ‘the Kings Temple’ as it was the royal temple, used for royal ceremonies and built as a part of the Royal Palace.

This famous temple in Ayutthaya holds 3 large bell-shaped chedis (stupas) on the elevated platform surrounded with a walled gallery of Buddha images in Mara postures (known as ‘calling the Earth to witness’ ). Ashes of the Kings were buried in each stupa.

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet of Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

In the 18th century, Burmese destroyed the temple and only 3 stupas remained. A 16 m tall and 340 kilos golden standing Buddha was melted by Burmese and taken to Burma.

This impressive temple of Ayutthaya was a model for Phra Kaew in Bangkok and represents one of Ayutthaya best temples.

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet entrance fee: 50 baht per person (∼ 1.50 USD)

Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

6. WAT LOKKAYASUTHORAM

Ayutthaya temples
Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

‘The Temple of the Earth’ is believed to date from the early Ayutthaya period. It stands nearby the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet and it was built in the same style as Wat Mahathat and Was Ratchaburana. Wat Lokayasutharam was also destroyed by Burmese in the 18th century.

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Lokaya Sutha in Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

‘The Temple of Reclining Buddha’ or ‘Wat Phra Noon’ is a Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya and an Ayutthaya must see. It is best known for a huge (about 40 m long and 8 m tall) outdoor reclining Buddha called Phra Bhuddhasaiyart. The Buddha lies in an unusual north-south direction (instead of typical east-west direction). The Buddha is resting on a lotus flower under the head while supporting his head with the right hand and overlapping the legs showing the equalized toes. The Buddha statue is usually wrapped in orange clothing.

Wat Lokaya Sutha entrance fee: free

7. WAT PHRA RAM

Temples in Southeast Asia
Wat Phra Ram in Ayutthaya © World Travel Connector

Phra Ram Temple stands in the center of Ayutthaya, close to Wat Yai Chai Mongkong and across from Wat Phra Si Sanphet. Wat Phra Ram Ayutthaya was named after the King Phra Ramesuan who built the temple on the cremation site of his father who was the first king of Ayutthaya. Wat Phra Ram is typical Ayutthaya temple with one central prang and many smaller towers. There is a small lake in front of the temple. This Ayutthaya temple is quiet as not many people visit it. More popular temples in Ayutthaya are Wat Mahathat and Wat Ratchaburana.

The central prang (tower) in the middle of a square base was built the Khmer style on the island surrounded by a moat symbolizing the ocean. 4 Himmaphan mythical creatures are on the 4 corners of Wat Phra Ram Ayutthaya temple.

Phra Ram temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic Park of the City of Ayutthaya.

Entrance fee: 50 baht per person (∼ 1.50 USD)

Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

8. WAT PHU KHAO THONG 

Ayutthaya temples
Chedi Phukhao Thong © World Travel Connector

Next on the list of best temples to visit in Ayutthaya is Wat Phu Khao Thong or also called Chedi Phukhao Thong. ‘Temple of Golden Mountain’ is a large Buddhist temple complex just outside of the historic city of Ayutthaya built in the 14th century. 30 m (100 feet) chedi dominates the temple.

The temple is known for its hybrid style. In the 16th century, the chedi was started in Burmese Mon-style, but it was finished in Thai-style celebrating the independence of Ayutthaya from Burma.  Today a large square Burmese Mon-style base and a Thai-style chedi stand there.

Ayutthaya temples
Wat Phu Khao Thong © World Travel Connector

Chedi Phukhao Thong is one of the Ayutthaya temples that is restored and active today. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic Park of the City of Ayutthaya.

Wat Phu Khao Thong entrance fee: free

Wat Phu Khao Thong opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

AYUTTHAYA TEMPLES MAP

Google Map of the best temples in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya historical park entrance fee: There is no entrance fee for the historical park of Ayutthaya. Some Ayutthaya temples are free while some are 50 baht per temple. You can also buy a ticket for visiting 6 temples. A six-temple entrance fee is 220 baht (6.70 USD)

Ayutthaya opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

Ayutthaya dress code: Ayutthaya temples are sacred Buddhist sites. Accordingly, please dress modestly and cover your arms and knees. Take off the shoes while entering active temples and don’t climb Ayutthaya temples.

Best Ayutthaya temples

Have you visited Ayyuthaya Thailand? What do you think of the ruins of Ayutthaya? Have you visited some other ruins in Thailand?

If you haven’t visited Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park yet I hope this post and Ayutthaya photos will make you put Ayutthaya temples on your list of temples to visit in Thailand. Ayuthia Thailand is a once-in-a-lifetime must-see!

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THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.

12 comments

  1. Ayuthaya is such an ineradicable place! I saw a lot of these temples when I was there and enjoyed every second. But I want to go back to see some more because I’m not sure I saw all of these!

    Jenny | localleo.co.uk

  2. The temples are just so incredibly different to anything you can get at home, I love it. I think either the Wat Ratburana or Wat Chai Watthanarm have to be my favourites, they just have such a spectacular design.

    1. Hey, Carol 🙂

      Thanks for commenting.

      Burmese burned Ayutthaya to the ground in the Burmese-Siamese war. And after the fall of Ayutthaya, Bangkok was established as the new capital of the Kingdom of Siam.

      Milijana

  3. I love when a place invests to restore their past. The Ayutthaya temples look like a great example. Wat Chai Watthanarm certainly looks like the most impressive. I love the splash of yellow colour. The symmetrical row of Buddha statues at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon look interesting. Love the head statues carved into the tree roots. But the giant Reclining Buddha is stunning. A great selection of temples.

  4. The ancient temples of Asia never cease to amaze me. Thanks for introducing me to the Ayutthaya Historical Park, yet another temple complex I haven’t heard about. This is a great guide to help one decide which of the Ayutthaya temples are worth seeing. I must agree Wat Chai Watthanarm looks very impressive.

  5. So great to see this article. We visited Ayutthaya in January and were amazed by all the temples. It is truly a historically rich site and with exceptional temples. Seeing the Buddha head lodged in tree roots was one of my favorite sites. We also explore the regional foods in Ayuttaya. Did you try some of the desserts from the region? Incredible!

  6. I couldn’t even finish reading about all the temples – I have to go there to see them myself. Incidentally, I am coming to Thailand in two months, so saving your post for future references.

  7. I haven’t spent any time in this part of the world and want to visit all of these temples! I really want to see the reclining Buddha and the Buddha head in the tree roots

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