Ayutthaya, Thailand: The glory and splendor of the past – Day 2

Whenever I will visit one country, there is always the most thrilling and anticipated part of it. Here in Thailand, it is in the ancient city, Ayutthaya. There are many wonderful places to explore in “The Land of Smiles” but being a history buff, glimpsing Ayutthaya’s former glory and splendor completed my Thai journey. This is my second day in Thailand and I can’t contain my excitement with new travel buddies, Jhen and Julie.

embracing the splendor

embracing the grandeur of Wat Maha That temple

In getting to Ayutthaya, you may do the DIY way (ride a train in Hua Lamphong or bus in Bangkok Tara Travel), hail a tax, join a group tour through Klook, or rent a van from a local. We chose the latter and split the cost. This is much cheaper, time-saver and we have our own itinerary to follow. Time travel from Bangkok City to Ayutthaya is one and a half to two hours.

strange and beautiful walkway in Wat Maha That Temple

strange and beautiful walkway in Wat Maha That Temple

If you haven’t read yet the first part of our Thailand Trip, click: Bangkok, Thailand City Tour: Day 1

There’s a lot of known temples in Ayutthaya. However, we only have one day to explore, so we chose the famous and exciting ones. Julie (who is based in Thailand) contacted a local that owned a van for hire. The rate was 2,500 Baht for a whole day tour. Meals and entrances to the temples are not included.

the ticket

the ticket

The admission fee for tourists for most of the temple is 50 Baht except for Wat Chaimongkhol.

the krypt design

the impressive Krypt design of Wat Racha Burana

About Ayutthaya 

Ayutthaya is the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. It was founded in 1350 but was attacked by the Burmese army in the 18th century bringing its Kingdom to end. Most of the city was destroyed by fire and what was left are the relics and temples which are found in Ayutthaya today.

the entrance to the Ancient city

the entrance to the Ancient city


the historic ruins of Wat Phra Si San Phet

Being an archaeological ruin, Ayutthaya is no doubt rich in history and culture. What you can see are the important remnants like chedi (conical-shaped Buddhist monument), tall prang, huge monasteries, temples, and Buddha images. Whether you are a history buff or not, surely you will be amazed by these wonderful sights.


one of the amazing ruins in Wat Phra Si San Phet

These are the temples/places we visited in our Ayutthaya tour:

Wat Yai Chaimongkhol

The Wat Yai Chaimongkol or the “Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory” is located in the southeastern area of Ayutthaya. It is a monastery constructed by King U-Thong in 1357 AD to accommodate monks trained in Sri Lankan meditation. The Temple’s main attraction is the huge bell-shaped principal chedi (conical-shaped Buddhist monument) erected on top of the monastery. It has two small chedis on each side and two gigantic Buddha images on the side of the first entrance. The chedi was constructed in 1592 as ordered by King Naresuan the Great to commemorate their victory over the Burmese Army.

the feeling was surreal as we set foot at Wat Chamongkhol in the first temple we visited

the feeling was surreal as we set foot at Wat Chamongkhol, the first temple we visited in Ayutthaya

We took the steep stairway leading to the first entrance and later to the interior where visitors can see several images of Buddha wrapped in a yellow sash. Devotees flock in this area to offer prayer. To the courtyard, there is the Reclining Buddha covered by a yellow sash facing East towards the rising sun. The devotees offered gold leaf and put it on its feet. Other interesting statues to see in this temple are the two large mondops (square pavilions) with gigantic Buddhas and the rows of identical Buddhas.

it was nice to meet these girls from Brazil

it was nice to meet these girls from Brazil

It is best to be early in this Temple as it gets crowded nearing noontime.

of the beautiful ruins

one of the beautiful ruins

Location: Phai Ling, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya,Thailand
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Entry Fee: 20 Baht per person

Wat Phra Maha That

The Wat Maha That or “The Temple of the Great Relic” is a royal temple that houses Buddha’s relics and where important ceremonies were once held. This is another famous and one of the most significant temples in Ayutthaya, Central Thailand. Its main attraction is the stone Buddha head entwined in the roots of the Banyan tree.

there are stunning temples to visit in Wat Mahathat but this Buddha head entwined in a root was its main draw

there are stunning temples to visit in Wat Mahat Hat but this Buddha head entwined in a root was its main draw

It was so wonderful to roam around in the entire courtyard seeing huge chedi, towering stupas, and other ruins. I felt we were back in the olden times. Every ruin is so impressive to look at and is perfect for IG-worthy snap. This is a must-visit temple and has been one of the visited temples in Ayutthaya. Expect that it gets crowded from morning till sunset.


at the back is the Buddha stone head

our happy smile with the Buddha stone head

Location: Corner of Chi Khun road and Naresuan road on the historical island
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: 50 Baht or $1.51 per person

Wat Ratcha Burana

Located in the island section of Ayutthaya, the Wat Ratcha Burana or the “Temple of the Royal Restoration” is another worthy temple to visit. This was founded in 1424 by King Borommarachathirat II in memory of his two elder brothers who fought and died in a  power struggle for a royal succession to their father.


It was pretty amazing getting inside the temple because of its Khmer design concepts. Its main draw is the central prang that was recently restored to its original form. It is surrounded by four small towers with sculptures of mythical creatures such as Garuda and Naga.


There are three steep staircases in getting inside the prang. The main staircase is no longer accessible because the last few steps are already damaged. I took the stairs on the side and went inside to see the little exhibit. From the window, I enjoyed looking at the front views of ruins scattered in the courtyard. The temple is small compared to Wat Yai Chomongkol and Maha That but it was nice to see up close different kinds of ruins.

the prang

the side of the prang where I took the steep stairs in getting inside

Location: Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: 50 baht per person

Lunch Time at Ruean Rojjana Thai Restaurant

After touring the temples, it’s high time to try Thai famous cuisines. We had our lunch at Ruean Rojjana Thai Restaurant a stone throw away from Wat Racha Burana.104997843_4279144835430840_213455290914927834_n

I ordered Pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish made with rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, beef or tofu, bean sprouts, scrambled egg, crunchy peanuts, and a  lime. When I tasted Pad Thai in Soi in SM Mall of Asia, I vowed that I will try this too in Thailand to see what’s the difference. Surprisingly, both have the same delicious taste. The crunchy peanut made it more flavorful.  Both satiated my hungry tummy. Yummy!


yummy Pad Thai

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Of all the temples we visited in Ayutthaya, my heart went for the charm and uniqueness of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. Also known as the “Temple of the Buddha Si Sanphet” this temple is part of the Royal Complex and is one of the holiest and most important temples in Ayutthaya.


these bell-shaped chedis will warmly welcome you as you enter the vast courtyard

The three-large bell-shaped chedis are the highlight of the temple. The complex was wide and it was so surreal to see other kinds of ruins. There are walkways shaded by trees perfect for resting during the scorching heat of the sun. It may be so hot as it was a tropical country, but we enjoyed walking and touring the whole courtyard. It was wonderful and awe-inspiring.



amazing ruins

They say, its best to wait till late in the afternoon to have a sunset picture-perfect snap over the three chedis.


it was hot in here but I did not mind the stifling weather because I’m enjoying every minute of our visit here

Location: Pratu Chai Sub-district, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
Admission Fee:
Thai: 10 Baht
Foreigner: 50 Baht
Opens every day: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Wat Lokaya Sutha 

Another famous temple to visit in Ayutthaya is the Wat Lokaya Sutha or the “Temple of The Earth”. It is located in the northwest corner of the ancient city of Ayutthaya. Its main attraction is the Giant Reclining Buddha image where it had a major restoration in 1954. From its head to toe, the Reclining Buddha is 43 meters in length. It was draped with yellow cloth. Devotees offer flowers and incense.


Jhen is having a good time exploring the complex

105135820_4279419335403390_5732382761650602337_nThe invasion of the Burmese army had destroyed the entire complex leaving only the basic layer of the Ubosot (Ordination Hall). This is located at the back of the Reclining Buddha. When I went to this area, I felt a bit sad because the complex had the Ubosot and some small ruins only compared to the previous temples we visited where it was packed by different remnants. It seemed like I was walking into the unknown.

ordain hall

ordain hall

Anyway, it was nice to visit this too.

Location: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: 50 baht per personThe Elephant Village and Ayutthaya Floating Market

This is the last leg of our Ayutthaya tour. In the Elephant Village, visitors may ride an elephant for a certain fee. But since we are not in favor of riding in the elephant’s back, we just immersed ourselves watching these poor animals walking slowly on the premise and outside the village. 


Sorry guys, but this tourist attraction saddened my heart. I can’t stand seeing those elephants with two to three people at their backs and under the scorching heat of the sun. 


There are retails shops in the village selling food, clothing, and souvenir goodies. There are insects too. We bought food for our loved ones way back home. We skipped riding the boat in getting to the Flea Market for it was already late in the afternoon. We just took a glimpse of the pond and the boat on the small port.

the boat

the boat

Ratchada Train Market
We went back to Bangkok and ended our day in Ratchada Train Market to explore, shop, and eat! There are hundreds of stalls in this vibrant market selling variety of Thai food and cuisine, clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, souvenirs, and a lot more. There are also bars on the other side for night fun.
There’s a large array of Thai dishes to choose from so we really had a hard time picking what should we eat for dinner. We explored around and was thrilled to see a variety of food from fresh seafood, dessert, fruits, juices, noodles, pizza, milk teas, grilled meat skewers, seafood, and even fried insects and scorpions. Finally, we ended up with a  seafood delight in one of the stalls.
insects for sale

insects for sale

After we had our fill, we bought pants and other souvenir goodies.
our dinner

our dinner after our Ayutthaya tour

Location: Ratchadaphisek Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Opens Daily: 5:00 pm to 1:00 am – Sunday to Friday; 8:15 am to 2:15 am-Saturday
How to get there:
Ratchada Train Market is near the Pratunam area. Take the BTS Skytrain System where the nearest station is Asok and interchange to Sukhumit MRT Station. Alight from the station and from the entrance, turn to your left, follow the crowd and you will find yourself in front of the Ratchada Train Market.
Good-bye Ayutthaya

I can’t contain the excitement and happiness seeing the grandeur of Ayutthaya’s past. I was glad the weather was good and my travel buddies were so nice to be with. If given the chance to go back to Thailand, I will surely visit again this Ancient city.

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