Whilst in Bangkok, we decided to take a day trip to Ayutthaya. What with it being the ancient capital of Thailand and home to many old temple ruins, we didn’t want to miss out!

The first order of the day was to catch a bus to Hua Lamphong station to get the train. There was maybe a train every hour to Ayutthaya, so we purchased our tickets upon arrival. With just enough time to grab a snack for breakfast, we were soon on a packed train rolling out of Bangkok. We arrived at Ayutthaya at around 10am and made our way to the little boat to cross the water.

Let’s hire bikes!

We wandered through town in what we hoped was the right direction. There were bike rental shops before the ferry, but it seemed silly to get a bike and then have to lug it on the boat. Closer to the ruins, there were plenty of places to rent bikes and so we did for 50 baht each. Cheap! There wasn’t too much traffic on the streets so cycling wasn’t an issue. Maps in hand, bikes ready, we were off!

Wat Mahathat

Our first stop of the day and perhaps the most impressive, was Wat Mahathat. We didn’t have to pay to enter, as all national parks are free up until the end of January in remembrance of his majesty. This is the Wat where you can find the tree that’s grown around the buddha head. It seems more impressive in photographs than real life! I’ll let the photographs do the talking.

Wat Thammikarat

A little off the beaten path, we paid 20 baht to enter this small temple. There seemed to be a crazy amount of rooster statues here, which Adam found amusing. After some googling, it turns out they’re some sort of good luck symbol based on an ancient story. I’ll spare you the long tale, but it’s worth a search if you’re interested.

Wat Phra Ram

Similar in style to Mahathat, the terracotta coloured bricks of this temple are so beautiful to look at. They’re also perfect to photograph on a sunny day!

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Wat Mahathat

Wat Thammikarat

Wat Phra Ram

Wat Lokaya Sutha

  • Wat Mahathat
  • Wat Thammikarat
  • Wat Phra Ram
  • Wat Lokaya Sutha

Wat Lokaya Sutha

Towards the end of town and our cycle route, we came upon Wat Lokaya Sutha, the reclining buddha! It’s massive, and impressive to look at. It proved quite hard to get a full shot of, though! We were surprised to find out this buddha isn’t as old as he looks. The statue was fully renovated in the 1950’s!

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We spent the remainder of our afternoon cycling through town, with just enough time to stop at a tiny cafe run by the sweetest old lady! She made a mean iced lemon tea and iced coffee. We caught the train back at around 15:30 and it was almost as busy as the journey out. As the train pulled back into Hua Lamphong the sun was setting and we were just back in time for a cheap dinner in Chinatown.

Ayutthaya can definitely be done as a day trip – although there’s plenty to do and plenty of places to eat and drink if you did decide to stay! We visited 4 temples and were pretty out-templed by the end of our day, so definitely don’t plan to try and see everything – it’s too much!