Five of the best temples to visit in Ayutthaya Thailand
Did you know that Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand? That’s right, it was founded around 1930 and became the trading capital of Asia – so why not check it out?
Thanks to our guest writer and avid traveller, here are five must-see temples to visit while you’re in Ayutthaya:
Do you enjoy taking photographs? If so, Wat Suwandawas is the place for you. Located just south of the northern bank of the island, it’s a picturesque site just waiting to be explored. Although most of the temple was destroyed during the Burmese razing in 1767 part of the construction and a badly-damaged Buddha remain.
If you’re a history lover, head to Wat Ratchaburana. It was built by King Boromrachathirat 11 on the site where his two elder brothers killed each other in a battle over succession to the throne and still contains their burial remains. Visitors can enjoy murals, rows of seated Buddhas and standing disciples and can even venture down into the crypt. As a word of caution watch out for your valuables as there are also lots of monkeys about who are prone to stealing things, in case you forget when you get to Wat Ratchaburana there are plenty of safety signs in English and Thai to remind you ranging from “Don’t feed the monkeys” to “Keep your valuables safe”.
Wat Mahathat may be in ruins following the Burmese invasion, but its home to one of Thailand’s most-renowned attractions – an ancient Buddha head engulfed in tree roots. Located near to the temple’s entrance, this fascinating structure is a poignant reminder of Thailand’s turbulent past and is surrounded by peace offerings and gifts.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
Situated just outside the island of Ayutthaya, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is a wonderful attraction. Here you’ll find a giant reclining Buddha wearing a yellow robe, as well as a multitude of other Buddha statues. The hands of each Buddha are each in a different position and have their own unique meaning, so it might be wise to arrange a tour guide for more information.
Wat Phanan Choeng
Wat Phanan Choeng is still in use today and is the worship place of many Thai Buddhists (particularly of Chinese origin). This beautiful temple complex is home to a 600-year old sitting Buddha statue which is an impressive six-metres tall and is a wonderful place for a stroll. If you choose to visit this active temple, please be respectful to people who are there for religious purposes.
Remember, you may have to take your shoes off in some of Ayutthaya’s wats, so don’t forget to wear clean socks!