13 things I wish I had known before traveling to Ayutthaya
Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand under King U Thong Majesty. It used to be one of the prosperous cities with many temples and palaces. Nowadays, the city becomes one of the tourist attractions you should not miss on your Thailand trip.
In this post, I would like to share with you the things I wish I had known before my latest trip to Ayutthaya. Those tips will help you to have the best trip to the ancient capital ever.
Is Ayutthaya worth visiting?
Of course, Ayutthaya is one of the worthy cultural attractions you should not miss in Thailand. The mixture of an ancient city and a developing one makes Ayutthaya a fascinating place to visit. Especially, it possesses hundreds of temple ruins and historical sites for you to freely explore.
How long should I stay in Ayutthaya?
Depending on how much time you have for your trip, 1 to 3 days are enough for staying and discovering Ayutthaya. The ideal itinerary is a 1-day trip to discover the 5 main temples and enjoy some local Boat noodles on the island, then head back to Bangkok. But if you have more time, you can explore the outside, and enjoy the exotic atmosphere of the night market in Ayutthaya.
How to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok?
There are 6 ways to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok: by train, by minivan, by taxi, by motorbike, by tour, and by cruise. If you want to enjoy the scenic route of local charm, trains are the best choice with a reasonable. If you want to experience the sceneries along the Chao Phraya River, a cruise is the best suit for you. Tour is good when you want to have someone to guide you. While a taxi is a private and expensive way, minivans and motorbikes are my recommendations as they are cheap and flexible.
You can update the scheduled transportation to Ayutthaya here.
How long does it take from Bangkok to Ayutthaya?
Depending on the transportation that you choose, the time to go to Ayutthaya will be various. If you go by train, it takes 30 mins to 1.5 hours depending on the train and routes. The taxi will take around 1-1.5 hours. The minivan will take around 2 hours. A motorbike will take 2-2.5 hours while a cruise and tour will take the whole day.
Where should I stay in Ayutthaya?
The city is not too big, you can stay anywhere you want, but the best choice is Naresuan Road which is the most lively area with many bars and restaurants. There are plenty of accommodations for you to choose from here.
How to get around Ayutthaya?
There are several ways you can choose to get around Ayutthaya, but the three convenient ways are grabbing a bike, renting a motorbike, or getting a tuk-tuk driver to help you.
To compare, a bicycle is the best choice. Cycling around is easy and enjoyable because the road is fairly good. Also, you will have more time in the main spots. Another good choice is renting a motorbike. This helps you have more time to visit each place and there is no issue if the historical spots are far from each other. Nevertheless, you can catch a tuk-tuk as they also offer a tour to 9 attractions in Ayutthaya. The price is around 900 THB – 1200 THB and don’t forget to bargain a bit. If you want to visit a single place, the tuk-tuk price starts from 80 THB to 150 THB per route. Make sure you check for some tips before you want to have good tuk-tuk negotiation skills.
Besides, you can also take a taxi or a boat for a trip inside the city.
Should I book a tour in Ayutthaya?
Booking a tour or discovering the place on your own have their own advantage. If you are a solo traveler with much experience, discovering the place on your own is highly recommended. You can choose the places you want to visit, randomly stop in some eye-catching cafe, and enjoy Ayutthaya in your own way. If you are a group or family traveler with elder people and young children, booking a tour is the best choice and makes your trip easier. The tour guide can help you with places to visit, restaurants to eat, and transportation.
When is the best time to visit Ayutthaya?
The best time to visit Ayutthaya is from October to February when the weather is nice and fairly hot. You can visit other times in the year too, but keep in mind that March to May is the hottest period of the year, and June to September is the rainy season. As such, make sure you have prepared yourself with a hat, sunglasses, or a raincoat when visiting the place during this time.
Early morning will be the best time to visit the temples to avoid the crowd.
What to visit in Ayutthaya?
There are hundreds of ruined temples and historical attractions in Ayutthaya, but their design and architecture are quite similar. Visting some best places is enough for your trip and you may visit the 5 must-see temples in Ayutthaya listed below:
- Wat Yai Chaimongkhon with very old chedis and hundreds of Buddha images around
- Wat Mahathat with the highlight of the Buddha’s head in the Bodhi root
- Wat Ratchaburana with the special Khmer style design
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet with a favorite photography point of 3 big bell-shaped stupas
- Wat Chaiwatthanaram with its unique central corncob-shaped prang
If you still have time, you can choose to visit other places such as Wat Phranan Choeng which is famous for the biggest bronze Buddha, Ayotthaya Floating market to try some cannabis drink, Wat Phu Khao Thong, Bang Pa-in Palace, and Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.
Opening hours and admission fee in Ayutthaya
8 AM to 5 PM is the opening hours of most temples and places in Ayutthaya. The ticket fee will range from 20 THB to 50 THB for foreigners. They also offer a package ticket at 220 THB for 6 temples which are Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, and Wat Maheyong.
Can I wear a short in Ayutthaya?
Ayutthaya consists of many sacred places and temples, wearing a short is not proper and may cause entrance rejection. It is better to dress modestly. Your clothes should cover your knee and your shoulder, but ideal to cover your ankle. In case you wear a short already, they offer a sarong rental at 20 THB/ on for your to cover your legs. Please make sure you have read temple manners before coming.
What to pack when visiting Ayutthaya?
A hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and water is what you need because you may need to walk a lot in the hot weather. You will know why those things are important after you come back from the trip.
What to eat in Ayutthaya?
Ayutthaya is famous for Boat noodles or we call it Kuaytieu Rua. It is called boat noodles because it is sold on a boat along the canals or rivers in the old time. Nowadays, people sell it everywhere as daily food. It will be a miss if you skip this dish in your Ayutthaya food list. The sour and sweet taste of the soup will definitely earn your heart.
River shrimp is one of Ayutthaya’s highlights too. The juicy flavor and the shrimp size will leave a good impression on you even though you are a hard customer. Because of this, the price is a bit high, but it is worth trying. You can find this dish in any riverside restaurant
Discover more places in this beautiful ancient city:
- 11 temple manners in Thailand you’d better follow
- 5 must-see temples in Ayutthaya – Ayutthaya travel guide
- 6 easy ways to go from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
- Tips for a great solo journey in Thailand