Ayutthaya Thailand is the one time ancient capital of the Siam, the precursor to the modern-day kingdom of Thailand. Founded in 1350 it is Thailand’s answer to Angkor Wat or Bagan; a huge complex of crumbling ancient temples awaits the intrepid to explore this historic gem. Easily accessible from on the Bangkok to Ayutthaya train it can make a great day trip or an enjoyable adventure for a couple of days away from the chaos of the capital. An Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok is easy and offers something very different to the hustle and bustle of the big city and an intriguing look into the ancient world of Siam. Here’s a run down on how to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok and what to see when you get there on the best day trip from Bangkok.
One Day Or Two Days in Ayutthaya?
A Day Trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok or Spending Two Days Exploring The Temples?
We’ve had the privilege of visiting Ayutthaya twice and each time we did it a little bit different meaning we’re in a good position to let you know which options are best, how to get to Ayutthaya and what to do when you get there! With the Bangkok to Ayutthaya distance being less than 100 km it’s possible to do as a day trip or go for a couple of days from the capital. Being so historic, peaceful and easy to reach it does makes one of the best day trips from Bangkok.
The first time we visited we took the overnight bus from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya (it’s final stop was Bangkok). We arrived early in the morning VERY tired! We then spent TWO days exploring Ayutthaya. Two days gave us time to see some of the more further afield temples and explore at a slower pace with us being so drained from the nightbus.
Our second visit came 3 years later when we instead took a Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok. This time we hopped on the Bangkok to Ayutthaya train for a couple of hours and spent the day exploring before heading back in the evening. That time we rented push bikes and even took a motorbike taxi to one temple. It was a little bit more hectic but overall we saw a similar amount but in a quicker time!
Which One Is Best For You And Should You Take An Ayutthaya tour from Bangkok?
Overall we think there is enough time to do an Ayutthaya one day trip and do it justice especially if you’re pushed for time. For those unsure how to make the most of a day here a private tour might be the best option but hiring a push bike is also a great idea too and planning out your route to maximise your time.
But if you do have the time to spare then it certainly makes it less exhausting especially given just how hot it can get exploring many of these ruins with little to no shade. It is nicer to be able to meander a little more if you do have that option. Equally taking an Ayutthaya tour from Bangkok with a driver is another way to make a 1 day trip less tiring.
Either way if you have a few days in the capital and are wondering where to go from Bangkok for a change of scenery then this is the ideal place. The transport options from Bangkok to Ayutthaya also make this an easy day trip or stop before or after Bangkok.
Our Experience At The Ayutthaya Historical Park
A Local Vibe From This Not So Popular Stopping Point of the Amazing Ayutthaya Temples.
The first thing we noticed about Ayutthaya Thailand, apart for the temples of course, was the lack of tourists and amenities. We were literally the only ones to get off the Chiang Mai to Bangkok bus at Ayutthaya, we actually drove past it as the driver had forgotten and we had to turn around so we could be dropped at the side of the highway!
It’s also only an hour or so from Bangkok so a Day Trip to Ayutthaya is a perfect way to visit or indeed taking an Ayutthaya day tour from Bangkok is very doable too.
Ayutthaya Temples Information & History
Thailand’s Ancient Kingdom of Siam Awaits At The End of the Bangkok to Ayutthaya Train!
The vibe here is very local, there aren’t many western restaurants or even than many hostels and accommodation options. In this sense it is quite a refreshing look into Thailand especially considering it is only 84 km from the capital.
Despite the awkward beginnings (being left on the side of the main road at 4am with no tuk tuks and surrounded by barking street dogs!) we actually loved Ayutthaya and it felt much more authentic and personal that places like Angkor Wat that are often swarming in tourists.
Here there were steady local visitors to some of the more well-known temples, but many we had many to ourselves! Ok, don’t expect it to be a totally undiscovered gem, there are tourists here for sure and we noticed this even more on our second visit. But compared to places like Angkor the Ayutthaya historical park is positively quiet and a large amount of the tourism here is from Thai’s themselves.
Founded back in 1350 by King Uthong the city of Ayutthaya was once the grand capital of the Kingdom of Siam. To visit these historic UNESCO listed temples dotted wonder is to step back in time, back to the time of grand and imposing cities and powerful rulers showing off their riches.
The bare brick temples we see today would have been gleaming gold and shimmering in the blistering sun just like many of the modern stupas around the country. In fact Ayutthaya was once considered one of the magnificent cities across Asia and it was said that the gold from the temples could be seen for miles on end.
However the Burmese over ran it in 1767 and left it to rot and ruin. Today a handful of these mysterious and ornate temples remain, offering those willing to explore them the chance to get a glimpse into the past splendor of this magnificent place. It must truly have been a breathtaking sight all those years ago!
An interesting fact, especially since we have now visited the place in question, is that It’s thought that much of the gold used to create Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda came from Ayutthaya after it was plundered by the Burmese! Certainly, the second time we visited we had a different perspective after standing in the shadow of the imposing glistening stupa.
Ayutthaya Day Trip From Bangkok:
Taking the Bangkok to Ayutthaya Train For a Great Ayutthaya Day Trip from Bangkok.
Given the proximity of the Ayutthaya historical park to Bangkok you can easily fit it around a tight schedule like 10 days in Thailand as a day trip from the capital.
Ayutthaya is best explored on a bike, the large and not very well-defined area where the historical park lies covers quite a large amount of ground if attempting on foot. The city is a patchwork of the ancient and the new and a head for exploring all the nooks and crannies along passageways and back streets will yield some amazing and little known ruins and temples. Most of the temples and sights however are on the island that stretches between the Prasak River, the Chao Phraya River and west the Mueang Canal.
We suggest getting a map or using the Maps.Me App and planning out where you want to visit in order to make the most of your time. You can then plan a route between them. We suggest using a push bike too or a motorbike if you are confident riding, though most of the main ones in the centre can easily be reached on foot. We also took a motorbike taxi out to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol (Where the View down from the stupa is and the Buddhas with yellow sashes) and then walked back to the train station from there.
When you arrive at the train station you will be a little way out of the town. The walk into the city though isn’t too far. You will take a short boat ride across the river, this costs only 5 Baht. Then the walk to the main temples is around 1.5 km (0.9 miles).
If you are planning on hiring a bike then this might be a good spot to do it just after the ferry. You will likely pay a little more than if you walk all the way into the centre of the city but it means you have transport straight away and also for your return to the station too.
You will also get hounded for tuk tuks along this street, they will take you on a tour of the temples if you want to tour Ayutthaya with a guide. Negotiate the price beforehand and also know that some of these drivers might rip you off! We suggest organising an Ayutthaya day tour beforehand or with a reputable company if this is something want to do!
A day trip to Ayutthaya certainly doesn’t have to feel rushed even without a tour and with a bike you have plenty of time to explore the main temples which are all pretty close together.
Which Ayutthaya temples to visit on a two-day / Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok:
Be sure to check out the Ayutthaya tourist map to plan out a proper Ayutthaya itinerary so you can make the most of the time you spend here. This way you can create a route around the best Ayutthaya ruins.
Our favourite Ayutthaya attractions are:
Wat Phra Si Sanphet (Main one, large White Chedis)
Wat Maha That (The Famous Ayutthaya Buddha Head In The Tree)
Wat Ratchaburana (One of The Best Remaining Prangs)
Further out Ayutthaya things to do:
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol (Large Pagoda You Can Climb)
Wat Lokayasutharam (Recling Buddha) FREE
Here you will find a mixture of the old and new, many of the ancient Ayutthaya temples are in a state of ruin, some have small restored sections and others have had much work to bring them back to their former glory and are very much working temples.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was a highlight for us with the amazing three chedis reflecting the evening sun over the large complex of ruins. Wat Phanan Choeng however provided a different experience with its huge 19m golden buddha towering over the faithful below. But of course, the most famous feature of all, the buddha head growing within the tree at Wat Mahathat was something not to be missed but be sure to keep your head lower than that of the Buddha if you get a photo alongside it!
Two Days In Ayutthaya Rather Than A Bangkok to Ayutthaya Day Trip?
2 Days Exploring The Ayutthaya Temples/ Ayutthaya Ruins
The Ayutthaya historical park might not have the scale of Angkor Wat or Bagan but it still manages to conjure up those romantic images of a lost kingdom, of a once powerful civilisation left in ruins and an ancient world we could only hope to get a glimpse into. To stroll inside these wonders is to walk in the footsteps of a past civilisation, to stare into the world of almost 700 years ago. The grandeur of these remains and remnants really allows you to imagine just how impressive this entire city of gold must have looked.
Whilst most of the main temples can be done in a day trip the real magic of Ayutthaya is the sheer amount of other temples dotted in and around the city. Many of those are a little further out past the rivers and require a little more time to explore. There are also many smaller ruins dotted in between modern developments too which is another interesting site to see. In fact one of the most fascinating things about Ayutthaya is seeing how the modern city works around these ancient monuments!
More Information: The Best Ayutthaya Accommodation
Budget Backpacker Option: Nakara Hostel Ayutthaya
A fun, clean and central hostel in the heart of the temple district it offers curtain on each bed, a kitchen, lovely communal spaces and on site bike hire. The prices here for the standard of this hostel are dirt cheap too with private rooms being really affordable also. What we also love here is the super helpful owners for you exploration around the city and the huge lockers which makes it the best budget Ayutthaya accommodation.
Economy Hotel: P.U. Inn Resort
A really smart, modern and colourful little resort that offers superior private rooms and bathrooms as well as an onsite pool for really affordable prices makes it a great choice for Ayutthaya accommodation. It has a real homely and family run feel with a restaurant on the ground but also being close to the local market too.
Affordable Treat: Baan Thai House Resort
A relaxing hideaway after an exhausting day exploring the temples the Thai style villas set in the lush gardens are a welcome place to chill! This Ayutthaya accommodation offers a pool, spa, restaurant and bar all for prices that even backpackers wanting a one off treat could stretch too!
Tips and Advice for Your Visit
More Information: Tips for visiting the Ayutthaya temples on your Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok.
* Ayutthaya bike rental is very cheap costing around 40-50 Baht for the full day (£0.90 / $1) and is a great way to get around the small city and one we highly recommend.
* Motorbike rental is also available and is another great way to get around. However the city roads can be quite busy and there are some dodgy companies out there. Do your research and don’t ride if you are inexperienced.
* Motorbike taxis are a great way to get to some of the temples that are a little bit further out, they are cheap and easily flagged down. Be sure to barter though and know your price beforehand. Grab (Asian Uber) is also another good way to get around outside of the main sites.
* Most of the main temples in the Ayutthaya historical park do cost to enter. However we got lucky and arrived on a weekend designated for free entry. Expect to pay around 50 Baht ( £1.11/ $1.44) Ayutthaya entrance fee for those that do charge.
* The Ayutthaya dress code isn’t strict like other temples around Thailand and the region. The sites are considered more like historical sites than religious so wearing shorts and t-shirt, flip flops etc isn’t a big deal. However I would advise wearing something that covers your shoulders and throwing some lightweight longer pants in your bag just in case especially if you’re on a day trip.
* It can get extremely hot in Ayutthaya in the dry season and was almost unbearable (Nov- Feb) . Be sure to go out early, take sun cream and a hat as well as plenty of water as shade can be limited. Also be aware that in the wet season (June- Oct) the Ayutthaya weather is hot, humid and wet but most days you will be able to catch a dry spell as the rain usually comes in the afternoon as a storm!
* If you are planning an Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok be sure to plan out which temples you want to see. Use the app Maps.me to mark them off and plan a route around the Ayutthaya attractions so you can maximise what you see.
* It is also worth knowing the Ayutthaya to Bangkok train times for your return so you don’t get stuck!
* AVOID the elephant rides here, these animals are abused and tourists should not be supporting this barbaric practice. Take a bike or walk instead of subjecting these amazing animals to such pain!
Transport Information For Getting to Ayutthaya from Bangkok, Greater Thailand and Beyond:
Wanting to know how to get to Ayutthaya? Well here’s the lowdown!
Getting here is pretty easy as it is very close to Bangkok meaning it doesn’t take too long to get there whichever method of transport you use and with its proximity to Bangkok and it’s two airports serving many destinations and cities around Thailand, Asia and The World it’s as easy place to get to from anywhere!
How far is Ayutthaya from Bangkok? It’s only 85 km and is an easy day trip and Getting to Ayutthaya from Bangkok isn’t a huge hassle even for those a little unsure or new to independent travel. We recommend taking the train to Ayutthaya from Bangkok as the best method of transport.
It is possible to take a few different public transport options or even take an organised tour. If you are pushed for time and prefer not to take your own transport you can easily get a good organised tour from your hotel door in Bangkok to Ayutthaya and back! Day trips from Bangkok to Ayutthaya are easy to organise.
Transport: Ayutthaya Day Trip From Bangkok and Bangkok to Ayutthaya Train:
How to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok by train
* Taking the Bangkok to Ayutthaya train is quick, easy and cheap. You can take the train to and from the Ayutthaya temples in a single day or you can visit over two days from elsewhere in the country such as Chiang Mai.
* The Bangkok to Ayutthaya train (Hua Lamphong Station to Ayutthaya Railway Station) takes around 2 hours and costs 15 Baht each for third class.
* If you take the third class option be aware that seats are not reserved so get ready to be quick once the train arrives though we didn’t have a huge issue getting seats! The third class option on the train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is still comfortable and clean.
* The train to Ayutthaya leaves Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok regularly, be sure to check the schedule before and be aware the trains aren’t the most punctual. Leave enough time for delays if you are doing an Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok. Be sure to check the Bangkok > Chiang Mai timetable for this route.
You can check the Bangkok to Ayutthaya train schedule here: Train schedule
* Getting to Hua Lamphong Station is easy via the MRT and the train station is next to the MRT station. You might have to transfer from the Sky Train to the MRT depending on your location in the city. Factor that in if you are doing an Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok and be aware the station isn’t right in the city.
* On the train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya there are toilets and also snack carts coming up and down as well as local sellers who jump on at various stations.
* Once you arrive at Ayutthaya train station you will need to walk around 1.5 km (0.9 miles) into town where the temples are. You will take a boat across the river too which was too cheap to even mention!! You can also rent bikes, motorbikes and take tuk tuks and taxis from here but just be aware of the price the closer to the station you are!
* Once at the station walk straight to the ticket counters to buy your Bangkok to Ayutthaya train ticket and ignore anyone trying to help you as scammers are common here or you could save the hassle and book via our recommended method of 12goAsia, you can use the box below to search for tickets which will include all methods of transport from trains, to buses to minibuses.
Book Your Train From Bangkok to Ayutthaya Here:
Transport: Bus and Minibus Options For An Ayutthaya Day Trip From Bangkok:
* You can take a minibus for around 60 Baht which takes around 1.5 hours as an alternative. These can be booked beforehand online or taken from the Victory Monument. They leave often.
* The Public Bangkok to Ayutthaya bus runs from Northern Bus Terminal near Mo Chit BTS. They should take between 1-2 hours.
* Ayutthaya bus station is much closer to the central temple area of the city, roughly a 5-10 min walk, see here.
Transport: Getting to Ayutthaya from Chiang Mai
* Buses run from Chiang Mai to Bangkok overnight and can stop here if requested. However it is wise to arrange a taxi or tuk tuk in advance with your accommodation as you get dropped off at the side of the highway at 4am (Not the bus station where you will arrive if you come from Bangkok!)
* The bus costs around 600 Baht (£13.37 / $17.26) for the sleeper and takes around 12 hours.
* Be sure to tell the driver you need to stop in Ayutthaya and remind them through the night as we nearly missed our stop! In all honestly the bus: Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai and vice versa isn’t the bed option but it is the cheapest!
Night Trains from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya:
* In hindsight we should have taken a sleeper train overnight from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya as the bus as a nightmare, dropped us off in the middle of the night and in a bad location. The train station is much more central, the trains more comfortable and drop you off in a much better location.
* Prices vary according to which bunk you get. It costs 856 Baht for the bottom bunk and 766 Baht for the top bunk. Each have a curtain and a light and are much more comfortable than the night trains in China!
* The train from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya takes 12 hours. Food and toilets are on board and there is clean pillows and bedding too for each passenger. Check out the timetable here. After a day or two here you can continue south on the train from Ayutthaya to Bangkok.
* Be sure to bring a good book, some snacks and drinks and a battery pack for your phone.
* Like all Thai transport the Ayutthaya-Chiang Mai train might not be too punctual so expect it to be late and arrive late!
* If you’re travelling from Bangkok to Ayutthaya by train be sure to book your train a few days in advance as the route is popular and fills up quickly. You can do this at the station or online at 12goAsia. Search for your tickets below, this will include all methods of transport for you to compare prices and times!
* If you are travelling north from Bangkok you can take the Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai train to continue your journey onwards
Book your bus or train from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya here:
Transport: Travelling from Ayutthaya to Kanchanaburi
* We travelled from here on to Kanchanaburi on a minibus which is a less popular route with only 1 bus a day for around 400 Baht (£8.91 / $11.51) and taking 3 hours.
* The transport options going on this route are limited and there is no train connecting the two
* The best way to travel from Ayutthaya to Kanchanaburi might be to get the train to Bangkok and either stay overnight or catch a connecting train. This would be a cheaper way than the minibus but would take longer.
* The train from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok takes around 2.5 hours and leaves from Thonburi station twice a day.
Transport: Flights to Ayutthaya?
Being a small provincial city close to the capital Ayutthaya doesn’t have an airport unsurprisingly. However it is only 61 km from Don Muang Airport in Northern Bangkok which is a more regional hub around Asia and Thailand and is 106 km from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, the larger airport with more long haul flights.
So if you would like to fly here then you must take the Bangkok train to Ayutthaya!
Have You Ever Done a Ayutthaya Day Trip From Bangkok or Took a Longer Trip to See the Ayutthaya Temples?
Book A Tour Of The Ayutthaya Temples Here:
Book Your Accommodation Here
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