HomeAsiaSoutheast AsiaThailandSix Days at the Ruined Temples of Ancient Ayutthaya, Thailand By Marcos Detourista. Updated on April 10, 2016.My itinerary from six days on a DIY bicycle tour around the ruined city and temples of ancient Ayutthaya in Central Thailand. For many travelers, Ayutthaya serves as a convenient starting point for an epic itinerary exploring ancient ruins in Southeast Asia… not for me though. Not having seen Ayutthaya yet was a bit odd considering that I had already explored many of the major ancient cities and temple ruins in Southeast Asia like Angkor, Bagan, Borobodur, Prambanan, and even Sukhothai.I finally had my chance when I traveled to Thailand on my way to India. I was about to spend one month each in India and Nepal, and wasn’t up for a crazy itinerary just yet. I knew traveling to these two countries could potentially be too overwhelming for me (and it was!). So, my gameplan in Thailand was to spend a relaxed stay in Bangkok and somewhere else nearby.Ayutthaya was the perfect fit.Journey to AyutthayaAfter my arrival in Thailand, I got on a local bus to Ayutthaya from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal. Getting to popular destinations like Ayutthaya was easy even for non-Thais, like me, because of its popularity and omnipresence of government tourist information booth at transport terminals.The ride only took around two hours, and made its last stop beside Ayutthaya’s Chao Phrom Market, which was within an easy walk to many guesthouses and hotels. Waiting at the bus stand across Mo Chit BTS Station for the city bus to Bangkok-Chatuchak’s Northern Bus Terminal Saffron Robed Monk at the River Ferry Crossing near Chao Prohm MarketI stayed in Ayutthaya for six days, which was more than enough time to see the major sights. One day was probably enough to explore Ayutthaya’s old city but I didn’t mind staying longer because I enjoyed exploring the ancient ruins and it was very cheap to travel there.The ruins of the ancient city were some of the most impressive I had seen throughout Southeast Asia and because it was interwoven almost seamlessly with the “new city,” a visit provides an excellent immersion to Thai culture … including awesome Thai food. My sublime welcome meal in Thailand — Pad Thai with a scenic riverside view at Bann Kun Pra Guesthouse and Restaurant Buddhist shrine at Chao Phrom Market One of the many meals I ate at Chao Phrom Market. They were delicious and only cost US$1-2. Ice Cream Stick sold at the sidestreet.Ancient AyutthayaFounded in the year 1350, Ayutthaya served as the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam. It was widely known as the “Invincible City” because of its strategic location on an island bounded entirely by three big rivers.By the 16th century, Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with over 1 million inhabitants and a trading capital in Asia. Its decline came abruptly when the Burmese (Royal army of present-day Myanmar) invaded the city and almost completely burnt the city down to the ground.What’s left today are the monumental ruins that serve as remnants of its former glory. UNESCO had listed the Historic City of Ayutthaya as a World Heritage Site.Ayutthaya Historical ParkGetting around town by bicycle was easy and popular since most of the sights were clustered in a relatively small area. Renting a bicycle for a whole days costs B40 only.The admission fee to the major temple ruins costs up to B50 per site. I bought a composite ticket for B220, which included admission to these five sites: Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratcha Burana, Wat Phra Ram, Ancient Royal Palace Complex, and Chantharakasem National Museum.City Center and Southern Outskirts Exploring Ayutthaya Historical Park by Bicycle. The seat also served as a convenient tripod :) Elephants at Wat Phra Ram Cute Baby Elephant. Haven’t really gotten any urges to ride these majestic creatures during my travels. Small temple ruins surrounded by a moat Ayutthaya City Pillar Shrine Beautiful teak wood house (Kum Khun Phaan) in a peaceful spot at the park Wat Jao Prahm. Lots of these temple ruins scattered around town. Wat Chaiwatthanaram, the first major site and most impressive ruined temple that I visited in Ayutthaya. The inner parts of the temple complex was closed off for conservation works. So, visitors could only see the towering spires from a distance. Closer view of the chedi and (central) prang at Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Saint Joseph Catholic Church, a reminder of the wide variety of people that settled in Ayutthaya. Old prang and cloister hidden inside the temple complex of Wat Phutthaisawan View from the towering prang. Main inner chamber inside the prang of Wat Phutthaisawan. Reclining Buddha sparsely covered with golden leaves. Viharn of the Reclining Buddha. Sitting buddha-lined cloister at Wat Phutthaisawan Me at Wat Phutthaisawan Aboard a local ferry crossing with two school children and my rented bicycle. Massive sitting Buddha at Wat Phanan Choeng Taking advantage of the empty prayer hall. Chinese influences at Wat Phanan Choeng Intricate stone boat sculpture at Wat Phanan Choeng Found this shipyard full of traditional wooden boats beside Wat Phanan Choeng. I could not resist stopping by to take photos. Waiting for the sunset, which didn’t appear during my whole stay at Ayutthaya.City Center and Eastern Outskirts Wat Yai Chai Mang Khon, the largest functional temple that I visited in Ayutthaya Local devotees putting a golden cloth over the reclining Buddha. Most of the Buddha images surrounding the towering chedi were covered with these vibrant colors. Buddha images covered in gold leaves. Inside the chedi at Wat Yai Chai Mang Khon. Elephant tour passing by Wat Khueedao, located at the eastern outskirts of Ayutthaya. Ruined chedi at Wat Khudeedao Taking a long rest under the shade. Wat Maha That, probably the most popular site in Ayutthaya. Most Buddha statues at Wat Mahat That were beheaded, when the Burmese invaded the city More headless Buddhas. Surviving Buddha. The famous Buddha head surrounded by tree roots at Wat Maha That Me at Wat Maha That Wat Ratcha Burana, located next to Mahat That. Wat Ratcha Burana had the best-looking central prang among the ruined temple complexes in Ayutthaya View from the central prang at Wat Ratcha Burana Faded frescoes found inside the central prang of Wat Ratcha BuranaCity Center and Northern Outskirts Reclining Buddha at Wat Tummickarat Massive pagodas at the Ancient Royal Palace Much of the Ancient Royal Palace was already in ruins. Phra Mongkhon Bophit located beside the Royal Palace ruins. Massive sitting Buddha at Phra Mongkhon Bophit Gold-left and coin covered Buddha at Phra Mongkhon Bophit Spiffy-looking Wat Kasatrathirat Worawihan Wat Pakkran, located at the northern outskirts of the city and was seemingly abandoned. Queen Suriyothai Monument, not really worth the long bicycle ride. Wat Phu Khao Thong, which looked very similar to the towering pagodas of Bagan in Myanmar. Wat Na PhramaneInside Wat Na Phramane Chantharakasem National Museum. I wasn’t able to explore the museum because I arrived after closing time. Wat Phra Ram’s central prang and ruined structures. Ayutthaya-Bangkok TrainOn my way back to Bangkok, I traveled by train. It was my first time to experience the railways in Thailand … a very sane intro to what I would experience weeks later on the Indian railways. Ayutthaya to Bangkok Train Ayutthaya to Bangkok Train Hua Lamphong Railway Station in Bangkok Don’t leave yet. There’s more!Indochina Itinerary – Thailand, Cambodia…Philippine Airports – 2018 Terminal Fee,…26 Most Beautiful Islands & Beaches in the PhilippinesBalabac Trip Guide for First-TimersDiscover more blogs and travel tips in:ThailandAyutthayaSoutheast AsiaAsia See all placesLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Comments Merson Espanola saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm Hi Sir Marcos,Ako po ulit. Mangungulit po ako ah pede po makahingi ng itinerary nyo sa thailand lalo na yung sa ayutthaya. Ilang araw po maikot lahat yung tourist spot nila. And how much po yung budget po.(estimated lng po)Maraming SalamatReply Marcos Detourist saysJanuary 15, 2016 at 9:24 pm Hello Merson. You can see all the main sites in Ayutthaya in as fast as half a day. It’s just 2 hours away from Bangkok, and there are frequent transport options available. The ticket to the main sites cost B220 and bicycle rental at around B50/day. Backpacker’s budget is Ayutthaya can be as low as US$20-US$30 per day.Reply Start A TripSee travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.