Here’s how you can do an Ayutthaya day tour from Bangkok within 8 hours

Planning to take an Ayutthaya day tour from Bangkok? I did this trip twice and here’s everything you need to know about visiting the temples!

Located just about an hour’s drive from Bangkok, Ayutthaya is easily accessible by train, bus, or car, making it an ideal day trip without requiring extensive travel.

My first visit to Ayutthaya was in 2011, part of my backpacking route in Asia.

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At the time, I did not know how to take great photos yet so when my family decided to add this to our Thailand trip itinerary, I agreed to visit again to take better pictures.

As the travel blogger in my family, I am always the one assigned to plan trips (by default, they don’t even ask me), so I was kind of hesitant to go since I have already been.

I have a great interest in history, architecture, or cultural heritage so the day trip from Ayutthaya was worthwhile for me. Plus, this is really a photography spot in Thailand!

Here’s everything you need to know about doing a day trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya.

If you also have any questions regarding guide recommendations, let me know in the comment box below – my tour guide is the best and I would love to recommend as many clients to him!

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Ayutthaya day trip: is it worth it?

ABSOLUTELY! The drive from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is only an hour (without traffic), so it’s not a hassle to do this day trip. That is if you opt for a guided tour with transportation included.

If you do it alone, expect to travel to Ayutthaya from Bangkok for about 2 hours. This article will also provide detailed instructions on taking public transportation.

Aside from the logistics, Ayutthaya is worth visiting if you love history and culture. Exploring these temples offers a deeper understanding of Buddhist culture and its role in Thai society.

Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom and flourished from the 14th to the 18th centuries.

The city was known for its grandeur and architectural prowess, hosting numerous magnificent temples and palaces.

Another reason to visit Ayutthaya Temple is that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of large ruins of temples and mansions that show how beautiful and innovative the architecture was in the past.

The temples in Ayutthaya have unique designs that combine parts from traditional Thai, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Khmer styles.

Is Ayutthaya safe?

Yes, it is! Ayutthaya, like most tourist spots in Thailand, is used to having travelers come and has the right facilities and services to make sure everyone stays safe.

But, as with any trip, it’s smart to follow these general safety rules when doing an Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok:

  • Beware of Scams: Be cautious of common tourist scams such as tuk-tuk drivers insisting on taking you to specific shops or restaurants for commissions. Always agree on the price before starting any service.
  • Keep Valuables Secure: While violent crime is rare, petty theft like pickpocketing can occur, especially in crowded areas. Keep your belongings secure and be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Stay Hydrated and Protected from the Sun: The heat in Ayutthaya can be intense, especially around midday. Staying hydrated and using sun protection to avoid heatstroke and sunburn is important.
  • Respect Local Customs: Showing respect at religious sites is essential. Dress modestly when visiting temples, covering shoulders and knees, and remove shoes where required.
  • Travel Insurance: It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers health issues and theft, giving you an extra layer of security.
  • Road Safety: If renting a bike or scooter, always wear a helmet and be cautious of the local traffic, which can be more chaotic than you might be used to.

Overall, there is nothing to worry about safety in Ayutthaya, even if you are traveling alone.

Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok Experience: temples to visit

The temple complex is quite large, but you can get a free map at the entrance to help you navigate. As I did this with a guided tour, I did not take these maps, and I regret it!

However, the guide explanations were enough. I also did a private tour (with my family), so the guide focused on our group alone.

I saw many tour groups of up to 25 people, and it seemed everyone was walking everywhere they wanted without a route.

Here are some things to do in the Ayutthaya Historical Complex:

Wat Phra Si Sanphet: the largest temple in Ayutthaya, known for its three distinctive chedis

Once the holiest temple on the site of the old Royal Palace in Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Si Sanphet features three distinctive chedis, which were built to enshrine the ashes of three Ayutthayan kings.

Its architecture inspired the design of Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew.

Don’t miss the three large chedis, the most iconic part of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. They were built to house the ashes of three Ayutthayan kings.

The temple also features various Buddha images and smaller chedis.

Wat Mahathat: famous for the Buddha’s head entwined within the roots of a tree

ayutthaya day tour from bangkok

Wat Mahathat is a famous temple in the middle of Ayutthaya built in the late 1400s. It was an important royal and religious place before it was destroyed in 1767.

It was known for its central prang, a shrine tower. The most famous feature of the temple is the Buddha’s head, which is tangled up in tree roots.

Wat Ratchaburana: known for its fine stucco work and crypts containing ancient relics

Wat Ratchaburana was built by King Borommarachathirat II in 1424 on the graves of his two older brothers. It is famous for its well-preserved prang and crypts, which used to hold priceless items.

I went down into the crypt to see original paintings from the 15th century that show scenes from the Jataka stories, which are about the Buddha’s past lives.

It’s not as busy as other areas, so take your time and enjoy the calm atmosphere and intricate art!

Wat Chaiwatthanaram: a majestic temple on the riverbank, built in a classic Khmer style

ayutthaya from bangkok

King Prasat Thong built Wat Chaiwatthanaram in 1630. It is a beautiful example of a Khmer-style building.

Its shape represents the Buddhist view of the universe, with Mount Meru in the middle and the seas around it.

There was a riverboat tour offered, but I did not do it since I wanted to spend more time walking. It usually takes 1-3 hours, and you can choose the time of the day to go on the cruise.

I recommend early morning or sunset since it can get really hot! Prices start from 200-500 baht ($5-$14). There is also a private boat tour for $54.

Wat Lokayasutharam: known for its large reclining Buddha image, measuring 42 meters in length

The big Buddha statue at Wat Lokayasutharam makes it easy to tell that it was built in the early Ayutthaya time.

One of the best things about the spot is the 42-meter-long Buddha that is lying down.

Like many ancient temples in Ayutthaya, the exact origins and the person responsible for the construction of Wat Lokayasutharam remain somewhat obscure.

I did not understand this part of the tour fully because the origins of it were unclear, so it’s best to do further reading.

(If I have the time to read more about this Buddha, I will update this!)

Best Ayutthaya Tour from Bangkok

Since I went here with my family (group of 8 people), we opted for private a day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok.

The driver picked us up at our hotel with a super spacious van (I believe it was a Nissan Urvan). On the way to Ayutthaya, we stopped for breakfast that we paid on our own.

To be honest, I was asleep the whole ride because we went out in Bangkok the previous night. So I did not see if this route was scenic. The ride was really fast too since it was a private drive.

The private car also has a tour guide included so we really didn’t have to think about anything but follow the guide.

What I love about this tour is that the guide also lets us stay in one spot for a longer time compared to other big group tours that’s always rushing.

We visited at least 12 different historical sites and the guide has explained the historical facts very well. My issue with this tour is that it was SO HOT.

I had to remove my cover-ups during the walk but nobody really said anything and I wasn’t wearing revealing clothing. As you can see in the photos, my outfit was more or less “conservative.”

The tour also includes all entrance fees to the sites and temples. If you are visiting them on your own and individually, you have to pay for separate entrance tickets which is around $2-$6 USD.

More popular temples tend to have higher entrance fees. After the tour, we were treated to a delicious Thai lunch (included in the tour price) then drove back to Bangkok.

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How to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok

Ayutthaya is about 73 KM (45 miles) from Bangkok and these are the modes of transport available for this route:

Bangkok to Ayutthaya by train

If you want a scenic ride from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, you can take the train and it’s very affordable.

You can catch the train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

From your hotel, you can take the MRT (Metro) to Hua Lamphong MRT Station, which is directly connected to the railway station. Alternatively, a taxi or a tuk-tuk can take you directly to the station.

The train runs every hour, and you can buy tickets at the station.

This route is frequent, so there is no need to pre-book if you decide to do a last-minute Ayutthaya Day Tour from Bangkok.

The train journey takes about 2 hours (estimate), but the duration depends on the class and seat. A first-class seat costs around $9, while the lowest class costs barely a dollar.

The train stops at Ayutthaya Railway Station. Collect your belongings and alight when the train reaches the station.

From Ayutthaya station, you can take a tuk-tuk, a motorcycle taxi, or rent a bicycle to get to the temples. The ride to the historical park area, where most temples are located, is about 10-15 minutes.

Bus from Bangkok to Ayutthaya

Buses are faster than trains and are pretty comfortable, usually equipped with air conditioning. You can take the bus to Ayutthaya from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal.

Like the train, you don’t need to pre-book the bus to Ayutthaya from Bangkok since it departs every 20 minutes. Just arrive at the station and buy your tickets (around $2).

Shared transportation from Bangkok to Ayutthaya

In Bangkok, some minivans gather passengers and leave when it’s full. They are usually faster than the bus or train but it can get cramped – beware if you are tall as these vans are small.

These minivans are filled easily and there isn’t a lot of wait time to fill the van since Bangkok-Ayutthaya is a famous route.

You can catch the minivan to Ayutthaya at the Victory Monument. You can see minivans with the sign “Ayutthaya.” There are also minivans parked at the Mo Chit Bus Terminal.

This mode of transportation to Ayutthaya takes 1-1.5 hours (really fast!) and the fare starts at 70 baht ($1.90) per person.

Can I get a boat from Bangkok to Ayutthaya?

Boats from Bangkok to Ayutthaya are less common but you can book a private cruise. You can go to the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok to take this tour but it will be more costly.

The fare starts at 1,500 baht ($42). This is a full-day experience best for those returning to Bangkok after a day trip to Ayutthaya.

Some boat cruises also include meals. If taking the boat to Ayutthaya, you must leave Bangkok as early as possible to maximize the day (say around 6:00 AM).

Once in Ayutthaya, you can rent a bicycle or a motorbike to get around, or you can hire a tuk-tuk for the day. Rates for tuk-tuks can be negotiated at the train station or any major entry point into the city.

How much time do you need in Ayutthaya?

This post only focuses on the Ayutthaya Temples and Historical sites, so most of the information here is only for day trips from Bangkok.

A day trip to Ayutthaya is sufficient as it is not far from Bangkok (1 hour ride). With a full-day tour, you can see the major highlights of Ayutthaya (8-9 hours).

If you are particularly interested in history, archaeology, or want a more leisurely pace, consider spending one to two nights in Ayutthaya. With more time, you can:

  • Explore More Extensively: Visit additional temples and historical sites outside the central island.
  • Enjoy Local Life: Experience the local markets, try more of the regional cuisine, and perhaps even catch a cultural event or festival.
  • Visit Museums: Spend time in the local museums like the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum which offers insights into the artifacts found in the area.
  • Relax and Absorb: Have more time to sit and appreciate the serene atmospheres at various temple sites without feeling rushed.

For those who want to dive deeply into the culture, history, and surrounding nature or perhaps engage in volunteer opportunities, staying longer than two days is suggested.

Ayutthaya offers a slower pace and smaller-town feel than Bangkok, providing a more relaxing environment for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

What to wear for the Ayutthaya day trip

Ayutthaya, as I have observed, and as the tour guide told us, is not very strict when it comes to dress code compared to other temples in Thailand.

However, having visited many temples in the country, I go to the safe side and never ever wear shorts or short dresses.

A scarf or sarong will be handy to cover your shoulders, legs, and knees. If you did not read this before your Ayutthaya day tour from Bangkok, you can rent sarongs at the entrance of the temples (around $3).

Additionally, there is a strict dress code in Bang Pa In District where you have to fully cover. You also can’t wear tight pants or leggings.

Can men wear shorts in Ayutthaya?

Yes, men can wear shorts in Ayutthaya, but there are some areas that even men are not allowed to wear shorts. To avoid the hassle, just wear light pants.

There are also sarongs for men that you can easily find anywhere in Thailand for less than $5.

Can you visit Ayutthaya on your own?

Yes, you can. It is definitely the cheaper route and recommended for backpackers or those who are traveling slowly.

You have several options to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok: train, bus, minivan, or private car. The train is a popular choice for its balance of cost, comfort, and authentic experience.

Once you are in Ayutthaya, you can take a tuk tuk to the sites or rent a bicycle. I honestly would have done the bicycle rental on my own had I known. I saw some travelers doing this and it looked so much fun!

The temples are pretty much next to each other so you can just visit at your own pace – definitely consider the bicycle route!

You just need to pay for the entrance fees separately which starts from $2-$6. Famopus temples have higher entrance fees.

As I was on a guided tour, I really can’t share the experience of doing it on your own but I have done the Ayutthaya-Bangkok route many times. The commute is very easy and safe.

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