Ayutthaya is most well known for its Historic Park boasting many temples, however there are also many beautiful temples that are not within the park and its borders. This blog covers two temples that are outside Ayutthaya Historic Park – Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Wat Yai Chaimongkhon Temples.
Getting There: the temples outside of the central historic park are best explored by motorbike which you can rent from your hostel or one of the rental shops by the pier as you cross to the railway station
Costs: motorbike rental is ฿200, entrance fees are ฿50 per temple.
Suggested Time: dedicate an afternoon to temple hopping around the temples outside of the island.
I’ve picked my two favorite temples outside of the Ayutthaya Historic park however as there are so many temples in this city you may find others that are equally as good while out exploring on your own.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is the temple used by the Ayuthaya tourist board on their pamphlets, its a must see as it is one of the most photogenic temples in the city. The templse is a 10 minute drive out of the city along route 3143, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The temple has a central prang standing 35 meters tall, surrounded by a number of smaller prangs. Built by King Prasat Thong in honor of his mother, you’ll notice the remarkable similarities in architectural style to that of Angkor Wat.
Wat Yai Chaimongkhon, my second recommendation for temples outside of the historic park, is located on the Eastern side of the city. You will have to drive through the island and out the other side to get to this impressive temple, but there are plenty of smaller temples to stop off at along the way. Chaimongkhon was built in 1357 by King U-Thong as a monastery and is mentioned frequently in the history of Ayutthaya.
This was my first temple in Ayutthaya which probably made it all the more impressive, for the aesthetic look of the temple this is still my favorite. The temple itself is a bell shaped chedi flanked on each side by large Buddhas and surrounded by a wall of smaller Buddha’s. You can still climb to the top of the chedi where there are a few ornate gold Buddha’s and a nice view.
While on this side of the island it is worth heading over to Wat Phanan Choeng, an ornate temple which houses a 19 meter high 14 meter wide giant gold Buddha. Entrance is free. Obviously Ayutthaya Historic Park is the main attraction, but if you’re keen on exploring some of the other temples and sights this city has to offer, these would be my top two recommendations!