Trip to Ayutthaya : Taking tuk tuks to pray at temples around the old capital of Thailand “Ayutthaya” (day trip)
Have you ever taken a tuk tuk? If you try it you will probably like it; even I like it.
Let‘s get started….
I will take you out of a busy city, like Bangkok, and head to an old capital of Thailand “Ayutthaya” on a day trip. Actually, you can travel by yourself (it is so easy) and this will be a good chance for travelers who never take tuk tuks.
“Ayutthaya” used to be a capital of Thailand. In that period, Buddhism flourished the most, so there are many important temples located around the city. All temples are located close to each other so it is easy to go around.
You can change your enviroment from Bangkok by traveling to the old capital via train (please check timetable on www.railway.co.th). From Hua Lamphong Railway Station (ticket price is around 20 baht), you will enjoy local food sold by hawkers that you might have never seen before. On the way there, you will see scenery along the way such as tree, wooden house, and rice field.
When you arrive at the Ayutthaya Railway Station you can take a tuk tuk ( call : 08-7365-3010, 08-3039-3755 to contact tuk tuk club in front of Ayutthaya railway station) to interesting destinations. You can ask your tuk tuk driver about interesting destinations, maybe they will be a good tour guide.
We will start at “Wat Phananchoeng”, located close to Pasak River, five kilometers from the town. We will see beautiful architecture. Then we will walk through the temple where the “Buddha Phananchoeng” or “Buddha Trai Rattana Nayok” (locals called “Luang Pho Toh”) is placed. Thais believe that if you come pray here your business will improve and you will succeed in your work. You will start the day with good things.
Next we will go to “Wat Yai Chaimongkol” located to the east of Pasak River. Locals call this temple “Wat Chao Phraya Thai“. The intersting point of the temple is the big pagoda which Thais believe was renovated during the period of King Naresuan the Great. Bahum (the eight victories and blessing) can be found inside the big pagoda, and Buddha Chaimongkol is placed inside the Buddhist sanctuary. This is one of the most popular temples in Ayutthaya, so you will see a lot of tourists here (admission is 20 baht).
I recommend you try the famous noodles with shredded chicken at Wat Yai Boat Noodle Restaurant located in front of Wat Yai. Wild rice noodles with shredded chicken is hot item here (restaurant is open 06.00-17.00). Do not miss it!!!
After we pray at those temples and try delicious foods, we will head to the historic site at Wat Mahathat where Ayuttaya people are very proud of a statue of Buddha’s head entwined in the roots of a Bodhi Tree. It is a World Heritage Site that is recognized by UNESCO. Let’s buy a ticket….(50 baht for foreigner).
Wat Mahathat was a very important temple in the Ayutthaya period because this temple was at the heart of the town, and Buddha’s relics were placed in this temple. The highlight is Buddha’s head inside the Bodhi Tree. Since UNESCO has recognized it as a World Heritage Site on both nature and cultural sides, there are many tourists and foreign tours that come here to take pictures (at this spot taking picture while standing is not allowed, only sitting).
If you have more time, I recommend visiting “Wat Phra Sri Sanphet” not far from Wat Mahathat. It is a royal temple in Ayutthaya. There are no monks staying in this temple during the rainy season, which follows the model of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok. What I would like you to see are three big pagodas in Wat Phra Sri Sanphet that are old, beautiful, and worthy historic sites to see (if you can stay at night in Ayutthaya, you can visit Wat Phra Sri Sanphet at night time. The temple lights up at 19.30-21.00 and 30 baht for foreigners)
It is not busy at night time. There are many others historic sites in Ayutthaya but it is not possible to visit all in one day. If you have more time, you can visit more. Besides temple described above, there are other temples, the floating market, a museum, and Ayutthaya Royal Temple. You can tell your tuk tuk driver to take you to these places and if you visit here for first time, tuk tuk drivers have travel programs to offer.
Another interesting activity is riding a bike around town. There are bike rental services. I think it is a fun activity like taking tuk tuks and I will try if I have a chance