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Before Bangkok, there was the beautiful Ayutthaya. Located in the heart of the country Ayutthaya was the capital until the arrival of the 18th century. Even now, you can see many influences of this ancient capital in planning Bangkok. Even though Ayutthaya’s glory days are over, you can see the remaining 67 temples and the ruins that tell a tale over three centuries! In this ancient capital lies Wat Chaiwatthanaram—a unique Buddhist temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. We are here to guide you on your journey to the old capital city and provide you with all the information you need to make your way to Ayutthaya Wat Chaiwatthanaram!

A Closer Look At Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Many state that the temple was built after Ayutthaya won over the Khmer’s Longvek.

Image Credit: Evilarry for Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1630, this Buddhist temple is an ode to King Prasat Thong’s mother. The architecture reflects the amalgamation of the Khmer and Ayutthaya styles. It took over 20 years to build this revered temple. It is visited by thousands of pilgrims who seek to pay their respects. The Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple boasts Khmer architecture. This has led many to believe that the temple may have been built to commemorate the victory of Ayutthaya on Longvek. This royal temple was meant for rituals, and many royals were cremated here. This temple has been through a lot—invasion, theft, beheading of statues, defacing temple walls, as well as a flood. So, you can say it’s doing pretty well, given its age!

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Things To Do Near Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Apart from the beautiful temples and museums, Ayutthaya offers a list of tourist attractions that you must visit to learn about the local traditions. Here is the curated list of things to do near Wat Chaiwatthanaram:

Ayutthaya Night Market

An aerial picture of night market near Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Image Credit: Zairon for Wikimedia Commons

The night market in Ayutthaya is a must-visit. This bustling street is filled with street food, drinks, handicrafts and souvenirs. You may have to bargain a bit here to get yourself a fair price for things, but overall, it is well worth the visit. This is the best place to experience Thai cuisine in its rawest form, as opposed to the polished dishes you would find in restaurants. Open Friday to Sunday from 4 PM to 10 PM, grab a drink and enjoy some live music. If you stick around for a while, you might even spot a street performance or two.

Floating Market In Ayutthaya

An aerial view of Floating Market In Ayutthaya near Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Image Credit: Mr.Peerapong Prasutr for Wikimedia Commons

Thailand is known for its floating markets. And Ayutthaya does not disappoint. This delightful market can be found on the Chao Phraya River, where you can buy some fruits, vegetables and crafts. The wooden boats are filled with hawkers calling out the best product prices. Do not forget to bargain a bit. Open from 9 AM to 6 PM, this market allows you to experience the day-to-day lives of the Thai locals. Snap a picture for your postcard of this vibrant scenario. You will not need an image to remember this beautiful market.

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Ayutthaya Historical Park

A picture of Ayutthaya Historical Park near Wat

Image Credit: Vyacheslav Argenberg for Wikimedia Commons

Wat Chaiwatthanaram history is just a portion of Ayutthaya. The capital has a rich history, thanks to King Ramathibodi. The Ayutthayan empire conquered Sukhothai and Khmer. It was at its peak in the 17th century. In the meantime, the Burmese-Siamese war had started. The war seemed so far away, yet it made its way into the capital city, and the city was burned down in 1767. You will see now the ruins that managed to survive the brutal onslaught brought by the invasion. The Historical Park in Ayutthaya covers a significant portion of what the city used to look like in its glory days. You can hire a tuk-tuk or walk to the different temples on foot. If you hire a tuk-tuk for a day, it will cost you 200 Baht/ hour. But you will have to bargain for the price a bit. Some of the most famous include Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol, Wat Panang Choeng, and many more. Each temple has an entrance fee, but some are free.

Elephant Kraal Pavilion

A picture of Elephant Kraal Pavilion near Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Image Credit: Mr.Peerapong Prasutr for Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that elephants are of significant importance in Thai culture? These animals are deeply respected and seen as a sign of prosperity and blessings. The Elephant Kraal Pavilion in Ayutthaya allows you to interact with elephants from a safe distance. This pavilion is famous because it is where elephants were trained for the military and the royals.  If you book a river cruise, you will stop at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, too. From the river, you can capture stunning shots of the temple.

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Entrance Fee at Wat Chaiwatthanaram

A lot of Buddha statues were beheaded during the Burmese Invasion.

Image Credit: Nord794ub for Wikimedia Commons

Yes, you will be charged a 50 Baht Wat Chaiwatthanaram entrance fee upon entry. To get to the temple, you can take a tuk-tuk around the city from your accommodations. The public transport is ample and convenient. Go to the riverside to capture the best image of the Wat Chaiwatthanaram during sunrise or sunset.

Best Time To Visit Wat Chaiwatthanaram

The best time to get images of the temple is during sunset.

Image Credit: JJ Harrison for Wikimedia Commons

The temple is open from 8 AM till 6:30 PM. It is often suggested that you visit the temple after midday since it can get hot and there is not a lot of shade. Even with plenty of sunscreen and a hat, you cannot enjoy your tour around the temple. In the evening, the onslaught of the sun reduces significantly. And if you stick around for the sunset, you are in for a treat. The colours of the temple bricks are complemented by the fading sunlight. You have the perfect photographic opportunities during this time.


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This beautiful temple vouches for Thailand’s rich history. Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple captures your heart with its detail-oriented designs, royal architecture, and stunning backdrops. This temple should be on your bucket list if your new journey calls for peace and self-discovery. Plan your trip to Thailand today and enrich your soul with culture, history, and serenity.

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Cover Image Credit: Mr Peerapong Prasutr for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Where will I find Wat Chaiwatthanaram?

Wat Chaiwatthanaram is in the city of Ayutthaya. It is considered to be one of the most sought-after places in Thailand.

Who built the Wat Chaiwatthanaram?

King Prasat Thong is given the credit for the construction of this monastery in honour of his mother. The architecture of Wat Chaiwatthanaram is designed to reflect its true essence.

Do I have to follow any dress code in Wat Chaiwatthanaram?

It is not a rigid dress code. But because Wat Chaiwatthanaram is sacred ground, you must dress modestly. This helps in maintaining the sanctity of the place.

What is the Ayutthaya Wat Chaiwatthanaram entrance fee?

The entrance fee for Wat Chaiwatthanaram tends to be around 50 Baht. It is best to check with the authorities of the temple to know the exact cost.

How to get to Wat Chaiwatthanaram?

From your hotel, you can get a tuk-tuk to drop you at the temple. If you are in and around Bangkok, taking the train would be the ideal option.

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