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Have an extra day in Bangkok? Head out on an Ayutthaya day trip to discover the best of what this historical city has to offer! Just a mere hour away from Bangkok, it’s easy to book a day tour that’ll have you saying “wow!” Keep reading to find out why you should visit the Ayutthaya Historical Park and how.

Four images of Ayutthaya with the overlay text stating, "day trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya Historical Park." | The Wanderful Me

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Steeped in history that’ll have you awe-ing in amazement, the Ayutthaya Historical Park boasts an array of temple ruins, a number of temple complexes that’ll take your breath away, and even a dark, yet captivating past that’ll have you shuddering.

A dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 as the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom and thrived from the 14th to 18th century as one of the world’s largest urban cities.

Once a global leader in diplomacy and commerce, Ayutthaya was attacked and burned to the ground by the Burmese in the late 18th century.

Sadly, this remarkable city was never rebuilt and now remains as an archaeological site tourists and travelers can wander about in wonder, many heading to the city on an Ayutthaya day trip…

Which is exactly what I did with an expert guide from TakeMeTour.


How cool would it be to have a local guide in the back of your pocket who can share with you all the little-known secrets, tips, and tricks of a destination?

That’s exactly what it was like when booking a day trip to Ayutthaya with TakeMeTour.

My handy dandy private tour guide, Arnon, knew everything and anything about Ayutthaya.

Like how the faces of numerous Buddha statues have all been stolen and they’re now sold on the black market for a small fortune. Or that there’s a massive bee hive nestled into one of the temple walls (it’s cooler than it sounds!).

Safe to say, I was pretty freakin’ impressed! But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Ayutthaya Day Trip from Start to Finish

A crumbling temple in the Wat Mahathat, framed by a tree trunk to give the photo some depth. The temple's doorway is black, giving it an ominous feel.

It all started on an early morning in Bangkok. Picked up from my hotel in the center of the city in Arnon’s private car, we headed from Bangkok to Ayutthaya on what would be about an hour drive.

As we closed in on the previous historic capital, Arnon let me know our first stop on the day trip would be the Wat Chai Watthanaram temple, located on the outskirts of the city.

Wat Chai Watthanaram

One of Ayutthaya’s most impressive temples, Wat Chai Watthanaram was used by the king and the royal family as a monastery and built in honor of the king’s mother.

Wat Chai Watthanaram stands tall as one of the most beautiful and remarkable temple complexes in the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

It was here we learned all about the Buddha statue head stealing, as most of the Buddha statues are lacking their heads (and arms, for that matter!).

A row of Buddha statues missing one key thing: their head! And a few arms.

Wat Mahathat

Located smack dab in the center of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, Wat Mahathat is likely the most popular temple for one big reason — it’s the temple that holds the infamous Buddha head entwined in an ancient tree’s roots.

This is definitely a must-see on any Ayutthaya day tour!

The most popular thing to see at Wat Mahathat -- the Buddha head entwined in an ancient tree's roots. Definitely a must see on any Ayutthaya day tour.
The red brick of Ayutthaya's temples is mesmerizing! Even though most are crumbling, they've stood for centuries and will endure.

It was here Arnon let me know this temple was hugely important during Ayutthaya’s thriving years due to it being the place for enshrined Buddha relics and was also the seat of the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism.

Not to mention, this temple is insanely beautiful and has little corners where you’ll find yourself completely alone and immersed in the magical aura of the place!

Sophie walks through the temple complex, admiring and awe-ing at the temples of Ayutthaya.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet & Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Featuring three massive Chedi-style temples, Wat Phra Si Sanphet is probably the most beautiful and captivating temple complexes within the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

Two of the three Chedi temples in Wat Phra Si Sanphet, standing tall in the distance.

This was also the temple complex where Arnon pointed out the massive bee hive nestled into one of the Chedi walls. It doesn’t sound very cool but boy, was I mesmerized watching the bees do their wasp defense mechanism, which looks like the bees are doing the wave!

Keep an eye out for it if you venture out on this Ayutthaya day trip!

Looking through a crumbling temple window at a Chedi.
A Chedi-style temple standing tall and strong.

Located just around the corner is Whian Phra Mongkhon Bophit, a beautiful Thai temple featuring a massive golden Buddha statue inside. While I was a bit templed out at this point, I couldn’t deny the beauty of this place!

Food, Food, Food (Lunch Time!)

After strolling through Wat Chai Watthanaram, Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and Wihan Phra Mongkhon, I was pretty hungry! So, we headed off to find a suitable place for lunch.

Although Arnon initially took me to a riverside restaurant, they didn’t have many appetizing vegan options and he graciously took me to an all-vegan Thai restaurant that was delicious!

Sadly, I was so famished I scarfed down all my food before I could snap a pic! (But let’s be real, when doesn’t this happen? LOL!)

Ayutthaya Floating Markets

While I absolutely fell in love with the Ayutthaya Historical Park and temples, I have to be straight up with you… there was nothing more than disappointment in my heart when it came to the Ayutthaya Floating Markets.

Although it was cool to walk around and see the stalls selling a variety of little trinkets, souvenirs, and typical Thai snack foods, it was disappointing to learn these floating markets aren’t traditional whatsoever.

Hoards of tourists packed in a boat to float around the fake Ayutthaya floating market.

In fact, the entire floating market complex was actually man-made to serve the tourists.

Not to mention, animal cruelty is abundant; elephants are ridden here, baby goats are kept in captivity with the sole purpose to be bottle-fed by tourists, you can have your feet exfoliated by confined fish, and the catfish in the “market” waters are sad and depressed looking.

A boat jets down the man-made floating market waters.

All in all, I wouldn’t visit the floating markets again (but the Ayutthaya day trip tour is still worth it if you want to see and learn all about the temples with Arnon!).

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

We ended the tour with a visit to the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon temple, which is one of the last active monasteries in the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

Colorful flowers frame the tall Buddha statue in the background.

Additionally, this is one of the few temple complexes where you’ll find the traditional glittering gold sashes adorning the massive Buddha statues!

It’s pretty cool to see, as well as learn about how the monks take them off every night and put them back up again every morning.

A row of Buddha statues adorned in golden sashes.
Sophie sitting in front of four Buddha statues, admiring the shimmering white carving and detailing.

Highlights of the Ayutthaya Day Trip with TakeMeTour

  • Private, air-conditioned car. Holy moly was it nice to hop into an air-conditioned car between the temples! It’s crazy hot in Ayutthaya, so this was a god send.
  • Educated, local guide. Arnon was absolutely fantastic! This guy knew everything and anything about Ayutthaya and was awesome to listen to. He was also so kind and considerate regarding my vegan dietary preferences!
  • Included entrance fees. One of my absolute favorite things about this tour is that all entrance fees are included in the tour price! Other than giving Arnon a cool little tip at the end (cause he was SO good!), I didn’t have take out my wallet once!
  • Great itinerary. It was so nice to know what our itinerary was before we headed off on the Ayutthaya day trip (you can find it on the tour booking page)! Arnon planned the perfect itinerary that showcased the best of what the Ayutthaya historical site had to offer.
  • Simple & easy booking. Hopping onto the TakeMeTour website was effortless and it was so great to know I’d have a private tour where I could modify and edit the tour to my liking! (Like changing the restaurant to a vegan option!) You definitely don’t get that with a full-on group tour!

If you’d like to book this Ayutthaya Tour from Bangkok featuring the beautiful temples, private local guide, and floating markets (which you may or may not visit, as it can be skipped!), click here to book with TakeMeTour!

Or you can read all the raving TakeMeTour reviews here!

Are you thinking of doing an Ayutthaya day trip? Have any questions or want to share any tips for fellow readers? Head down to the comments!

Sophie xx

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Need help planning an Ayutthaya day trip? Check out this post on why booking a private tour with TakeMeTour is the best way possible! | #ayutthaya #thailand #bangkok #daytour #daytrip #travel #asia #travelitinerary
Planning an Ayutthaya day tour is effortless when you plan it this way! The historical park is waiting... discover the magic for yourself! | #ayutthaya #bangkok #thailand #asia #travel #tips #daytrip

Many thanks to TakeMeTour for having me as a guest on this Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok! As always, all opinions are my own and I don’t endorse any bullsh*t (like that pesky animal cruelty).

Also, as mentioned above, this post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through one of the links, this site receives a small commission at no extra cost to you! This helps us keep bring you wanderful inspiration! Read our full disclosure here.

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