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10 Temples in Ayutthaya, take breathtaking photos and make merit at the same time.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon - 10 Temples in Ayutthaya

Taking a trip to Ayutthaya but not visiting its temples renders a trip incomplete. In this post, I have included 10 beautiful temples in Ayutthaya for you which is guaranteed to satisfy photo buffs, as well as, those who like to make merit, because in addition to paying respect to the Buddha you will also be getting breathtaking photos to take home too.

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• Best Restaurants in Ayutthaya

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

This post would not be complete if there is no mention of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, as this temple has the tallest pagoda (or locally known as chedi) in the province. And situated right behind the temple is the palace of King Naresuan the Great, which was built for the faithful to pay their respects. So, this destination has both spiritual and historical significance.

The Origin of the Chai Mongkhon Chedi
In the battle at Nong Sarai Subdistrict, Suphan Buri Province, King Naresuan rode an elephant into battle with the enemy and waged a hand-to-hand combat and eventually defeated Mangayo Java, the Viceroy of the Hongsawadi Kingdom (presently a part of Myanmar). Unfortunately, during the heat of the battle, the accompanying general could not keep up with the King, and according to customs at that time, had to be sentenced to death.

The ruling supreme patriarch at that time together with 25 senior monks petitioned King Naresuan to grant forgiveness to the soldiers. Thereafter, a large chedi was built instead to symbolize victory to proclaim the King’s honor and glorify his prestige. Thus, the “Chai Mongkhon Chedi” was built as we see it today.

Map
Google Maps

Wat Phanan Choeng

Wat Phanan Choeng

An ancient temple that existed before Ayutthaya. Its true original background is still unclear, but historical records indicate that the temple was built by King Sai Nam Phueng and named it Wat Phra Nang Choeng (actually, this temple has a connection with the story of Nang Soi Dok Mak, but I’d like to leave it aside for the time being as it is another very long story).

Don’t miss out to pay respect to Luang Pho To (Phra Trai Rattananayok)
Originally, Luang Pho To was named Phra Chao Phanang Choeng. It is a large Buddha statue, 14.20 meters wide and 19.20 meters high. It was established at the temple in 1868, 26 years before the establishment of Ayutthaya. The Chinese know him well as “Chao Por Sam Po Kong”, and was highly revered among the Chinese worshippers.

Besides Luang Pho To, Wat Phanan Choeng also has other important Buddha statues dating back to the Sukhothai period, such as the Phra Buddha Roop Thong (Golden Buddha Statue), Phra Buddha Roop Nark (Buddha statue made from a combination of gold, silver, and copper), and Phra Buddha Roop Poon Pan (a stucco Buddha statue) of the Ayutthaya period, enshrined within the ubosot (main chapel) decorated with beautiful wall paintings, for tourists to pay their respects.

Map
Google Maps

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

The temple was built in the early Ayutthaya period between 1448-1602. It enshrines Phra Mongkhon Bophit, which is a bronze Buddha statue in the Marn Wichai posture. It is 9.55 meters wide and 12.45 meters high, and reflects the ability to cast metal, especially bronze during the Ayutthaya period.

The temple structure seen today has been renovated several times, as it was hit by lightning during the reign of Phra Chao Sue, and even burned by the enemy until it fell into disrepair during the second fall of Ayutthaya. The last restoration was carried out in 1956 during the government of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram. At that time, the Fine Arts Department found numerous Buddha images contained in the right chest of Phra Mongkhon Bophit. They are all now preserved at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and Chantharakasem National Museum.

Map
Google Maps

Wat Maenangpluem

Wat Maenangpluem

A small temple in Ayutthaya that is more than 640 years old but not so well known. The temple is not as busy as other famous temples, but due to its peacefulness and shade, visitors will be able to fully soak up its long historical past when passing through the entrance arches.

According to available records, this was the temple that King Naresuan built as a dedication to a villager named Mae Pluem, who took him in one rainy night when the King was rowing a boat past her house.

Map
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Wat Thammikarat

Wat Thammikarat

A temple built by a noble lord named Phya Thammikarat, son of King Sai Nam Phueng, who was the ruler before the founding of Ayutthaya. Later, during the reign of King Borom Trai Lokanat, it was restored and a larger temple was built. Inside the temple is enshrined the statue of Phra Thammikarat, which is a large bronze U-Thong art Buddha statue.

Wat Thammikarat

Unfortunately, during the second fall of Ayutthaya, the kingdom encountered a shortage of metal and the citizens had to forge weapons from metals taken from Buddha images. What remains today is only the head of the statue, which is already 2 meters high. Presently, the original head is now preserved at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, but the temple has created a replica to let tourists make wishes and pay respects.

Map
Google Maps

Wat Na Phra Meru

Wat Na Phra Meru

If you’re visiting temples in Ayutthaya, I highly recommend not to miss this one as Wat Na Phra Meru is over 500 years old and is the only temple that has not been destroyed by the Burmese army making it complete in its architectural design.

The ubosot which is 50 meters long and 16 meters wide was built in based on the early Ayutthaya architecture. It enshrines the Buddha image in the Marn Wichai posture, cast in bronze with a royal uniform, 6 meters high and 4.4 meters wide. It is considered as the largest Buddha statue in the Ayutthaya period that has ever been recorded.

The temple was restored during the reign of King Rama III. He has kept the original design and moved the green stone Buddha statue, or Phra Khanthararat, an artwork from the Dvaravati period which is over 1,500 years old, and just 1 of the 5 statues that exist in Thailand, from Wat Mahathat to be enshrined in a small vihara (chapel), or locally known as Vihara Noi.

Map
Google Maps

Wat Choeng Tha

Wat Choeng Tha

In Ayutthaya, there are 2 temples that have the same name, one in Bang Pa-In District and the other at Muang District. In this post, I will be focusing on Wat Choeng Tha in Muang District.

This temple was built during the reign of King Ramathibodi I, or King U-Thong. However, no evidence can be found as to who actually built it. Later it was restored by Phya Kosa Pan during the reign of King Narai the Great. It was also the school attended by Mr. Sinn, or King Taksin the Great as well.

Unique features that can only be found here are the Five Pagodas of the Ayutthaya period, in which the structure was built on a square base with a temple protruding into the shape of a cross and the direction in which the temple is facing, i.e. towards the south.

Map
Google Maps

Wat Phra Khao

Wat Phra Khao
Wat Phra Khao

A small temple located in Bang Ban District. It is assumed that it was built during the Ayutthaya period around 1707. Its attractiveness may not be able to compete with other temples, for the faithful, this temple is not to be missed.

Because this temple enshrines Luang Pho Khao, a stucco Buddha statue in the Marn Wichai posture, arched eyebrows, slight smile, 2 meters side and 2.40 meters high. Bang Ban locals believe that whoever has a kind heart and adheres to Dharma, their wishes will be fulfilled if they pray here. They will also be blessed with a happy family and free from any harm. To show appreciation by those who have their wishes fulfilled will make merit with boiled eggs.

Besides Luang Pho Khao, the temple also has a wooden house with beautiful intricate patterns and enshrines the intact remains of Luang Pu Tim for the faithful to pay respect to.

Map
Google Maps

Wat Phailom

Wat Phailom

Another temple in Ayutthaya that is famous for its sacred objects especially bestowed from Luang Por Iad Inthawangso. He started making amulets at the age of 43 and has since proved to be highly popular among the faithful, especially the Somdej Langphai amulet (first edition, 1970).

Besides sacred amulets, the Reverend Luang Por Iad has also helped developed education by encouraging monks and novices to study Phra Pariyat Tham (the Lord Buddha’s teachings) and becoming a Dharma scholar, and simultaneously developing Wat Phai Lom School.

This temple is quite distant from the city and there is not much places to visit around the temple. It is, therefore, much more suitable for people seeking spiritual guidance than tourists.

Map
Google Maps

Wat Tako

Wat Tako

The trip to temples in Ayutthaya should be concluded with a visit to Wat Tako, which was known to be the residence of Luang Por Ruay Pasatiko, a famous Ayutthaya monk who took shelter during Buddhist Lent. The monk was famous for several outstanding sacred amulets known for bestowing compassion and engaging in trade. He is also renowned for his meditation practices.

In addition to the reputation of Luang Por Ruay, the temple also houses the Maha Chedi Mahathat Pasatiko pagoda. It was designed by Thailand’s national artist for Thai architecture. The top of the pagoda enshrines the Lord Buddha’s relics which was brought in from India, while the base holds the intact remains of Luang Por Ruay, for disciples and believers to pay their respect.

Map
Google Maps

Note:

At the time of writing this post, photos could not be taken on site. Therefore, information were sourced from;

  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand Ayutthaya.
  • Several images were purchased from Stock Photo.

The use of photos is intended for tourism promotion purposes only. If the owner of the photos wishes that their photos not be used, we will oblige by removing them immediately.

Reference
https://ww2.ayutthaya.go.th
https://www.onews.io
https://travel.trueid.net
https://go.ayutthaya.go.th
https://www.khaosod.co.th
https://www.faiththaistory.com
https://siamturakij.com
http://autofulltravel.com
https://www.matichon.co.th
https://www.talontiew.com

How to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok, what should be my budget, what are the best months?

How to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok, what should be my budget, what are the best months?
Courtesy from the Tourism Authority of Thailand
Koh Kood, crystal clear waters.

How to enjoy Koh Kood in a nutshell: Snorkel at Koh Rang, play with the deers at Koh Kradad, and spend the night on Koh Kood. But How to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok? What should be my budget? What are the best months? We have the answers in the following posts.

What province is Koh Kood situated in?

Sunset at Koh Kood

Koh Kood is considered as the last island of Trat Province and is about 82 kilometers south of the main province.

What are the best months to visit Koh Kood?

  • Winter: November-February, when the weather is cool and romantic.
  • Summer: March-April, considered as the peak period, when the sea is at its clearest and is suitable for diving.
  • Rainy season: May-October, the island’s low season is very quiet and not suitable at all for diving. Several accommodations are mostly closed while those that are open are fantastically affordable.

How to get to Koh Kood?

  • First, you need to get to Trat, then take a boat at Laem Sok Pier for the ride to Koh Kood.
  • Driving is considered the most convenient and should take about 4 hours from Bangkok to reach Laem Sok Pier.
  • Bangkok-Trad tour bus takes about 5 hours, and then connect to a minibus to Laem Sok Pier.
  • Bangkok Airways takes about an hour to fly to Trat, and then charter a car to Laem Sok Pier.
  • The boat ride from Laem Sok Pier to Koh Kood takes about 1 hour.
  • Boonsiri Speed Boat Co., Ltd., has a dedicated bus service from Bangkok direct to the pier, from which you can then take a boat to Koh Kood.

Getting Around Koh Kood

Getting Around Koh Kood

• Rent a motorcycle. However, if you’re not so good at riding bikes, we don’t recommend it because some roads are very steep.
• Rent a local minibus.

Hotels on Koh Kood

Hotels on Koh Kood
Hotels on Koh Kood

Most of the hotels on Koh Kood are situated very close to nature. There are both luxury beachfront resorts, as well as, small lodges that are a bit further inland but much more cheaper, to choose from.

Check hotel prices on Koh Kood: Agoda
Check hotel prices on Koh Kood: Booking.com

Attractions on Koh Kood

ที่เที่ยวบนเกาะกูด
ที่เที่ยวบนเกาะกูด ต้นไม้ยักษ์
ริมหาดคลองเจ้า เกาะกูด

Koh Kood has 14 beaches, Ban Ao Salat fisherman’s community, Ban Ao Yai fisherman’s community, giant banyan and black rosewood trees. Khlong Yai Kee Waterfall, Huang Nam Khiao Waterfall, Khlong Chao Waterfall, Ban Khlong Chao School Viewpoint, Ban Ao Yai Viewpoint.

Things To Do on Koh Kood

Snorkel at Koh Rung, kayak or SUP board at Klong Chao canal, learn about the crab bank, learn about growing corals.

Restaurants

Restaurants on Koh Kood
Restaurants on Koh Kood
Restaurants on Koh Kood

There are local restaurants scattered across the entire island. Prices on the island may be a bit higher but the freshness of the seafood menus is fully guaranteed. Absolutely satisfying and worth every baht.

Expenses

How much will it cost me? Below, is an estimation of the costs involved.

Travelling

  • Bangkok-Trat tour bus, approximately 300-400 baht.
  • Bangkok Airways, 3,000 – 4,200 baht (roundtrip).
  • Minibus charter to Laem Sok Pier, 400–1000 baht.
  • Boat fare to Koh Kood, 300 – 600 baht per one-way trip.
  • Motorcycle rental, 250 baht per day.
  • Minibus charter on Koh Kood, 2,000 baht per day.
  • If travelling with Boonsiri Speed Boat Co., Ltd., they have a bus that departs from Bangkok and connects directly with a boat to Koh Kood, for 1,000 baht per one-way trip.

Hotels

  • 500 – 200,000 baht per night.
  • Several lodgings have packages that include meals and activities.

Check hotel prices on Koh Kood: Agoda
Check hotel prices on Koh Kood: Booking.com

Meals

  • A la carte, made to order, approximately 60-100 baht per dish.

Snorkeling at Koh Rung

Snorkeling at Koh Rung
Snorkeling at Koh Rung
Snorkeling at Koh Rung

Koh Rung is a tiny island that can be reached from Koh Mak and Koh Kood, and is highly popular for short diving trips as it doesn’t take up much time. Simply just jump into the water and small colorful fishes can be found swimming around right there right before your eyes. Even though I’m not an avid diver, I still find it fun and enjoyable.

How can I get to enjoy it?

  • Buy a tour package at the resort, the minimum price is 1,000 baht per person (each resort has different prices).
  • Some accommodations offer diving packages, bundled together with meals and room.

When is the best time to go?

  • November – April: Sunny days are especially perfect to get close to fishes and corals. On the day we went, the sky was rather gloomy, but it was still acceptable.

Touring Koh Kradad

Touring Koh Kradad
The deers on Koh Kradad

A flat island where in 1969, locals came up with an idea to develop it into a tourist attraction by starting off by breeding 3 pairs of deer. The deers have since proliferated over time and are now can be found in abundance all over the island. They are now so tame to the point that they approach tourists without hesitation.

มะพร้าวเอน เกาะกระดาด
แมวแกล้งตาย

Besides deers, there are also other unseen attractions, such as Koh Khai Huaroh, leaning coconut trees, and a furry cat, named Si Thong (translated literally as gold-colored), who likes to play dead.

Koh Kradad Resort

เกาะกระดาดรีสอร์ท
เกาะกระดาดรีสอร์ท
เกาะกระดาดรีสอร์ท

Is the only hotel on the island. The price, which includes three meals and a tour of the entire island, costs only 1,200 baht per night. However, if you also want to go diving at Koh Rung, Koh Mak, as well as, other activities, they also have a 2-days 1-night package that includes meals and accommodations for only 2,500 baht, and 4,500 baht for 3-days 2-nights.

How to get there?

  • Take a boat from Laem Son Pier on Koh Mak to Kradad Island. The trip takes about 10 minutes and costs 300 baht per person.
  • On the island, there will be local “e-tans” (modified farm truck) to take you around.

What are the best months to visit Koh Kradad?

  • November – April

History of Koh Kood

Koh Kood was first mentioned in Chinese inscriptions since the Ming Dynasty, as stated in the “Zheng Hhe Hang Haitu” book, which recounts the nautical journeys of Lord Zheng Hhe. On map number 13, it mentioned “Xiao Shilan as being located to the north of the Gulf of Thailand”, or meaning Koh Tao Mo, which is on the southern side of Sattahip. Some say it refers to Koh Kood.

During the reign of King Narai the Great, maps of the Kingdom of Thailand and surrounding countries that were drawn up by the Dutch mentioned the name of an island at the location of Koh Chang as Macora and the location of Koh Kood as Pealan.

Koh Kood also appeared for the first time in historical documents during the reign of King Rama I, in the year 1782, which was the same year when Bangkok was established as the capital.

Lord Chiang Sue and his family had escaped from the army of Lord Gaisen, Mayor of Guiyen, who attacked the city of Saigon, and came to seek safety from His Majesty the King in Bangkok. Later, in 1796, Lord Chiang Sue hatched a plan to reclaim his township. However, personally bidding farewell to the King was not a good idea as the war with the Burmese was still raging. So, he wrote a letter to the King and fled with many other Vietnamese lords.

Upon consultations on where they should flee to, Lord Jung recommended that they should seek shelter Koh Kood in Trat. At that time, there were not many people living on Koh Kood. Lord Chiang Sue resided at Koh Kood for 1 year at what was later on to be known as “Khlong Chao Waterfall”, the name of which stuck until this present day.

During the reign of King Chulalongkorn, or King Rama V, His Majesty made at least 12 visits to the province of Trat. From those visits, HM visited Koh Kood twice, in his 8th visit in 1887 and in his 12th visit to Trat in 1907.

Later during the reign of His Majesty King Mongkut, King Rama VI, visited Koh Kood in the year 1911 and bestowed the name of “Anam Kok Waterfall” to Khlong Chao Waterfall to commemorate Lord Chiang Sue, as well as, carved his monogram on a rock, which is still intact and can be seen to this present day. The rock is located on the first tier of the present Khlong Chao Waterfall.

Koh Kood is considered as the last island of Trat Province as it borders the waters adjacent to Cambodia. It is the largest island after Koh Chang (2nd in Trat, and 4th in Thailand), with an area of approximately 65,625 rai (approx. 105 sq. kms.). It is classified as a district of Trat, situated 82 kilometers south of the main province.

Due to its distance from the main province center, very few people in the past experienced the island’s natural beauty. However, the reputation of Koh Kood is of much interest to nobles and adventurous tourists who loved nature and welcomed challenges, as can be seen from since the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Koh Kood had become a major tourist destination for the nobles.

When traveling to the east coast, HM would often visit many of them, possibly as a result of the beauty of its sandy beaches and clear emerald waters that has been dubbed as the “Andaman of the Eastern Seas”. Koh Kood has several waterfalls, notably the Khlong Chao Waterfall, where water flows abundantly all year round. It usually leaves a lasting impression for those who visit it and appears on several occasions in past travel records of the nobles, thus establishing it as early historical evidence for later generations to study from.

Special thanks to the information received from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Trat Office. Compiled by Bear Duck.

Thank you to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Trat Office, and Bangkok Airways, for supporting and facilitating our trip to Koh Kood.