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Ultimate Guide to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon Temple

Ultimate Guide to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon Temple

Let’s face it, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is nothing short of amazing. Not only is it a renowned Ayutthaya Buddhist temple, it’s also a monastery steeped in Thailand’s history going as far back as the wars with the ancient Burmese Kingdom.

But even if you’re not a history buff, this place is still worth exploring, since it’s a sight to behold! And before you go, read our travel guide, so you’ll know the nitty gritty about Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon!

Things to Know

Time Zone: Indochina Time (UTC/GMT+7)

Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai (Central Thai)

Calling Code: (+66), (035)

Location: 40 หลวงพ่อขาว ซ. 3 Khlong Suan Phlu, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Nearest Airport: Suvarnabhumi Airport (88.9 km)

Operating Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 35 242 640

Admission Fee: 20 baht


Best Time to Visit Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

It’s best to visit Way Yai Chai Mongkhon in February because Thailand experiences the least amount of rain during this month. The temperature is also cooler during this time, so you get the perfect weather conditions for exploring the temple and its attractions.

However, the temple itself can be hot, so we still recommend visiting it early in the morning or during the afternoon.

How to Get to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Private Day Tour: The most convenient way to get to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is by booking a private day tour via travel agencies like Viator, Klook, and With this special service, you can enjoy exploring the temple with the help of a tour guide.

Private day tours let you set a pick-up point in popular hotels and landmarks all over Bangkok, so they can take you straight to the temple from your doorstep. That also means you don’t have to worry about the return trip since they’ll have it covered.

Ayutthaya Bus Tour: A bus tour to Ayutthaya is a cheaper alternative but it’s a step below private day tours since you get grouped with other tourists. Plus, a bus tour won’t have a default pick-up service, so you have to travel to the designated meet-up point.

That means you have to pay extra for a pick-up service from your hotel in Bangkok. Bus tours are also available at travel agencies like Viator and Klook.

Private Taxi: Booking a private taxi is a solid option if you’re traveling from any key locations near or within Ayutthaya. This way, you aren’t locked to a specific itinerary and you can explore other destinations near the temple that aren’t on most tour packages.

Though private taxis are expensive, you can invite other people so you have someone to split the bill with. The only downside is you still need to book a tour guide in Ayutthaya if you want to explore Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon with someone who knows it.

Pro Tip:

It’s a good idea to book a six-seater private taxi because you can split the bill with up to five people. That’s ideal when you’re traveling with family and friends.

Minivan: There are public minivans that travel from the Mochit New Van Terminal in Bangkok to Ayutthaya. It’s an affordable option since you only need to pay around 230 to 300 baht, which is definitely worth the 1-hour travel time.

The nearest drop-off point is the Win bus stop near Ayutthaya Historical Park so you still need to board a taxi or tuk-tuk to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. It’s only 3.8 kilometers away, but expect it to take you 9 minutes or more depending on the traffic conditions.

Bus: Public buses are a good alternative if you don’t want to ride a cramped minivan. Bus fares are also a lot cheaper since the starting price for tickets from Bangkok Bus Terminal to Ayutthaya is only 83 baht.

Just know that buses take up to two hours to reach Ayutthaya since they may make numerous stops along the way. Public buses will also drop you off at the Win bus stop so a short taxi or tuk-tuk ride is needed afterward.

Train: There’s a train in Bangkok’s Bang Sue Grand Station that has daily trips to Ayutthaya Railway Station. It’s also an affordable option since the starting price for rapid tickets is only 61 baht, but it can go up to 221 baht if you purchase an express ticket.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is only 2.2 kilometers from the train station so it’s easy to reach via the taxis or tuk-tuks you can find in the streets. You can even walk to the temple if you want to do a little bit of sightseeing while you’re in Ayutthaya.

What to See and Do in Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Marvel at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon’s majestic architecture

Media credit: charmadventures

Visiting Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is a must for its impressive chedi architecture which is the largest in Ayutthaya. Though it’s been restored and reconstructed multiple times, you’ll see that some of its surrounding walls remain damaged to this day.

In fact, the crumbled walls of the small mondops beside the temple’s main chedi leave their Buddha statues exposed. But this place is still one of the best-preserved temples in Ayutthaya, so expect to see monks living within its sacred grounds.

If your goal is to snag some stunning temple photos for your Instagram, you won’t be disappointed by its architecture. Taking advantage of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon’s staircase is particularly a good way to create a compelling photo composition.

Pay your respects at the temple’s ubosot

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There’s an ubosot (ordination hall) behind Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon’s chedi that we think is worth a look. It’s an important venue that pilgrims visit to pray and pay their respects to the Great Buddha.

Here, you’ll mostly see locals praying to the ubosot’s golden Buddha statue and leaving lighted incense sticks and lotus flowers as offerings. The distinct features of this Buddha statue are its flame-like finial, feather ornaments, and the two golden swan figures.

Head to the crematorium where the Ayutthayan princes were laid to rest

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A visit to this sacred temple isn’t complete if you haven’t been to its original crematorium yet. It’s one of the more important parts of the temple since it was built before this place was even called Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon.

It’s said that this crematorium is where the Ayutthayan princes Chao Thai and Chao Kaeo were laid to rest after dying from cholera. That’s why this part of the temple has such great historical significance to the Ayutthayan people.

You can only access the crematorium’s wihan (preaching hall), so expect to see visitors coming here to pray as well. There are donation boxes inside where you can leave coins and bills.

See the temple’s giant golden Buddha statue

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The giant golden Buddha statue in Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is arguably the most stunning artifact inside its halls. Aside from its impressive size, this statue looks more grand and vibrant than the one in the temple’s ubosot.

It’s also inside an elegant crimson-walled prayer hall within Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon so you need to remove your footwear before entering this sacred spot. Before this massive statue is an important Buddha image that’s enshrined within a glass panel.

Visitors usually offer flowers at this prayer hall but there are also donation boxes if you want to leave some cash instead.

Visit the ruins of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon’s large wihan 

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Next to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon’s main chedi is a large wihan with only its Buddha images left standing. The outer walls of this preaching hall have crumbled and its reconstruction remains to be seen. 

There are five white statues of worshippers that appear in front of this wihan’s principal Buddha image. On your way to this wihan, you’ll see a long row of Buddha statues along the crumbled walls which are great for adding perspective to your photos.

Check out the reclining Buddha statue at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

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Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is also well-known for its unique reclining Buddha. It’s hard to miss because it’s enshrined within a wihan with crumbled walls, so you’ll already see the statue even from afar.

This Buddha image underwent remodeling in 1965 after the temple was ransacked by treasure hunters. It’s a shame that Thailand’s Department of Fine Arts didn’t restore the wihan’s walls after remodeling its principal image.

Toss a coin or note at the temple’s wishing well

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If you climb Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon’s staircase, you’ll find a wishing well inside the dome where visitors drop coins and notes for good fortune. It used to be the chedi’s reliquary chamber where holy relics were kept.

There’s a wooden barricade to prevent visitors from falling into the deep square-shaped well. The bottom part of this chamber is accessible only to the chedi’s management since you’ll notice their staff taking the coins and notes that visitors throw inside.

It became a wishing well because the temple is believed to bring luck due to its 72-meter height, and these numbers add up to 9. Like most of the world, the number 9 is considered lucky in Thailand.

Feed the turtles at the small pond within the temple grounds

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Though Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is a palace of worship, it’s also great for couples who want to relax with their kids because of the pond within the temple grounds. This pond is home to turtles, and most visitors drop by to feed these animals.

The temple doesn’t charge visitors for feeding the turtles, but an attendant ensures nobody is hurting the animals. If you’re lucky, you may even find a turtle crawling on the land and get close to it.

FAQs about Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon Temple

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