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Wat Mahathat Everything You Need to Know

Wat Mahathat: Everything You Need to Know

The Ayutthaya Kingdom of Thailand is a famous archaeological ruin that is home to various temples. One of these is the Wat Mahathat, one of its oldest temples that served as a home to Buddha relics.

If you want to visit the historic site of Wat Mahathat, let us show you the best activities you can do in this incredible place. For beyond Ayutthaya’s sacred temple ruins, a lot more adventure awaits.

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: Wat Mahathat, Naresuan Road, Tha Wasukri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Nearest Airport: Suvarnabhumi International Airport (92 km)

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

Admission Fee: 50 baht

Duration of Visit: 6+ hours, a one-day trip is recommended to see all the temples

Best Time to Visit Wat Mahathat

The best time to visit is anytime between January and April to avoid the heavy rains during the monsoon season and the scorching heat during the summer. It’s best to explore this historical site when the weather is cool and dry.

These months also fall under Thailand’s peak season, so many tourist destinations and services are conveniently available. But that also means tourists will flock during these months.

If you want to avoid big crowds and don’t mind frequent rains, you can visit Wat Mahathat during the monsoon season. Day tours are also cheaper due to fewer tourists, so it’s worth considering if you don’t like spending too much.

How to Get to Wat Mahathat

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Private Day Tour: The easiest way to get to Wat Mahathat is by booking a day tour through travel agencies like Klook,, and Viator. With a day tour, a private shuttle will pick you up from your hotel and take you straight to this historical site.

Day tours may include a meal and will also provide a professional guide to teach you about the temple’s history. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the return trip to your hotel since the same private shuttle will take you back. 

Bus Tour: Bus tours are a cheaper alternative to private tours, but you’ll join other tourists unless you travel in a large group that can fill the entire bus. You can book bus tours with popular travel agencies like Klook and Viator.

Another thing to note is that you must travel to your bus tour’s designated meeting point since this usually doesn’t include a pick-up option.

Private Taxi: Hiring a private taxi is the best option if you want the freedom to explore Wat Mahathat and any nearby hotspots at your own pace. These are all over Thailand, so finding one that can take you to the temple should be a no-brainer.

However, it’s worth noting that private taxi services are expensive, especially if you’re hiring the ride for the day (up to 9 hours). The good thing is that you can bring other people with you so you can split the bill if you’re traveling in a group.

Train: Boarding a train is another good option, especially if you’re starting from Bangkok. You can go to Bang Sue Grand Station and purchase an express (221 baht) or rapid (61 baht) ticket to Ayutthaya Railway Station.

Ayutthaya Historical Park, where Wat Mahathat is located, is only 3.5 km from the railway station, so you can board a taxi or tuk-tuk from the street to reach it quickly. Otherwise, you can walk to explore the surrounding areas on your way there.

Minivan: Public minivans are easy to find in public terminals. For instance, a minivan ride from Bangkok’s Mochit New Van Terminal will only cost you between 230 to 300 baht.

With a minivan, your drop-off point is the Win bus stop, which is only 700 meters east of Wat Mahathat. Just know that minivans won’t depart before they reach full passenger capacity, so be sure to go to the terminal early.

Bus: A public bus is another affordable option you can take to reach Wat Mahathat with a starting fare of 83 baht. However, the travel time might be longer since public buses make several stops along the way.

For reference, it can take you up to two hours to travel from Bangkok Bus Terminal to the Win bus stop.

What to See and Do in Wat Mahathat

Check out the Buddha statues and relics in Wat Mahathat

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Wat Mahatmat is one of Thailand’s oldest temples and is most known for the Buddha statue entangled within the roots of a banyan tree—something you should definitely see. You can find various relics, destroyed staircases, halls, and pagodas.

All around the area, you can see many Buddha relics, including ones facing the chedi. A must-see is the famous Buddha statue surrounded by several other headless statues, a popular subject for Instagram photos.

It’s said that this temple housed sacred relics and treasures and was the ceremonial ground for the royal family. That fact alone makes this place not to be missed!

Visit the three stupas in Wat Phra Si Sanphet

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Less than a km from Wat Mahathat are the iconic three stupas in Wat Phra Si Sanphet that look like pointed hats from a distance. These serve as a final resting place that houses the ashes of three ancient Ayutthayan kings.

As a result, this sacred temple was considered the Royal Palace’s holiest site before it was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Aside from its historical significance, the temple’s visual marvel makes it a popular spot to visit.

Like Wat Mahathat, you must pay an entry ticket of 50 baht to explore this temple’s sacred grounds. Otherwise, you can pay a multi-temple ticket for 220 baht to explore all six temples within Ayutthaya Historical Park.

Inspect the ruins at Wat Phra Lokkanat

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Wat Phra Lokkanat is a ruin with torn-down crimson brick walls and several headless statues. The vibrant colors of the walls make this sacred temple a stunning sight that you shouldn’t miss during your visit.

Besides its beauty, it’s popular because it provides shade from the scorching heat during midday. Please note that there are signs that prohibit climbing and sitting in the ruins, so be mindful of where you take cover from the sun.

Alternatively, you can bring a parasol and a bottle of water to make your exploration of Wat Phra Lokkanat more bearable. It allows you more freedom to walk through the ruins without worrying about the sun.

Explore Ayutthaya Historical Park by boat

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Join a boat ride along Ayutthaya Historical Park to get a different perspective of Wat Mahathat. This allows you to observe the beautiful ruins during sunset, which makes for gorgeous scenery.

It’s also a great opportunity to visit nearby hotspots that are connected to the park through the Chao Phraya River and Pa Sak River. You can either book a boat tour with travel agencies like Klook or approach boat operators along these rivers. 

Tour Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

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Address: 108 โรจนะ ถนน เทศบาลเมืองอโยธยา Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Tuesday – Sunday)

Admission Cost: 30 baht (Thais), 150 baht (foreigners)

Contact Number: +66 35 241 587

If you want to know and see more of Wat Mahathat, a tour of the nearby Chao Sam Phraya National Museum is a must. Here, you can watch an exhibit showcasing the uncovered religious relics and treasures from Ayutthaya’s sacred temples.

From treasures to antiques and Buddha statues, you’ll find a great number of these relics here, especially some that are made of gold. Plus, the displays have detailed descriptions, so it helps you learn more about these ancient artifacts.

Stop by the reclining Buddha at Wat Lokkayasutha

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Address: ถนน อู่ทอง Tambon Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Daily)

Admission Cost: Free

Contact Number: (035) 246 076

Another 500 meters west of Wat Phra Si Sanphet, you’ll come across the famous reclining Buddha at Wat Lokkayasutha. This brick-made statue is 42 meters long and is a popular spot.

It features massive hexagonal pillars that are said to be the ruins of an ordination hall or “ubosot.” Surprisingly, the temple’s reclining Buddha statue remains in perfect condition, unlike other statues in nearby temples that were ravaged during the war.

Because of this, most tourists visiting Wat Mahathat always make a stop at this unique attraction, especially for photo opportunities. So stop by and marvel at this gigantic statue.

Shop at the Ayutthaya Night Market

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Address: Soi Chikun 2, Tha Wasukri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Friday – Sunday)

Admission Cost: Free

After a tour of Wat Mahathat, you can head two blocks north to the lively Ayutthaya Night Market, which opens exactly as the sacred temple closes. It only makes sense that you end your day in this vibrant ancient-themed street market, right?

Here, you can experience Ayutthaya in retrospect, with plenty of decors and ornaments that make the market look and feel like you’re visiting it in ancient times. Look for delicious traditional food, like boat noodles served in banana leaves.

Even the cups they use for drinks are made of bamboo, which is consistent with the venue’s theme. Overall, the night market is fun to explore, even if you don’t plan on buying anything, especially with the vendors wearing unique and traditional attires.

Visit the Thai Boat Museum

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Address: 12 หมู่1 8 Bang Ian Road, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Tuesday – Sunday)

Admission Cost: Free

Contact Number: +66 35 241 195

Another notable place to visit while you’re touring Wat Mahathat is the nearby Thai Boat Museum in Bang Ian Road. This humble establishment was founded by a boatbuilder inside his house in Ayutthaya.

Here, you can see small and large models of traditional boats and water vessels from Ayutthaya’s rich history. From simple dugouts to sailboats, this place is home to plenty of boat designs, including some that Ayutthayan royals used to travel with.

FAQs about Wat Mahathat

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