If you’re in Bangkok for more than one day you would be crazy not to visit the temples in Ayutthaya. Just one hour north of the busy city sits a handful of temples to visit, all for under 10USD each.
How To Get There From Bangkok
Option 1: Catch a taxi, motor bike, or bus over to the BTS Skytrain and purchase a day or single way ticket to Mo Chit. You may have to get off at a stop to switch trains in order to get to Mo Chit, but it's too easy to navigate the skytrain. Signs are also in English, and if that doesn’t make things any easier, than you can always ask someone at the ticket counter or a security guard. They are extremely helpful and usually can speak English fairy well.
Once you get off at Mo Chit, walk over to the bus station and purchase your van ticket, it will be immediately in front of you when you walk in, you should see a sign in one of the booth windows that reads “Ayutthaya”. 60 baht will get you a one way ticket. heads up, they don't board right away, they will wait until a van becomes full, this only takes about 10 minutes though so stay close to the ticket station so when they are ready to head out you aren’t left behind. The van ride is a little under 2 hours, stay on the van up until the very last stop, you will most likely be dropped off in front of a tuktuk station.
Option 2: Catch a bus, train, taxi, or bike to Victory Monument, this used to be where the vans were stationed, now you can take a free shuttle directly to Mo Chit. Once at Mo Chit you may have to cross the bridge to get to the bus station. Buy your ticket as explained in Option 1 and the rest is all the same from there.
There are a few different ways to navigate the temples; tuktuk, bike or walk (taxi is just unnecessary). A bike rental shouldn't be more than 5-10 baht for the day, walking isn't to bad, as some of the temples are fairly close by one another but if it is as humid and hot as it was when I went in October, then you may want to avoid walking. I can't recall the price to rent a motorcycle or if you need a license but I imagine it to be cheaper than hiring a tuk tuk for 3-4 hours. If you do decide to go with a tuk tuk rental, I recommend splitting with friends (or strangers going to the same temples as you), they will sell you the idea that it is 300 baht per hour, don’t fall for it, haggle the price down to 200 baht per hour, haggling is a way of life out here. I would haggle this price before letting them know you are splitting it.
Just about every temple is about 50 baht, some may be 20 baht and one or two may be free. I strongly recommend doing your research first, some temples look very similar so save your money and pick maybe three or four that you really want to see and pay for those and hit the free ones as well. This is the smartest way to get the most of your money. Read my blog here to see which temples I visited and my budget.
My budget for this day trip was 500 baht. My cost breakdown is explained below:
Skytrain to Mo chit - 44 baht
change at Siam to Mo Chit
Bus from skytrain to Mo Chit bus station - 10 baht
Minivan ticket to Ayutthaya - 60 baht
Visit 5 temples - 125 baht
Tuk tuk rental for 3 hours (split with Chilean couple I met) - 200 baht
Minivan ticket return to Mo Chit bus station - 60 baht
Bus station ticket to DMK airport near hostel - 30 baht
Taxi from DMK Airport to hostel (25 minutes away) - 90 baht
Total cost of day trip - 619 baht.
Where costs could have been cut:
Taxi back to hostel; I could’ve took a motorbike for 10-25 baht
Tuk tuk rental; my haggling wasn’t assertive enough, I paid 250 baht per hour, save 50 baht and haggle hard and don't be afraid to walk away, what one driver won’t accept - another will.
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