Unlike Sukhothai historical park, the collective sights of Ayutthaya are not neatly situated in a single park that can be easily explored in a single day.
Several of the main sites to the northwest of the island -- including Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Lokkayasuttharam and Chao Sam Phraya National Museum -- are relatively close to one another and together have a â€˜historical park' atmosphere. If just wanting to see these easy-to-find highlights, a single day and a bicycle is all you need. Each of the major sites in this area charge admission fees individually (100 or 50 baht for most of the big ones).
If you have the time, however, some of Ayutthaya's best sites -- Chedi Phu Khao Thong, Wat Putthaisawan and Wat Yai Chai Mongkhun to name a few -- are located outside of the island and take a little more effort to reach. It would be a tiring day if wanting to hit all of these by bicycle, and the roads, especially heading over the bridge into east Ayutthaya, can be busy with fast moving traffic. Rented motorbike is a fine means to explore outside the island if you're experienced at it. Otherwise, many choose to tour the outlying sights on a tuk tuk or boat tour.
Here you'll find a comprehensive list of the most worthwhile sights in Ayutthaya, but several other minor ruins do pop up throughout the area -- some are surrounded by major roads and bustling modern city to the east while others sit neglected amid paddy to the west and south.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 27th November, 2014.