Wat Maheyong

Wat Maheyong

Worth the trip

More on Ayutthaya

Wat Maheyong was most likely used as a meditation venue on the quiet eastern fringe of the city after its establishment by King Borommarachathirat II in 1438. Now overseen by an adjacent monastery that itself focuses on vipassana meditation, the atmospheric ruins are a pleasure to wander through.

Travelfish says:
mah4

A dramatic entrance.

After passing through a brick gate, visitors stroll down a long walkway between brick walls draped in low-hanging trees — a dramatic start. You then reach the remains of a large hall with most of the walls still standing but no roof.

mah7

Walls, but no roof.

What’s left of a Buddha image sits exposed to the elements. Monks and nuns from the monastery sometimes use the ruined structure for chanting and meditation.

mah5

A fine example of ruins still in active use today.

At the rear of the spread-out grounds, a large bell-shaped chedi made of brick and plaster stands partially intact.

mah3

The ridged spire that once topped the chedi lies headfirst on the massive brick base, appearing to have been left exactly as it fell. Ringing the base are dozens of white-plaster elephant statues that are similar to those found at Sukhothai, but in a more damaged state. Bits of detail can still be seen on a few.

mah2

Like so many of the ruins, the beauty is often in the details.

The remains of numerous minor chedis and walls dot the leafy grounds, which are conducive to a few minutes of sitting in solitude. As the only visitors on a Monday morning, we found Wat Maheyong to provide a welcome contrast to Ayutthaya’s more popular sites.

One of Ayutthaya's quieter sites.

One of Ayutthaya’s quieter sites.

Once you’ve finished at the ruins, wander across the lane to the ponds and pavilions set amid forested grounds in the meditation monastery. The abbot, Phra Bhavana Khema Khun, is a leading Thai meditation master and Buddhist scholar. The monastery leads retreats mainly for Thais, but all are welcome.

On the way to/from Wat Maheyong you might also stop at nearby Wat Khudee Dao, another large ruined temple that appears to hail from the same era and features similarly spread-out grounds with a few toppled chedis. Just south of that is Wat Samon Phottharam, featuring an ancient brick hall that has a fully intact roof and is still used for Buddhist ceremonies. You could also swing by the Ayutthaya Floating Market while in this area.

Transport information

To get here from the island, take Rochana Rd and cross the bridge over to the east side of the city, and then hang a left on Highway 3058. The sign-posted entrance to Wat Maheyong will appear on the right after about a km, a short ways past Ayutthaya Floating Market.

Reviewed by

David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.

Tours in Thailand


These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.


Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Ayutthaya

Wat Lokkayasutharam
Wat Lokkayasutharam

A striking reclining Buddha

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and the Ancient Palace
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and the Ancient Palace

The old capital's centrepiece

Wat Ratchaburana
Wat Ratchaburana

Be sure to go inside the crypt

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Get ready for a climb

Wat Phutthaisawan
Wat Phutthaisawan

An underrated temple

Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Wat Chaiwatthanaram

A striking Khmer-inspired complex

Chantharakasem National Museum
Chantharakasem National Museum

Attractive palace

Wat Phra Ram
Wat Phra Ram

More tranquil than most

Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bophit
Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Home to a revered Buddha image

Wat Na Phra Men
Wat Na Phra Men

An important and active temple