Despite its central location within the Historical Park, Wat Phra Ram is often skipped as most of the tour groups hone in on nearby Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
In our opinion this is all the more reason to go. The central Khmer-style prang is impressive and the leafy grounds considerably more tranquil than Ayutthaya’s more popular ruins.
The temple was established in 1369 by King Ramesuan to mark the cremation site of his father, King Uthong. A grandpa of Ayutthaya’s ancient monuments, Wat Phra Ram predates most other temples but seems to have received little attention after subsequent kings poured immense resources into their own creations. While the central prang remains mostly in tact, the crypt is empty and the lion guardian images are badly damaged.
Wat Phra Ram isn’t quite as impressive as Wat Ratchaburana or Wat Mahathat -- if there’s limited time you could give it a pass. What we like about it is the quiet, slightly overgrown setting providing opportunities for some meditative reflection.
Often shaded by trees, clusters of smaller chedis and walls surround the main prang, which can be climbed for a view of the Historical Park.
After a wander through the complex, head over to the east side for a break beside Bueng Phra Ram, a tree-lined pond made by humans centuries ago when the earth was dug out for use in Ayutthaya's temples and palaces.
How to get there
The entrance to Wat Phra Ram is on the west side of the complex off Naresuan Road, a short walk south of Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
By David Luekens.
Last updated on 28th February, 2016.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.