Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
Perhaps the most famous attraction at the photogenic temple complex is the 23-foot (7-meter) reclining Buddha statue located near its entrance—one of the largest reclining Buddha statues in Thailand. Most travelers visit the temple on a day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok. Depending on the itinerary, travelers can combine a visit to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon with a tour of the UNESCO-listed city of Ayutthaya, a tour of the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, a hike through Khao Yai National Park, or a sightseeing cruise along the Chao Phraya River.
Things to know before you go
- Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, as much of the terrain around the temple is uneven.
- Bring your camera; Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is considered one of Thailand’s most photogenic temples.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing and drink plenty of water; this region is hot and humid throughout the year.
How to get there
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon sits across the Pridithamrong Bridge to the southeast of the city of Ayutthaya. The best way to get there is to hire a taxi from Ayutthaya or take a guided day trip from Bangkok.
When to get there
The best time to visit Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (and Ayutthaya’s other temples) is between November and January, when temperatures are modestly cooler. Plan to visit on a clear day, but bring an umbrella in case of the sudden shower.
Top Temples in Ayutthaya
The Ayutthaya region is known for its magnificent temple complexes, and you could easily spend a week exploring them. If you’re pressed for time, a few should definitely be on your must-see list. Wat Chaiwatthanaram, one of the most-visited sites in Ayutthaya Historical Park, is an impressive Khmer-style complex on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River; it’s especially beautiful at sunset. Wat Phra Si Sanphet ranks as the most historically significant temples in the area, dating back to 1492. Visit Wat Phra Mahathat to see a Buddha head statue enveloped in the trunk and roots of a tree.
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