A private boat trip around the historical island provides for the most relaxing way to see some of Ayutthaya’s most famous temples.
Enjoying the river breeze you will also have a chance to observe the daily life of local people around the river and see more recent, active Buddhist temples. Along the way you will have great photo opportunities from the rivers surrounding the historical town.
Local life around the river
During the trip you will see wooden houses on stilts on the banks of the river. Houses in Ayutthaya were traditionally built on stilts because of the frequent floodings in the area.
Observe the daily life of people; people going around in small wooden boats, children swimming in the water and people fishing in the river.
Tug boats pulling barges carrying heavy loads move slowly down river. If you are lucky, you might see a water monitor, a large lizard that can grow up to two meters in length.
Historical landmarks from the river
Going around the island you will see some of Ayutthaya’s most famous historical landmarks. The trip starts off at the North East tip of the island where the Lopburi and Pa Sak rivers meet.
The first temple on the South bank of the Pa Sak river off the historical island is Wat Phanan Choeng, known for its 19 meter tall gilded image of the Buddha dating back to the 14th century.
Fortress and old city walls
On the other side of the river on the historical island are the remains of the old Ayutthaya city wall and Pom Phet fortress or “Diamond fortress”. Pom Phet is one of the 16 fortresses that were built to protect Ayutthaya against foreign invasion.
Ancient temple & Romanesque style church
Further West on the South bank of the Chao Phraya river is Wat Phutthaisawan, “the Monastery of Lord Buddha of the Heavens“, a 14th century temple with a large white Khmer style prang.
Next is St. Joseph’s Church, a yellow painted Romanesque style Catholic church built by the French in the 17th century.
One of Ayutthaya’s grandest monuments
A few minutes later one of Ayutthaya’s grandest and most impressive monuments, the Wat Chaiwatthanaram comes into sight. Located just off the historical island this well preserved monastery was built early 17th century. It features a 35 meter tall Khmer style prang, a great number of smaller chedis, an ordination hall, a large gallery and several other buildings.
Golden chedi and temple on Ko Loi island
A few minutes later the large chedi with golden top of the Wat Suan Luang Sopsawan, “the Monastery of the Royal Garden“ comes into sight.
Last on the trip is Wat Mondop, a large active temple on Ko Loi, a small island between the Lopburi and Pa Sak rivers.
Duration of the boat trip
The boat trip around the island takes about one hour without stops. With stops at Wat Phanan Choeng and Wat Chaiwatthanaram, two temples that have boat landings, the trip takes about two hours. (entry fees for temples not included)