Wat Yai Chaimongkol
Opening Day: 7 days a week
Opening Hour: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Entrance Fee: 20 baht
Wat Yai Chaimongkok is also known as Wat Chao Phaya Thai. Initially, this monastery was constructed by King U-Thong in 13th century (B.E. 1900) to accommodate the monks to ordain and learn. The chedi was built 220 years later (about 400 years from now) when King Naresuan defeated King Maha Upparacha in memory of the victory of the famous elephant battle.
During the occupation of the Burmese in the 17th century, Wat Yai Chaimongkol was seized and became a fortress. Then for over a hundred years, it became dilapidated.
The chedi is slanted when you look from far. Some restoration has been done but you can still see traces of war.
For an entrance fee of 20 baht per person, you are about to enter a temple where Buddha statues can be found all over the place.
You can find a large reclining Buddha near the entrance.
When you climb to the top and walk inside the chedi, you’ll see a hole that is covered with wire frame. It is channelled down to the ground level and all you can see is a black hole filled with emptiness.
You can see rows of Buddha statues facing towards the chedi. Only a few big Buddha statues are facing out.
The temple is popular among local Thai. This place is especially busy during holidays when you can see crowd of devout Buddhists praying for good things and paying respect to Buddha.
Ayutthaya is about 90 mins drive from Bangkok. The cost effective and convenient way is to take a train that stops at Phranakhon Sri Ayutthaya station. From there, you should take a taxi to the temple.
The first train leaves Hua Lamphong railway station (right besides Hua Lamphong MRT station) at 4:20am and the last train that leaves Ayutthaya is 7:30pm. You may also aboard the train at the Bang Sue railway station if you stay in the north of Bangkok.
The journey is scenic and takes about 2-2.5 hrs depending on the type of service you choose. 2nd class seats with air-con cost 245 baht while 3rd class is just 15 baht.