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a VirtualTourist member from Vancouver asked on Aug 21, 2016


Temples in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai

Hi Everyone, am travelling with my family to see Thailand in 2017. I am planning my days around as well as tour guides and all.

I am mostly interested in Temples and historical sites, not shows, classes, city or markets. :) no offence.

Can you guys tell me if i spend a day each in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, is that enough time to see the temples? :) so confusing and I'm a planner so i want to make sure i dont miss anything.



11 Answers

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from Tongeren

You can jump to the most important ones in each place in a day.
But if it were me I'd stay at least 2 days in each.
In Ayutthaya you can visit the temples inside the city in a day by using bicycle. On day 2 visit the temples outside by hiring a tuktuk for a day.
In Bkk you can visit Wat Pho, Royal Palace and Wat Arun in a day. But there are so many more splendid temples all around that you can easily fill another day or more. Have a look at taking a tour on the Chao Phraya and the khlongs, stopping by at the Royal Barges Museum.
Or visit the Jim Thompson House. Or visit the formar Royal summer residence Vinmanmek, which is the largest teakwood building in the world.
Go up BaiyokeII tower for a great view over the city and surrounding. Another place with a lovely voew over the city is Golden Mount (Wat Saket).
We also loved Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit), which is made out of the famous Italian marble.

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from La Gouesnière

Completely agree with Jessika, you need at least two days in Bangkok, if not more. Many people go to Ayuthaya on a day trip from BKK, so that's always possible but not ideal. Haven't been to Chiang Mai so cannot advise on that.

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from Tongeren

I agree with Paul that going to Ayutthaya from Bkk as a daytrip isn't ideal ... It deserves much much more than a mere couple of hours. We took the train from Bkk, had a walk around town to explore ( no temples), went by bicycle on day 2, by tuktuk on day 3 to take the nighttrain out late evening on day 3. And still we felt this was somewhat rushed. And this das without doing a boattour (which we did on our visit 8 months earlier).

As for Chiang Mai ... Of course you want to visit the Doi Suthep temple. But there are so many other temples that are interesting too ... in fact there are over 300 or so temples in CM. I'd go for at least 3 days in CM. Just a simple walk around the town is also worth doing, since that way you'll be able to admire the ancient city walls.
Another thing worth doing is an excursion to visit some of the hill tribes that live in the area.
Or you can go further up north and visit the famous 'Golden Triangle'.
Also in the vicinity of CM are a lot of shops (big and small, touristic and no so) where you can see the 'northern crafts'. Silk industry, laquerware, the traditional paper upbrella painting (Bor Sang), ... Just make a deal with a tuk mtun driver to take you there. For the silk w always went to a shop called 'Jolie Femme', quality silk at de ent rates.
Or if you want to go for an elephant ride, just ask any hotel and they'll point you to one of the spots around to do so.

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from Ieper

2 days in BKK 1 day Ayuthaya and 4 days in Chang Mai....and take a day trip by joining a tour to Chang Rai and Golden triangle.......How many days are you planning to stay in Thailand?....we took the train to Chang Mai from BKK

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from New Jersey

There are 1 day highlights in each place. You do not need to stay overnight to do a temple tour in Auythaya. However you will need more time for Chiang Mai for travel alone. Here are some one day temple tours in Bangkok, Auythaya and Chiang Mai. Of course there is so much more to see but if you only have time for one day each these are some options

[original VT link]

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[original VT link]

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from New Jersey

Sorry, I didn't mark the links. First is for Bangkok, second Auythaya and the third is for Chiang Mai.

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from Puerto Princesa

I would suggest 2 days Chiang Mai which would allow time to visit out of town temples. Ayuttaya can be explored by bicycle in a day, and 2 days in Bangkok, but this is only to see the temples. There is so much more to see in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Another place that may interest you would be the ancient city of Sukhothai.

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from Miami

We've done Ayutthaya both as a day trip (on our second trip to Thailand) and as an overnight 2 day trip. Totally different and although we saw/covered quite a bit as a day trip is was far more hurried. Only reason we decided to do this was I wanted to do some additional photography I may have missed the first time.

Bangkok deserves at least 2-3 days (if you're only going for temples and wats and museums).
Chiang Mai you can cover in 2 days but 3 would be better.

Flying between points - Bangkok to Chiang Mai is quick and cheap if you purchase within Thailand. Several airlines cover that route including Bangkok Air our preferred airline with fares as low as USD $40-50.00

answered on 8/21/16 by
a VT member from Vancouver

hi Everyone!

Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! this is great information!..... :) I have been scratching my head the last few days trying to figure this out, but you guys are so helpful!!!

We are hiring a private tour guide and van to take us around, so i think i will use everyone's advice!


answered on 8/22/16 by
a VT member from Pattaya

How much time will you have for visit to Thailand? Don't try to do everything in a few days. Look over a map of Thailand so you can see how far some places are from each other.

Temples in Bangkok are easy to get to even if you use cheap meter taxi. In Bangkok there are numerous shared tours to Ayutthaya through travel agencies and hotel tour desks.

Chiang Mai is not that close to Bangkok if you are thinking only of a day trip. Chiang Mai is worth several days of your time. There are also temples not far from Chiang Rai.

If you are using a car to get to Chiang Mai there is a nice restored temple at Phimai. Sort of on the way up to Chiang Mai. (Korat/Nakhon Ratchasima area.)

Good luck.

answered on 8/22/16 by
a VT member from Trail

Good advice from the respondents above. Also keep in mind it will be 35C and usually quite humid all day and most of the night, for most of the year. I've been to Thailand many time and lived in Issan for 3 years. The temperature doesn't change much during the year. So be prepared to sweat ... all day. You can buy chilled cloths at all 7/11 Stores. it is pleasanter near the water. The very hot months are April & May. Rainy months June-Oct. Dry Months Nov-Feb. I think you need a minimum 2 days in BKK, 3 Days in Chiang Mai & 1 day in Ayutthaya. Plus travel between. Airfares are quite reasonable throughout Thailand.

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