Wat Chai Wattanaram

Top choice ruins

in Ayuthaya

Glorious in the early morning light and also at sunset, this temple is Ayuthaya's most impressive off-island site thanks to its 35m-high central prang (Khmer-style spire) and fine state of preservation. Heavily eroded relief panels on the backs of the surrounding stupas show scenes from the Buddha's life.

The temple was built by King Prasat Thong to honour his mother, and the design's resemblance to Cambodia's Angkor Wat is intentional. Construction began in 1630 and it took around 20 years to complete.

It's across the river from the southwestern corner of Ayuthaya island.