November 2012
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Sukhothai is a small city in Lower Northern Thailand.

Sukhothai is a small city in Lower Northern Thailand.

Overview of Sukhothai

• It is the most famous for the ruins of the ancient city Sukhothai.
• Sukhothai, the name translates as “the dawn of happiness”.
• The province is located on the lower edge of the northern region.
• It is about 427 kilometers north of Bangkok, and covers some 6,596 square kilometers.
• The city is a popular tourist destination.
• Sukhothai was the Thai capital during the 13th Century A.D.
• The historical Sukhothai was the first capital of Siam founded by King Ramkhamhaeng.
• The province’s temples and monuments have been restored and Sukhothai Historical Park.
• This park is an area with numerous sites of historical interest.
• They have been dedicated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other interesting places include:
• Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
• Ramkhamhaeng National Park
• Sri Satchanalai National Park
• The Royal Palace
• Wat Mahathat

History of Sukhothai

• Sukhothai was the first kingdom of Siam that was established some 800 years ago.
• The exact year is unknown but according to the Fine Arts Office it was between 1238 and 1257.
• This park was established in around 1238 to 1257.
• Phokhun Si Intharathit was the founder of the Phra Ruang Dynasty, Sukhothai’s first Dynasty.
• For 120 years as the capital of Siam, Sukhothai was ruled by many kings.
• The most dynamic monarch, King Ramkhamhaeng, the Great, who created the Thai alphabet, laid the foundation for politics, monarchy, and religion.
• He expanded its boundary of influence.

Old Sukhothai (Sukhothai Muang Kao)
• This city is located 12 km to the west of today’s Sukhothai.
• This was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom from 1238 to 1438.
• It contains many ruins from that period.
• Its importance has been internationally recognized and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• The old city is a popular tourist attraction, and the site has seen much restoration since the 1960s.
• It is well maintained, exceptionally clean and well furnished with vendors.
• The heavy restoration is worth noting and it is with some ruins and Buddha figures.
• The other zones are much less “restored” and trips down unmarked tracks can lead to ruin in their untouched state.
• The best way to see the ruins in the Sukhothai National Historic Park is by bicycle.
• These can be rented from a shop opposite from the main park entrance.
• It is feasible to walk around the central and northern zones in 6 hours or so.
• There is also a 40 baht guided tour by electric tram available.
• The best time to see the ruins is mornings when it’s a little cooler and before the buses arrive.
• The other times are at noon when they have lunch, or after 16:00.
• The whole site covers an area of approximately 70 square kilometers (~27 square miles) and is divided into multiple zones.
• Every zone has an entrance fee.
• As of Dec 2010, admission to each of the zones is B100 for Westerners, and B20 for Thais, (6 am to 6 pm) plus extra for vehicles, including bicycles (B10).

Central Zone
• It contains 11 ruins in 3 square kilometers,
• They are interspersed with moats, lakes and bridges to some island-bound ruins.
• Mat Mahathat is one of the most spectacular ruin.
• It is a large seated Buddha figure set amongst the pillars of a now ruined sala, and a central Chedi flanked by two standing Buddha figures.
• Wat Sra Sri also has a large Chedi and Buddha figure, but is reached by a bridge to the island.
• There are some nice views from the other side of the lake.

North Zone
• Wat Phra Phai Luang contains the remains of a number of buildings plus a large prong with stucco reliefs.
• Wat Sri Chum contains a massive seated Buddha figure peering through an opening in its enclosure.
• Look for a stairway on the left as you enter the enclosure; it leads up and behind the Buddha image, though the passage is not always open.

Things to do in Sukhothai

• Rent a bike and explore the ruins of Old Sukhothai (walking will kill you).
• Visit the park at sunrise and admire the Buddha figures in the orange glow of the morning sun.
• Pay a visit to the ruins at Si Satchanalai: Historic Park, 55 km from new Sukhothai.
• Walk around the fresh market (In new Sukhothai) in the early morning and try the tastes of many kinds of local food of Sukhothai people.
• Rent a motorbike in new Sukhothai and appreciate the local life style.
• Have “Sukhothai” Noodle.

Best time to visit / climate

• The best time of the year to see Sukhothai is from November to February when the weather is cooler.
• Other than that you can go any time of the year.
• Thailand is largely tropical
• It’s hot and humid all year around with temperatures in the 28-35°C range (82-95°F)
• From November to the end of February, it doesn’t rain much and temperatures are at their lowest
• From March to June, Thailand swelters in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F)
• From July to October, although it only really gets underway in September, tropical monsoons hit most of the country

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:,+Thailand&t=m&z=9

How to get there?

1. By Plane
• Bangkok Airways now has a daily flight from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, which then continues on to Lampang.
• Fares from/to Bangkok start from THB 1700 (1 hour 20 minutes), from/to Lampang – from THB 1100 (around 40 minutes).

2. By Train
• Take the (express) train (7 hours from Bangkok or Chiang Mai) to Phitsanulok and go by bus from there (1 hour).

3. By Bus
• Sukothai only has a small bus station, but the city can be easily reached from the North, South, East and West.
From Mae Sot:
– Minibuses run regularly from the station behind the market.
– The journey takes about 3 hours, passing through Tak on the way.
– Price: 130 baht.
From Phitsanulok:
– Frequent buses operate from the main bus terminal and take about 1 hour for the 58 km trip.
From Bangkok:
– There are direct buses from Bangkok Mochit Terminal and takes 7 hours, including some stops at Bus Terminal of major cities on the way.
– Understand that at the Terminal (Mo Chit), there are several bus companies travelling to a particular destination.
– In this instance, Wintour travel, as at November 2010, charges B326 per person for a first class aircon bus.
– It takes about 6 hours.
From Chiang Mai:
– Buses from the main bus terminal take about 4 hours.
– The cheaper local buses make many stops and take about 5 hours.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Sukhothai

Blogs at
Blogs at
Blogs at
Blogs and reviews at

Images and photos of Thailand – Sukhothai

Images at
Images at
Images at
Images at

Videos of Thailand – Sukhothai

Watch more Sukothai videos at

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