Being the former capital of Thailand, the ancient city Sukhothai has had an important say in the Thai history. It’s a city full of historical temples surrounded by green parks with soothing waters. The peaceful ambiance is inviting visitors for meditation and/or archeological purposes. Wanderers are walking or biking through the park with their camera’s ready to capture the ancient Buddha statues and temples.
History of the olden city
Great periods of development were taking place during the 13th and 14th century. Whereas the city was originally built by the Khmer, it was taken over by the Thai half-way the 13th century. It was here, in the old capital, where the King Ramkhamhaeng composed the first Thai alphabet. The King formed a powerful kingdom with strong relations with neighboring cities and the gigantic China.
The UNESCO World Heritage Sukhothai
Nowadays the old city is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, within the old city walls are twenty ancient temples (wats) and monuments to admire. The city walls form a rectangle of 2 km to 1.5 km which makes the venue perfect to bike around. Bikes can be hired for a few Baht, next to the entrance of the park. A snack, cup of coffee or water can be purchased on the grounds of the heritage site. The old city is situated at about 12 km from the new city which is now inhabited by the Sukhothai people.
Most impressive is the Wat Mahathat which is a Buddha surrounded olden pillars and a temple, encompassed by a pond. The meditation sense can be felt here just like at the other temples, just make a tour through the park. In the weekends there are special light shows organized and the park opens her doors a little longer. If you are coming around in November make sure you don’t miss the Loy Krathong light festival. Special events are organized all year long so have a look! An incredible event, especially in the old Sukhothai where candles are being lit and together with hundreds of flowers released on the waters.
Opening times: 6.30 AM to 6.00 PM (in weekends a little longer)
Entrance fee: 100 Baht (10 Baht more if you drive a bike)
How to get there?
A joined transfer from the airport Bangkok is 300 Baht though a private taxi is also possible (duration: approximately five hours). Moreover there is the possibility of an air conditioned bus which takes about seven hours. A combination of a train to Phitsanulok followed by the local bus is as well possible just like flying from Bangkok to Sukhothai or Phitsanulok in about one hour.
Where to stay?
It will take five minutes by bike to reach the Historical Park Sukhothai starting at one of the two elegant resorts.
Le Charme Sukhothai Resort is welcoming guests with chalets facing a beautiful pond with lotus flowers. Ideal for a relaxed holiday and on top of that light on your budget. Facilities include amongst others a cosy restaurant, swimming pool and bike services.
The Legendha Sukhothai Boutique Resort is like stepping into an old Thai village with an impressive design. Specials include the Thai cultural dance performances in the evenings, Thai cooking sessions and in the early mornings guests have the possibility to offer something to the monks.