A day spent exploring the Sukhothai Historical Park in the Central Plains region of Thailand
After what seemed an eternity stuck to the cheap old leather car seats. We finally arrived in Sukhothai. We decided to break up the journey back from Bangkok to Chiang Mai after spending the last 3 days making a series of travel videos for tripfilms.
Like a piece of wet cling film, we peeled ourselves out of the seated position, checked into a hotel and after standing upright for an acceptable amount of time. Set off to explore the old historical ruins in the Sukhothai Historical Park.
Located 300km south of Chiang Mai in the central plains region is Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is one of the most visited ancient sites in Thailand.
Sukhothai was the first Thai capital founded in the 12th century, the brief 138 years that Sukhothai held the title before Ayutthaya took the reins, is thought of as the golden age in Thai civilisation, the name Sukhothai means ‘Dawn of Happiness’.
The town is split into the Old City which is the preserved Historical Park and New Sukhothai, 12km to the east.
Though there is not much to do in the town itself, a few cafes and restaurants and that’s about it, the main reason for visiting is for the Historical Park.
We came here the day after visiting Ayutthaya. I have to admit I was getting a bit blasé about seeing ancient ruins by this point. But out of the two sites, though they have very different histories (there was no deathly massacre and bloody battle with the Burmese here) Sukhothai for me came out on top.
The remains are well preserved, more so than the Ayutthaya ruins. If you only want to see one ruined city on your visit to Thailand, Sukhothai would be my recommendation.
The full remains of Sukhothai can be found in a 70km radius, separated into 5 zones, Central, North, East, South and West. However all the most important and interesting sites lie in the central zone in Sukhothai old city. 100 baht per person for entry.
The central zone covers 3 square kilometres and the most popular way to get around it is by hiring a bicycle.
There are 11 ruins here, of which Wat Mahathat is the most impressive. (There is a Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya too – it means ‘Temple of Great Relic’)
Its a great place for photography and I could have happily stayed in there much longer, though our supplies were low and with just a few drops of water left in our bottle, we decided to call it a day and seek out some refreshing Lipton iced teas!
Refreshments acquired and ruins explored. We reluctantly smoothed our sticky backs onto the hot leather once more and began the onward journey home, to Chiang Mai.
View Sukhothai Historical Park in a larger map
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Pet Friendly Hotels in Sukhothai