Destinations
  |  Bangkok  February 14, 2015 06:40 AM    
 

 

SUKHOTHAI

 

The Glory of the Past
  

No trip to Thailand would be complete without a visit to the birthplace of the Thai nation and the country’s first capital, Sukhothai. Established in 1238, Sukhothai lasted over two centuries and boasts 100 historical sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sukhothai Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park. It is also one of the most ambient spots to soak up the magical candlelit floats that glisten in the moonlit water during the annual Loi Krathong Festival, as it is where the festival originated many centuries ago.
 

 

  

01 The world famous Sukhothai Historical Park

This immaculately restored park is set among leafy hills and peaceful lotus ponds, lying some 7.5 miles from present day Sukhothai town. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park comprises the ruins of palace, temples, and historical monuments, including the famed Royal Palace and Wat Mahathat.

 


02
A must visit gem:  Si Satchanalai Historical Park

Independently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient town of Si Satchanalai was a satellite city to Sukhothai. Strategically protected by mountains, swamps, and river rapids, this remote, peaceful locale, with an incredible 134 temples and monuments, counts Wat Chang Lom and Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo as among its principal sights, yet surprisingly sees far fewer visitors than neighboring Sukhothai.
 

 
 03 Adorn yourself with splendid Sukhothai gold

Sukhothai is famed for its gold production. Visit Si Satchanalai district to experience ancient gold reproductions of necklaces, wristlets, bangles, earrings, and rings made by skilled workers entirely by hand.
 

04 The ethereal experience of the Loy Krathong Festival

As night falls, tiny floats filled with flowers, incense, and a candle illuminate the country’s waterways. This tribute to the Water Goddess takes place on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month. While visitors can see and participate in this festival all across the country, anywhere there is a river, stream, or canal, the most unforgettable place to catch this breathtaking event is in the atmospheric ruins of the Sukhothai Historical Park, where it originated many centuries ago.
 

 

05 The spectacular Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

Named after Sukhothai’s most illustrious ruler, this museum is an excellent place to get an introduction to the ancient city before physically heading out to explore the sites. On display in this outstanding collection are early 20th century photographs of Sukhothai, taken well before any restoration, as well as a fine bronze walking Buddha that is considered the best example of its kind in the country.

 

06 Discover Sukhothai's archeological and agricultural delights on a bicycle

To traverse the magnificent ruins in the Sukhothai Historical Park, rent a bike for a pittance. For an agrotourism experience, bike around the Bunchop Em-im Orchard in Amphoe Sawankhalok to taste a variety of fruits, like pomelo, sapodilla, coconut, star fruit, banana, and plum mango. Then proceed to the Tambon Ban Tuek Community to enjoy the traditional life of fruit growers and taste longkong, langsat, mangosteen, durian, banana, pomelo, and rambutan.
 

 

07 A beginner’s course on agrotourism starts at the Sukhothai Airport


Owned and operated by Bangkok Airways, Sukhothai Airport is an open-air passenger airport uniquely constructed to resemble the classic Siamese pagodas found in Sukhothai's rich history as Thailand's ancient capital. Here, passengers can also join in its agrotourism activities. Bangkok Airways also grows special organic rice from the surrounding rice paddies within the airport area, which is then served onboard as part of its appetizing in-flight menu.

 

08 The highly anticipated Si Satchanalai Elephant Back Ordination Procession

A traditional ceremony of the Thai Phuan (the citizens of Ban Hat Siao) the Si Satchanalai Elephant Back Ordination Procession is held annually on April 7-8.  This event features a spectacular procession of ordination candidates, dressed in colorful costumes, riding on the backs of some 20-30 decorated elephants. The ordination ceremony includes head shaving, bathing, and dressing up candidates and elephants.

 

 

09 Shop for more gold trinkets and treasures

At the Si Satchanalai district, ancient gold reproductions are entirely hand-made by skilled workers and come in necklaces, wristlets, bangles, earrings, rings, and many more works of art. Other popular local products are Sukhothai silver, terra cotta, and Hat Siao fabrics.

Shopping Directory

10 Savor Sukhothai dining

Sukhothai Night Market is the place where varieties of local food can be found. A must try is the Sukhothai noodle, a blend of rice noodle soup mixed with pork, garlic, green beans, coriander, chili, and peanuts.
 

Dining Directory

   

 

 
  

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 How to Get There
 

 

Bangkok Airways flies to Sukhothai daily.
 

Bangkok Office Tel. 02 270 6699
Sukhothai Office Tel. 0 5564 7225-6
www.bangkokair.com

 

  

 

 

The 7-hour journey from Bangkok can be made by either air-conditioned or non-air-conditioned bus, leaving from the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal.

 

Tel. 0 2936 2852-66

www.transport.co.th



 

Daily trains operated by the State Railways of Thailand depart from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station to Phitsanulok. From Phitsanulok, commute by car to Sukhothai.

 

Tel. 02 223 7010, 02 223 7020
www.railway.co.th
 

 

 

Route 1: From Bangkok, take Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road) then Highway 101 via
Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet to Sukhothai, a total distance of 273 miles.

Route 2: From Bangkok, take Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road) then Highway 32 via Bang Pa-in and Nakhon Sawan. Take Highway 117 for Phitsanulok then Highway 12 for Sukhothai, a total distance is 265 miles.

 

 

Useful Links

Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

 

Bangkok Airways

State Railways of Thailand