The cradle of Thailand’s Golden Age, Sukhothai is a beautiful and tranquil escape from the Bangkok’s hustle and bustle. Rent a bicycle and explore the historical park and the ruins beyond it. With flat, paved roads, it will be an easy ride filled with wonderful sights. Have a look at our traveller’s guide to Sukhothai.
WHAT TO DO:
SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK HIGHLIGHTS
Divided into five areas, the Sukhothai Historical Park is filled with the remnants of the ancient Thai capital which was the cradle of its Golden Age.
In the East, you will find a pond filled with lotus flowers next to the museum and Wat Tra Phang Thong. This is where the first krathongs, paper lantern boats, were released for the Loy Krathong Festival. In the Central area, you will find the ruins of the Royal Palace of the Sukhothai Kingodm while the South features a well-preserved statue of a walking Buddha at Wat Chetupon. In the West lies the ruins of Wat Saphan Hin, where you shall find a massive Buddha statue standing over you. Scattered all over the North area are Buddha statues in various positions. It is also the location of the big, majestic Buddha statue that is usually featured on postcards and travel books.
KING RAMKHAMHAENT NATIONAL MUSEUM
A treasure trove for history buffs, this museum sums up the history of Sukhothai and contains a collection of artefacts and a replica of the earliest Thai writing. Open from 9AM to 4PM, the entrance fee is 150THB.
In a rural area such as Sukhothai, there is a shortage of night spots and booze buckets. There are, however, some watering holes that you can hit closer to the new city. Try heading to Chopper Bar where you will find some cheap local beers accompanied by live music. You can also stay at the historical park to appreciate the light and sound show from Friday to Sunday, at 7PM. You can also check out the stalls at the night market on the walking street where you can get some local treats and handicrafts for a low price.
HOW TO GET AROUND:
The best way to get around Sukhothai is on a bicycle, which you can easily hire for a low price just outside the historical park. Most of the hotels and hostels also rent bikes or allow their guests to use them for free.
WHERE TO STAY:
OLD CITY GUESTHOUSE
Just outside the Sukhothai Heritage Park, the Old City Guesthouse is the best place to stay if you are planning on exploring the park at sunrise when it is most quiet. With a 24-hour front desk, a nice outdoor area and free Wi-Fi, you get a good deal for your accommodation starting at 260THB per night.
PAI SUKHOTHAI RESORT
Located in the new city of Sukhothai, Pai Sukhothai Resort is the perfect accommodation for those who are looking for a bit of nightlife after spending a day touring Old Sukhothai. It comes with a pool and a restaurant that serves both Thai and Western dishes. It is also walking distance to a pub with live music.
WHAT TO EAT:
Sukhothai has a lot street-side stalls and outdoor markets that sell ready-to-eat dishes. One of the best places to visit to taste the local fare is the municipal market in the new town. You should definitely taste Sukhothai noodles before you go. The glass noodles in spicy tom yam soup garnished with bush beans and peanuts in the small stalls that dot the area.
HOW TO GET THERE:
To get to Sukhothai from Bangkok, you can hop on one of the buses at Mo Chit Station. It is best to pick the VIP bus as it is better to pay the extra Baht to be comfortable during the 7-hour journey. You can also take the train to Phitsanulok and continue your journey to Sukhothai by bus. A quicker but more expensive option is to take a domestic flight from Bangkok.
HAVE YOU BEEN TO SUKHOTHAI?
What did you there? Where did you stay? Share you experience with your fellow travellers by commenting below.