Sukhothai which literally means "Dawn of Happiness" is located 427 km (267 miles) north of Bangkok, and was founded in 1238. Sukhothai used to be the capital of Thailand for approximately 120 years.
The former greatness of Sukhothai has been preserved in architectural monuments. Ruins of the royal palaces, Buddhist temples, the city gates, walls moats, dams, ditches, ponds, canals and the water dyke control system which was the economic base of the kingdom has been restored by the Fine Arts Department with the cooperation of the UNESCO, not only to foster Thailand's national identity but safeguard an important part of mankind's cultural heritage.
The new town of Sukhothai, a few kilometers away from the old one, is where hotels, restaurants and other infastructure facilities are located today.
The city is a popular tourist destination because it is located near the ruins of the ancient city of Sukhothai, which was the Thai capital during the 13th Century A.D. that Siam took from Khmer Empire .
The Sukhothai Historical Park covers the ruins of Sukhothai, capital of the Sukhothai kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries, in what is now the north of Thailand. It is located 12 kilometers from the modern city of Sukhothai, capital of the province with the same name.
The city walls form a rectangle about 2 km east-west by 1.6 km north-south. There are 193 ruins on 70 square kilometers of land. There is a gate in the center of each wall. Inside are the remains of the royal palace and twenty-six temples, the largest being Wat Mahathat. The park is maintained by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand with help from UNESCO, which has declared it a World Heritage Site. The park sees thousands of visitors each year, who marvel at the ancient Buddha figures, palace buildings and ruined temples. The park is easily toured by bicycle or even on foot.
The protection of the area was first announced in the Royal Gazette on June 6, 1962. In 1976 the restoration project was approved, and in July 1988 the park was officially opened. On December 12, 1991, it was declared a World Heritage Site, together with the associated historic parks in Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai.
Location: Latitude=17.2434, Longitude=99.723215
There the original city was surrounded by walls with 4 city gates. Today the walls house several sites worthy to visit. These include:
The Royal Palace
The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
The Ramkhamhaeng Monument
Wat Si Sawai
Wat Traphang Ngoen
Wat Traphang Thong
Wat Chana Songkhram,
Wat Sa Si
San Ta Pha Daeng
The biggest temple is situated at the center of Sukothai accient city. Structures had been continuously built and restored during the 200 years of the city. Ruins such as a variety of about 200 chedis and approximately 20 roofed buildings are at this temple.
1. Groups of main chedis and viharns in the center area.
The main chedi surrounded by subsidary chedis is situated at the principal area of the temple. The gallery serves as a boundary from which the adjoining viharns(monestry halls) are extended at the east side. The main chedi has the graceful shape of a lotus bud, which characterizes the art of Sukothai. Surroundad by 8 chedis, the four at the corner belong to the Hariphunchai - Lanna style and the four in between have Prang-shaped chedis, which were influenced by the Khamer art. The base of the main chedis is decorated with relief-stucco of 168 Buddhist disciples walking with their hands clasped together in salutation. At both sides of the main chedi is situated with two standing Buddha images called Attharot, 12 meters in height. there is a huge bronze Buddha image or golden Buddha image in stone inscription No. 1 enshrine in the royal vihara in front of the main chedi. This image was removed to Suthat temple in Bangkok by King Rama I and it was later named Phra Si Sakkayamuni.
2. Group of chedis and viharns in the west area 3. Group of chedis and viharns in the south area Wat Sri Svaya
1. Monastery halls(viharns)
3. Prasat-styled monuments(chedis)
The three Prasat-styled monuments(chedis) inspired by Khamer towers were restored in the Sukothai era during which the surroundaing gallery was built as well. To the west of the temple two monestry halls(viharns) are situated. The inner monestry hall has a trace of several restorations undertaken in the Sukothai era.
2. Group of chedis and viharns in the west area
3. Group of chedis and viharns in the south area
Wat Sri Svaya
Monument of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great
This monument was built to honour and commemorate King Ramkhamhaeng, the great king of the Sukothai period, who created the Thai alphabet. The planning of the structure was directed by the Fine Arts Department, led by Genaral Thanon Kittikhajon, the prime minister who was the chairman of the opening cememory on 26th November 1969.
The characteristics of the King Ramkhamhaeng statue are that of a fine a tistic structure, with proper proportions of face and body, of an aristocrat dusing Sukothai period. the face was also scruptured as a Buddha image of Sukhothai style.
The King Ramkhamhaeng statue is in the positing of sitting on a throue of 4 m long and 2.88 m wide. The right hand is holding a scripture and the left is in a lecture position. On the left of the throne is a dagger. The statue is twice the size of a real human. It was molded from bronze mized with copper and smoke-driec, weighting about 3 tons.
How to get there
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. 130 baht.
From Phitsanulok: Frequent buses operate from the main bus terminal and take about 1 hour for the 58 km trip.
By Bus : There are direct buses from Bangkok Mochit Terminal and takes 7 hours, including some stops at Bus Terminal of major cities on the way.
By Train : Take the (express) train (7 hours) to Phitsanulok and go by bus from there (1 hour).
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.
The best way to see the ruins in the Sukhotai National Historic Park is by bicycle. These can be rented from a shop opposite from the main park entrance.
The purple #1 songthaew travels to and from the bus station, which is about 3 km out of town. They run the length of Thanon Charodwithitong. The fare is 10 baht.
The large blue songthaew to Old Sukhothai leaves from a bus stop on Thanon Charodwithitong about 100 meters west of the bridge. It stops about 750 meters from the entrance to the central zone of the historic park. Fare: 20 baht.
The Si Satchanalai Historical Park is a historical park in Si Satchanalai district, Sukhothai Province, northern Thailand. In 1976 the restoration project was approved, and in July 1988 the park was officially opened. On December 12, 1991, it was declared a World Heritage site, together with the associated historic parks in Kamphaengphet and Sukhothai.
Among the remains of the 19 monuments inside the city wall, highlights are the first three monuments from the entrance, Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Chet Thaew and Wat Nang Phaya.
Si Satchanalai, the other historical site, is only 55 kilometers from the town of Sukhothai. The location of an ancient community and covering over 2,000 rai of land, Si Satchanalai had the status of "Muang Luk Luang", as it was ruled by the son of a king. In 20th century, when Sukhothai was ruled by Ayutthaya, Si Satchanalai assumed the lower status of "Muang Phaya Mahanakorn" and was known as "Muang Sawankaloke".
10 Moo 4, Ban Lum,
Mueang Sukhothai, Sukhothai 64000 Thailand
Tel: 0 5562 2428-31
Fax: 0 5562 1885
Accommodation : 32 rooms
Room Rates : 2,600 - 3,300 THB
321/3 Moo 3, Muang Kao,
Mueang Sukhothai, Sukhothai 64210 Thailand
Tel: 0 5569 7132, 0 5569 7500, 08 4619 3200
Fax: 0 5569 7131
Accommodation : 13 rooms
Room Rates : 3,100 - 8,000 THB
123, 145,146 Nikon Kasem Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5561 1385, 0 5561 1689, 08 1680 2405
Price Rates : 150 - 350 THB
Number of Rooms : 35 rooms
Le Charme Sukhothai Resort
9/9 Moo 3 Napho-Khirimas Rd., Tumbon Muang Kao, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64210
Tel : 0 5563 3333, 0 2642 5497
Website : http://www.lecharmesukhothai.com
Email : ,
Price Rates : 2,500 - 6,500 THB
Number of Rooms : 42 rooms0 Unit
Pailyn Sukhothai Hotel
10/2 Moo 1 Charot Withithong Rd., Tumbon Muang Kao, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64210
Tel : 0 5561 3310-5
Price Rates : 1,200 - 3,500 THB
Number of Rooms : 230 rooms
229 Charot Withithong Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5561 1031
Price Rates : 400 - 700 THB
Number of Rooms : 83 rooms
River View Hotel
92/1 Nikon Kasem Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5561 1656
Price Rates : 350 - 650 THB
Number of Rooms : 45 rooms
Ruean Thai Hotel
181/20 Soi Pracha Ruammit Charot Withithong Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5561 2444, 0 5561 2456
Website : http://www.rueanthaihotel.com
Price Rates : 1,200 - 3,200 THB
Number of Rooms : 28 rooms
56/2-5 Singhawat Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5561 1567
Website : http://www.sawasdipong.com
Email : ,
Price Rates : 350 - 750 THB
Number of Rooms : 50 rooms
Sirita Sukhothai Hotel
64/8 Wichien Chamnong Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5562 1741, 08 6735 9421
Website : http://www.siritasukhothai.com
Price Rates : 500 - 1,800 THB
Number of Rooms : 40 rooms
Sukhothai Guest House
68 Wichienchamnong Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5561 0453, 08 4050 8096
Website : http://www.sukhothaiguesthouse.com
Price Rates : 350 - 750 THB
Number of Rooms : 12 rooms
Sukhothai Tewsone Resort
286/11 Moo 2, Tumbon Ban Kluai, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 08 1888 6378
Website : http://sukhothaitewsone.spaces.live.com
Price Rates : 600 - 2,500 THB
Number of Rooms : 26 rooms
Sukothai Orchid Hotel
43 Singhawat Rd., Tumbon Thanee, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64000
Tel : 0 5561 1193-4, 08 3161 4588
Website : http://www.sukhothaiorchid.com
Price Rates : 390 - 1,200 THB
Number of Rooms : 55 rooms
The Legendha Sukhothai Resort
214 Moo 3, Tumbon Muang Kao, Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai, Changwat Sukhothai 64210
Tel : 0 5569 7249, 0 5569 7275
Website : http://www.legendhasukhothai.com
Email : ,
Price Rates : 1,900 - 3,500 THB
Number of Rooms : 62 rooms 0 Unit