Known as the “Dawn of Happiness,” Sukhothai also marks the beautiful dawn of Thailand. This first independent kingdom of Siam was found in the 13th century and has put a great influence on every aspect of the country since. For this wonderful significance, Sukhothai and its associated historic towns received the title of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1991.
Situated in an area covered with fresh green lawn, lotus ponds, and sylvan rows of trees, Sukhothai Historical Park does not offer only an amazing sight of a flourished ancient city, but also a beautiful space to learn and appreciate the prosperous history of Thailand. The park is divided into 5 different parts with the central being the most popular amongst tourists.
While you are here, one of the must-sees is the monument of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, one of Thailand’s greatest kings of all time who invented the modern Thai alphabets and established the foundation of the country’s political system. Another spot is at Wat Mahathat, the Sukhothai-style royal temple that seems to have appeared on every Thailand guide book. The picturesque remains of this temple consist of the stunning Lanka-Si Vijaya Chedi decorated with a lotus bud stucco top, 200 smaller Chedis, 10 Viharns, 8 Buddha shrines, and 4 lotus ponds. Over 80 other temples around the park hold similar architectural designs but each has its own beauty and uniqueness that are waiting for you to explore.
The tickets for Sukhothai Historical Park last for 30 days so you can come back anytime you need within the time limit. Plus, this park is different than other historical parks because it is also open at night which is another reason photographers and history enthusiasts love it here. The soft warm lights that glow after the sun goes down can strangely make these ruins seem alive giving another enchanted element to the sacred atmosphere of this old city.
From Bangkok, use Highway No. 1 passing Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet and turn onto Highway No. 101 heading to Sukhothai. From Sukhothai city center, continue on Highway No. 12 for 12 kilometers westward and you will reach the destination. The total distance is 452 kilometers.