Though never been a capital of Siam like the famous Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, Si Satchanalai is another magnificent ancient city that has been standing with Thailand since the dawn of time. With the total area that covers 4 Sub-Districts of Sukhothai province and over 200 ruins and antiquities found, Si Satchanalai is definitely a treasured city that greatly contributes to the history of Thailand.
Evidences from stone inscriptions and annals tell us that Si Satchanalai was an important colonial city of Sukhothai and had been ruled by powerful kings like King Ramkhamhaeng the Great and King Mahathammaraja before. However after the fall of Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai was taken over by Ayutthaya and changed the name to “Sawan Khalok.” It then became the main supplier of the precious Sangkhalok porcelain, a major export product of the new capital.
The Si Satchanalai art is similar to that of Sukhothai which are influenced by the Dvaravati and Lopburi cultures. In addition, the remains of the city also show the impact of the early Ayutthaya period on architecture and system of beliefs. Many temples house gorgeous Buddhist and Brahman structures such as Chedis, divine images, and sculptures of mythological creatures. Some highlights are at Wat Chang Lom with 39 war elephant statues (all larger than life-size) guarding the main Chedi, Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo with several rows of smaller Sukhothai Chedi surrounding the central sanctuary, and the Thuriang kilns along the Mayom River which is considered the “Caledon Factory” of both Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.
Along with the Khamphaeng Phet and Sukhothai Historical Parks, Si Satchanalai was declared UNESCO’s World Heritage Site under the name of the “Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns.” If you want to see where Thailand and everything it has today came from, you will not be disappointed here.
From Bangkok, use Highway No. 1 passing Nakhon Sawan and Kamphaeng Phet and turn onto Highway No. 101 heading to Sukhothai. Between the 17th and 19th kilometer markers, turn left to cross the bridge over the Mayom River and you will see the entrance of the park on the right. The total distance is 508 kilometers.