"Temples and Monks" Top 5 Page for this destination Sukhothai by thedouglas

Sukhothai Travel Guide: 239 reviews and 802 photos

Kingdom with history woven with myth & fact

This old city is now listed with UNESCO as a world heritage site - and, thankfully, preservation of remaining artefacts is a high priority. Headless Buddha images are a very sad and all too frequent sight in Asia.

The grandeur of Sukhothai dates from the rule of Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng the Great, in the 13th century. As well as being credited as a mighty ruler, who expanded the kingdom in all directions, he is also recognised as the inventor of the current Thai alphabet. A number of stones are testament to the evolution of this script, maintained and displayed in the museum.

This king is also attributed with supernatural power, and said to have turned opposing Khmer soldiers into stone.

Well walled in its heyday

The old town was surrounded by three layers of city walls - which were separated by moats - evidence of which can still be seen today. Interpretations of the early script on surviving stone tablets, suggested that the wall was referred to as "tri pura" - and many of the towns built in the Sukhothai region featured this three layered wall system - and moats.

The Historical Park of Muang Sukhothai

The park is divided into 5 groups of surviving monuments, with roughly 125 to see. They are separated as those within the city walls, outside the north, south, east and west walls (4). The latter are much more expansive, and consist of monuments located on hills and on the surrounding plains.

Sukhothai's power lasted for about 200 years, and the area is not overly expansive, but the contribution of this settlement is significant, for the development of the current Thai language, as well as having established a well preserved Buddhist architecture and artistic style.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Well preserved archeological evidence of the "golden era"
  • Cons:Looting and environmental damage prior to the current preservation efforts
  • In a nutshell:A formative contributor to modern Thailand
  • Last visit to Sukhothai: Apr 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (16)

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2012 at 4:48 AM

    Just about to visit here. Thanks for useful tips and lovely photos. Hope it is as good as it looks!!! Irene

  • Goldenboy's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    agree on your tourist traps here. i had the same experience too. and problem is english was not available. grrrrhhhh ....

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2008 at 6:05 AM

    Great tips!

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2007 at 4:33 AM

    Wonderful place. good pics and informative tips.

  • mavl's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2007 at 10:52 AM

    i haven't even done that myself, a little bit more scary to be with a big naked turkish man, haha!

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2007 at 3:36 PM

    The fish in chili sounds delicious but I don't think I'd risk hiring a bike ! Aren't you guys brave ! Interesting page with refreshingly realistic observations. You have a good eye and ear for detail. :)Katherine.

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2006 at 1:00 AM

    Now there's some great memories Therese! Mopeding around is fun...we did that in Tahiti :o) The old kilns sounds interesting..interesting pic. Cheers, Ann :o)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2006 at 3:58 PM

    Looks a great place - maybe one day I'll talk Pauline into going there. This page should help.

  • BerniShand's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2006 at 8:57 PM

    I really want to go to Thailand, love the idea of hiring a motorbike to explore

  • mim95's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2006 at 5:57 AM

    Great tips! Hopefully I'll have time to visit this ancient city when I go to Thailand.

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