"Phitsanuloke, SUKOTHAI" Thailand Things to Do Tip by Jannick_L.

Thailand Things to Do: 1,002 reviews and 1,206 photos


Sukothai is situated between Bangkok (430kms from Bangkok) and Chiang Mai. It was the first capital of Thailand and is famous for the extensive historical ruins, which after restoration, became a Unesco World Heritage Site. Sukothai's golden era was from the 13th to the 14th century, the art and architecture produced in this period are considered to be some of the best. Sukothai today consists of the old and new towns (located 12kms apart from each other); most of the accommodation and all facilities being in the new town. The old town of Sukothai consists mainly of the large Historical Park, where most of the remains of the original city can be seen. To explore the Historical Park, the best method of transport is bicycle, these can be hired nearby the front entrance. The whole Historical Park covers an area of about 70 square kms so many many of the sites are better reached by car. To get to Sukothai it takes 5-6 hrs to drive from Chiang Mai. Alternatively, the train stops at nearby Phitsanuloke or there are flights (from Bangkok or Chiang Mai) to Phitsanuloke or Sukothai itself.
The Ruins - many of these are worth a visit, the most important being:
Wat Mahathat was the spiritual centre of the city. It was the king's temple and therefore the symbol of his power.There are many ruins of chedis and viharns just within this compound; the stupas feature the famous lotus bud style (a feature of Sukothai style temple architecture).
Wat Sri Sawai by contrast features typical Khmer architecture. It could have been a Khmer shrine before the Sukothai kingdom was established, supported by the fact that there are Buddhist additions that have been made to it at a later date.
Wat Trapang Ngoen features an impressive lotus bud chedi and is set on an island giving it an impressive setting surrounded by water.
Outside the main park one of the most impressive temples is Wat Si Chum. Within a small walled compound you can see a majestic 50 feet tall sitting Buddha. There is a passageway running up the wall to the same level as the top of the Buddha and it is said this was used to make the Buddha 'speak' to certain worshippers, ie. a person would be sent up beforehand and act as the 'Buddhas voice'.
Also worth visiting are Wat Chang Lom and Wat Saphan Hin.

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  • Written Aug 26, 2002
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