Sukhothai Guide: What to See and Do in Sukhothai

Would you like to know the temples of Sukhothai? We explain what to see and what to do in Sukhothai so you can make the most of your visit

Sukhothai, in the north of Thailand, was the ancient capital of the kingdom of Siam from 1238 to 1378. Without a doubt, the main attraction of the city is the impressive Sukhothai Historical Park , full of monuments and temples that will not leave you indifferent. .

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What to see in Sukhothai

If you are wondering what to see in Sukhothai, in Thailand, you are in the perfect place! Here we explain what you cannot miss in the city.

Sukhothai Historical Park

Sukhothai National Park, also known as Sukhothai Historical Park, is the city’s main tourist attraction . It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is the ideal place if you are passionate about ancient temples and monuments.

The park, in fact, is not in the heart of the city, but you can see it 12 kilometers from the heart of Sukhothai .

Upon arrival you will see that it is divided into two areas: the central area of the park, which is walled , and the area outside the wall. The central area is the archaeological park, where most of the temples are located. practical data

  • Location: Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District
  • Hours: from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Price: 100 bahts per person (€2.8, approximately) to enter the walled area. The outdoor area is also priced at 100 baht.
Sukhothai Historical Park
Sukhothai Historical Park

Seven must-see places in Sukhothai Historical Park

Wat Mahathat and Royal Palace

The Wat Mahathat and the Royal Palace are considered as the main point of interest in the Sukhothai Historical Park.

The Wat Mahathat is also known as the temple of the great relic. It was built between the 13th and 14th centuries and stands out for containing a large figure of a seated Buddha.

In the surroundings you can see four stupas – a typical religious construction of Buddhism.

A typical religious construction of Buddhism.
A typical religious construction of Buddhism.

Monument to King Ramkhamhaeng

The King Ramkhamhaeng Monument is located in the center of the park. This monument was dedicated to Ramkhamhaeng, who reigned in Sukhothai between the years 1279 and 1298. This king led Sukhothai to his most glorious days. He also created the Thai alphabet.

Traphang Ngon Wat

The name of the Traphang Ngon Wat temple could be translated as “Silver Monastery”. In this temple you can see several images of Buddha. In fact, the temple has one of the largest Buddha figures in the Sukhothai Historical Park.

It is a fairly small temple located on an island in the artificial lake that you will find in the Sukhothai Historical Park.

Traphang Wat Thong Lang

Traphang Wat Thong Temple is also known as Golden Lake Temple or Golden Lake in the Monastery. You will find it as soon as you arrive at the Sukhothai Historical Park, since it is located at the entrance.

The most remarkable thing about this temple is that inside you will see a large engraving on the ground in the shape of Buddha’s hand . Locals cover it with gold leaf and coins.

The temple is surrounded by lotus flowers and a lake. To access it you must cross a wooden bridge that will take you to the doors of the main temple building.

Would you like to see a unique image of Sukhothai Historical Park? Why not visit its temples during sunset or sunrise? You can enjoy incredible views of the ruins that are well worth it

Saint Ta Pha Daeng

This Hindu shrine, also known as the Deity Temple , was built in the 12th century. For its construction, reddish-colored clay typical of the area (laterite) was used.

It is located north of Wat Mahathat temple, the most famous temple in Sukhothai Historical Park.

Saint Ta Pha Daeng
Saint Ta Pha Daeng

Wat Si Sawai

The Wat Si Saway temple, also known as Wat Sri Svaya, was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest in Sukhothai city. If you want to visit it, keep in mind that it is located in the southern part of the walled part of the Sukhothai Historical Park.

This temple stands out for its Khmer-style architecture. The temple is made up of several columns and the temple complex has a central courtyard in addition to three main structures.

Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is also located within the Sukhothai Historical Park complex. It is considered one of the most important museums in Thailand.

It opened in 1964 and has many historical valuables such as Buddhist figures and ancient scriptures. Inside there are also several objects that show the life of the Thai people. It is a good option if you want to delve deeper into the past and present of the people of Thailand.

Admission to the museum costs 30 baht (approximately €0.8) and can be visited from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday.

Things to do in Sukhothai

Now that you know what to see in Sukhothai, it is time to talk about some experiences that you can enjoy in the city. We recommend some activities to do in Sukhothai.

Cycle through Sukhothai Historical Park

One of the most practical ways to discover Sukhothai Historical Park is on a bike tour to see the best temples in the area in no time.

This bike tour is recommended for everyone because it is safe and quiet to do so, thanks to the fact that the enclosure is walled and there is no traffic.

The price of renting a bicycle is 30 baht (approximately €0.8). It can be rented at the entrance to the walled area of the park. In addition to the rental price, you must pay 10 bahts (approximately €0.3) to enter the park by bike.

Go shopping at Old Sukhothai Market

Sukhothai is much more than its temples and there are some activities that will allow you to experience first-hand the daily life of the city’s inhabitants.

To do this, we recommend you take a walk around the Old Sukhothai market, where you will find a wide variety of local products . You will especially like this visit if you are interested in tasting the specialties of the place and knowing the typical foods of the area cooked at the same time.

How many days to spend in Sukhothai?

But first of all, do you have doubts about how many days to spend in Sukhothai? If you are considering including Sukhothai on your route to Thailand, keep in mind that it is advisable to spend 1-2 days in the city . To fully enjoy the Sukhothai Historical Park, we recommend spending a whole day there.

Also, if you decide to spend two days in the city, you can take the opportunity to make other visits to other places such as the Si Satchanalai Historical Park or the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, one hour from Sukhothai.

Si Satchanalai Historical Park
Si Satchanalai Historical Park

How to get to Sukhothai?

There are several ways to get to Sukhothai depending on the city you are in.

The means of transport that we recommend are plane, train or bus.

From Bangkok to Sukhothai

If you are in Bangkok you can reach Sukhothai by train by heading to Hua Lampong railway station in the direction of Phitsanulok. Keep in mind that the journey is long (it takes around seven hours). From Phitsanulok you can take a bus that will take you to Sukhothai.

From Chiangmai to Sukhothai

If you go from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai you can opt for the same means of transport (train or bus). There is even a night bus if you want to make the most of the day. The duration of the trip is about six or seven hours by road, too.

Airplane Options

If you don’t want to spend so many hours on the road, also keep in mind that there are planes that will take you from various parts of the country to Phitsanulok and from there you can take the train to Sukhothai. There are also possible combinations from Bangkok airport to Sukhothai airport.

Sukhothai or Ayutthaya?

Some travelers hesitate to visit Sukhothai, Ayutthaya or both. Both are historical cities with beautiful ruins and temples , so it is normal that this question arises. What we recommend is:

  • If time is not a key factor for you and you have enough days, visit them both. Both Sukhothai and Ayutthaya have a special charm that is worth seeing.
  • If you don’t have many days and you have to choose one or the other, here are the highlights to help you decide:
    • Sukhothai is better preserved and its temples and ruins are easier to visit because most are close to each other and in a closed compound. Also, Sukhothai is less crowded. But the distance and connections from Bangkok are more difficult, so getting to Sukhothai takes time.
    • Ayutthaya , on the other hand, is more convenient for comfort and for the leisure offerings around it. It can be visited on a day trip from Bangkok, so it doesn’t take long. But it should be noted that it is a more crowded city.

Now that you know in depth what to see in Sukhothai and what to do to make your experience unforgettable, it’s time to start preparing your trip!

Discover our itineraries to Thailand that pass through Sukhothai:

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