In 1238, Sukhothai ('Dawn of Happiness') became the first truly
independent Thai kingdom. Historical artifacts have demonstrated
that Thai culture, most particularly the Thai alphabet and Thai
language, originated in Sukhothai. Sukhothai province covers
some 6,596 square kilometers. The provincial capital is some 427
kilometers north of Bangkok. The province's major attraction is
the ancient city of Sukhothai, which largely forms the Sukhothai
Historical Park, which is a UNESCO designated World Heritage
Attractions - in the city
Sukhothai Historical Park
Ruined temples, palaces and irrigation systems
help evoke much of the former capital's splendor. The ancient
city walls measure 2,000 meters by 1,600 meters.
Major Historical Park structures include:
The Royal Palace & Wat Mahathat
The moated 160,000 square meter royal palace
area contains Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai's largest and most
important temple. Massive stone Buddha images preside over a
complex of columns, lotus bud towers and picturesque pagodas
reflected in lotus ponds.
Wat Si Sawai
Located some 300 meters to the southwest of Wat
Mahathat, Wat Si Sawai was originally a Hindu shrine and
contains 3 Lop Buri-style stupas.
Wat Sa Si
The major features are a Sri Lankan-style chedi
and large seated stone Buddha image. The temple is built on an
island surrounded by an ornamental pond.
King Ramkhamhaeng the Great Statue
This bronze statue commemorates the Sukhothai
monarch whose major enduring accomplishment was the creation of
the Thai alphabet in 1283.
Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
The museum contains artifacts unearthed in
Sukhothai and nearby provinces, and is open daily, except
Mondays, Tuesdays and government holidays, from 9.00 AM until
12.00 noon, and 1.00 to 4.00 PM.
Beyond the City Walls
Wat Phra Pai Luang
Located 300 meters north of Sanluang Gate, this
second most important Sukhothai temple was formerly a Khmer
Hindu shrine before being converted into a moat Buddhist temple.
Wat Si Chum
Located some 1,500 meters north of Wat
Mahathat, this temple houses a massive seated stone Buddha image
that measures more than eleven meters from knee to knee.
Wat Saphan Hin
This temple enjoys a forest setting on a
200-metre high hill affording a panoramic view of Sukhothai
Historical Park. The complex is dominated by a 12.50-meter tall
standing Buddha image.
This temple formerly contained particularly
fine examples of Buddha images in sitting, standing, walking and
Wat Chang Lom
This most important of Sukhothai's eastern
structures comprises a Sri Lankan-style chedi supported by 36
Attractions - out of the city
Si Satchanalai Historical Park
Some 50 kilometers north of Sukhothai, Si
Satchanalai was the seat of Sukhothai's viceroys, and was always
regarded as Sukhothai's twin city.
Major ruins within the award-winning 800-acre complex
Wat Chang Lom
Elephantine buttresses support the complex's
Sri Lankan-style chedi.
Wat Nang Phaya
This 'Temple of the Queen' boasts exceptionally
fine 16th-century stucco decorations in excellent condition.
Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo
Just south of Wat Chang Lom, this temple
contains seven rows of stupas, some with lotus bud-shaped
spires. Some stupas probably contain the ashes of Sukhothai
Ko Noi Thuriang Kilns
Approximately 500 kilns occupy an area perhaps
one kilometer square. The kilns were the major center of
Sukhothai's famous 14th and 15th-century Sangkhalok pottery,
which was exported to Indonesia and the Philippines.
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat
This picturesque temple is located outside Si
Satchanalai's city wall, some 3 kilometers to the south, and
contains a laterite stupa with a square base measuring some 22
meters on each side.
Ramkhamhaeng National Park (Khao Luang)
Park headquarters are 16 kilometers from the
Amphoe Khiri Mat town hall. The park's major peak is 1,200
meters above sea level. Popular with campers and sightseers, the
award-winning park boasts sprawling plains, high cliffs,
waterfalls, caves and colorful wildlife.
Si Satchanalai National Park (Pa Kha)
Park headquarters are some 47 kilometers from
the Amphoe Si Satchanalai town hall, at Ban Pa Ka. The park
contains picturesque scenery, caves, teeming wildlife and
waterfalls near the park headquarters.
Special Events & Festivals
Special Buddhist Ordination Ceremonies
Each April 7 & 8, the people of Ban Hat Siao in
Amphoe Si Satchanalai conduct mass Buddhist ordination
ceremonies in which ordination candidates are borne to temples
on colorfully caparisoned elephants.
Loi Krathong (Festival of Lights)
Thailand's loveliest festival is celebrated
nationwide on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month,
normally mid-November. The festival is particularly picturesque
amid the ruins of Sukhothai's Historical Park, where the event
becomes a 3-day affair of parades, beauty pageants, homage
paying and folk entertainment. Loi Krathong is believed to have
originated in the royal court of Sukhothai some 700 years ago.
Beneath the full moon, people from all walks of life float away
onto the water small banana -leaf boats bearing a flower,
lighted incense, a lighted candle and a small coin to honor, it
is believed, the water spirits, and to float away the previous