About Sukhothai

Sukhothai province was once the kingdom and the first capital of Thailand 700 years ago.  The word ‘Sukhothai’ means ‘the dawn of happiness’.  As the first capital of Thailand, it is one of the important and well-known cities among tourist for its long history.


Most of attractions in Sukhothai relate to historical backgrounds such as Phra Mae Ya Shrine situated in front of the City Hall, by Yom River.  The shrine houses the stone figure of Phra Mae Ya, and it is believed to house the spirit of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great whom is beloved by Sukhothai and Thai people.  Noen Prasat Phra Ruang or Sukhothai Palace boundary is the ruin of ancient brick building with lotus based figures.  It is believed that the area was once the pavilion of the kings in Phra Ruang dynasty of ancient Sukhothai.  This area interests tourists in its mystical and wonderful construction. 


For those who are interested in nature, the Khao Naria peak in Ramkhamhaeng National Park is a must.  The peak is 1,160 meters high above sea level with the cliff that visitors can see breathtaking view of Sukhothai city and the nearby city – Pitsanulok.  At night, the beautiful lights from the city can be seen from the cliff.  The national park also has herb garden on the foothill for travellers to get relaxed. 


There are a lot of festivals in Sukhothai.  Pho Kkung Ramkhamhaeng’s Day Festival takes place around the Monument of Pho Khung Ramkhamhaeng the Great for commemorating his good reputation.  People will make merit and give food to monks, have play fireworks, have merry performances all day and night.  Every full moon night of the 12th lunar month, there is Loi Krathong and Candle Festival held in Sukhothai Historical Park.  There are joyful activities such as floating krathongs, traditional performances, lighting of lanterns and parades which fascinate both Thai and foreign visitors. 


Visitors cannot miss tasting a famous snack called Kanom Kliao made from wheat flour and eggs, seasoned with pepper, salt, and made it into a twist-shaped dough, fried and mingled with sugar.  Sri Samrong’s fried beans or 200-year fried beans is a famous snack with secret ancient recipe.

How to go

Air-conditioned busses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) to Sukhothai daily between 9.45 a.m. and 10.20 p.m, departing with greater frequency in the morning. The journey takes 7 hours. Call 0 2936 2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th for more information. Private bus companies which operate daily bus services to Sukhothai include Win Tour (Tel: 0 2936 3753 or 0 5561 1039) and Phitsanulok Yan Yon (Tel: 0 2936 2924-5, 0 5525 8647).

From Chiang Mai there are ordinary/2nd class and air-conditioned busses that travel through Tak, a 5 ½ our journey; busses depart frequently between 7pm and 2am.

From Chiang Rai there are ordinary/2nd class and air-conditioned busses making the nine hour voyage throughout the day.

Sukhothai is also easily reached from Phitsanulok, Tak, and Kamphaeng Phet. Buses to/from Phitsanulok (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 30/42/54B, one hour) leave every half hour or so. Buses to/from Tak (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 40/56/72B, 1½ hours) and Kamphaeng (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 39/55/70B, 1½ hours) leave every 40 minutes.

There are also busses from Khon Kaen (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 179/251/322B, 6½ hours), Phrae (ordinary/2nd class air-con 83/116B, three hours, four times daily), Lampang (2nd class air-con 162B, four hours) and Nan (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 132/185/238B, four hours). Finally, there are eight 12-seat minivans to/from Mae Sot (125B, three hours) that depart between 8.30am and 5.30 pm.

There are no trains going directly to Sukhothai. One may travel by train to Phitsanulok and then take a local bus to Sukhothai, about 59 kilometers away. Contact Bangkok Railway Station Tel. 1690, 02223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or visit www.railway.co.th for more information.

Bangkok Airways flies from Bangkok to Sukhothai daily, a 1-hour journey. Sukhothai Airport is about 40 kilometers north of the town. For more information, call 0 2265 5678, 0 2265 5555 or 0 5564 7224-5 or visit www.bangkokair.com


Sangkhalok Museum

Sangkhalok is the name of ceramic wares produced in the old city of Sukhothai. The museum displays the collection of Sangkhalok and ceramic wares produced some 700 years ago in the Lanna Kingdom (now the northern region of Thailand). The museum is just one kilometre from town on the road to Phitsanulok.It is open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is 100 baht for adults and 20 baht for children.

Sangkhalok  Museum

Sukhothai Historical Park or Old Sukhothai City

This is located in the Rama IV Park on the Sukhothai Phitsanulok route and can be reached by local bus from town. The museum displays a variety of fresh water fish mentioned in Thai literature. It is open daily except Tuesdays from 9 a.m. 5 p.m. There is no admission fee.

Sukhothai Historical Park or Old Sukhothai City

Ramkhamhaeng National Park (Khao Luang)

This exquisite national park with a combined natural and historical background covers an area of 341 square kilometres, and was declared to be a national park on October 27, 1980. High hills and steep cliffs some over 1,200 metres above sea level, together with fascinating falls, different species to plants and wildlife are some of the major attractions available in this park offered to nature loving tourists or visitors. Furthermore, the archaeological and historical sites with ancient remains and relics make the park even more attractive, especially for critics and theologians. To reach the park by road, take Highway No.1 from Bangkok, then at km.414 (20 kilometres to Sukhothai) take the left turn along the laterite road for another 16 kilometres till arriving at the parks office. For accommodation, reservations for bungalows and tents can be made through the National Park Section, the Royal Forest Department by Tel: 0 2562 0760 or P.O.Box 1 Amphoe Khiri Mat, Sukhothai 64160 www.dnp.go.th Visitors have to start trekking before 3.30 a.m. everyday and bring food and essential equipment with them. Bungalows and tents are available. Admission is 200 baht per person.

Ramkhamhaeng National Park (Khao Luang)