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Sukhothai Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: November to February Read More

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"The dawn of happiness"

Sukhothai Tourism

Sukhothai is home to approximately 190 ancient sites and temple ruins. It is known to mark the beginning of the Thai civilisation. Most of the monuments and ruins are restored at the Sukhothai Historical Park, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first Thai capital of Siam founded by King Ramkhamhaeng during the 13th century, Sukhothai has an incredible history which attracts many tourists to it. Although less popular than Ayutthaya, Sukhothai has its own share of ancient sites too. Besides Wat Mahathat and Wat Si Chum, which are the famous tourist spots, you are advised to visit the temple ruins to get a more detailed study of the Thai history as Sukhothai is the city that is known as the political and cultural birthplace of Thailand. Not only dig into history, in Sukhothai you can also indulge in some mountain camping and waterfall trekking. It also serves as a venue for the very popular Loy Krathong Festival of Thailand held annually on the full moon in November, so you can head here to experience some beautiful folk performances and lightshows.

Things to do in Sukhothai

1. Sukhothai Historical Park

Sukhothai Historical Park
The Sukhothai Historical Park is divided into sections that contain around 190 ancient ruins and temples and forms the most important attraction of Sukhothai. Practically being the entire old Sukhotha (Read More)i, the historical park is home to temples, parks, the royal palace and Buddha figures that have over the years built the historical value of Sukhothai. Travellers usually cycle their way around the park or sometimes walk.

2. Ramkhamhaeng National Park

Ramkhamhaeng National Park
Ramkhamhaeng National Park is a serene park of mountains, wildlife and rivers, a relatively cooler place to visit after the hot temperatures of Sukhothai city.

3. Loy Krathong Festival

Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong is a festival of lights which happens every year in the cities of Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Tak and Sukhothai. It originated in Sukhothai and that's why it makes it more special her (Read More)e. Many dazzling events and traditions are carried out during the period of five days and nights. Most of these events happen in the Historical park itself, which is completely lit up in a magnificent way. There are light and sound shows, sky lanterns, fireworks, folk music and dance, puppet shows and exhibitions. Visiting Sukhothai during this festival period can be the best idea. It happens anytime in the month of November, you can look up the dates before making you bookings.

4. Phra Mae Ya Shrine

Phra Mae Ya Shrine
Situated by the Yom river, this is a highly respected shrine which has the idol of Phra Mae Ya, a local deity worshipped by the people of Sukhothai. An alternative to the ruins of the historical park, (Read More) this shrine is a cave temple in a remote part of Sukhothai.

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Currency in Sukhothai

Major cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops. However, hard Baht is preferred by local vendors. Traveller checks are not very commonly accepted, so carrying cash in hand is always advisable.

Exchanging Money in Sukhothai

Bank branches and ATMs are easily available across the city. You can exchange money at these places. If you want to be of the safer side in regard to the the exchange rate, you can get your money exchanged at Bangkok before visiting Sukhothai.

Daily Budget for Sukhothai

Approxiamte cost for food per day is 700 Baht, travelling around the city will take 100 Baht, alcohol costs 300 Baht, and shopping, depending upon you, should cost between 400-800 Baht. So a daily budget of around 1,700 Baht would suffice you in Sukhothai.

Religion of Sukhothai

Buddhism is the key religion followed in Sukhothai.

Sukhothai Customs

Being a town of temples and historical sites, the locals prefer tourists wearing appropriate and full clothing. You are also expected to protect the monuments and not litter and dirty the plcae. Locals should be respected and you should talk to them with kindness and generosity. Don't touch the statues in the temples and do not point your feet at anyone or any statue. Tipping is not a compulsion, however, good service can be appreciated.

Language of Sukhothai

Thai is the official language spoken in Sukhothai. Most of the restaurant, hotel and guesthouse staff will speak English. Althouh, may local vendors and drivers might not know English, so learning a few basic Thai phrases will work in your favour.

History of Sukhothai

A city for all the history buffs, Sukhothai was the first capital of the kingdom of Siam. It was established in the 13th century and was the capital of Siam for 120 years, during which the city was ruled by many kings. King Ramkhamhaeng was the greatest of them all who laid the foundation of the political, cultural and religious ideas of Sukhothai. In todays day, there are around 200 historical sites and ruins in the city of Sukhothai, making it the most visited ancient city in Thailand.

Nightlife in Sukhothai

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a rural temple town like Sukhothai does not have a great nightlife scene. The walking street serving delicious food and the light and sound shows here are more kind of the nightlife that travellers have to look at. However, there is one good bar along the new city road called Chopper Bar serving cheap alcohol.

Shopping in Sukhothai

The walking street offers brilliant handicraft stalls. Popular souvenirs to take from Sukhothai are Sangkhalok ware and gold and silver jewellery which are hand-woven. Embroidered fabrics can be found at the Hat Siao textile village.

Best Time to Visit Sukhothai

How to Reach Sukhothai

How to Reach Overview

You can take a flight from Bangkok to Sukhothai airport. Otherwise, better options are taking a train from either Bangkok or Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok and then bus to Sukhothai; or bus from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok or Mae Sot.

How to reach Sukhothai by flight

You can take a flight into Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport first, and then fly from Bangkok to Sukhothai's airport. It costs between 2,000-2.700 Baht.

How to reach Sukhothai by road

You can make a car journey from Phitsanulok, Bangkok or Chiang Mai to Sukhothai, but these will cost you a lot, be extremely uncomfortable and waste a lot of time just in travelling.

How to reach Sukhothai by train

You can take an express train from Bangkok or Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok which takes 7 hours, and then take a bus to Sukhothai.

How to reach Sukhothai by bus

Buses run freregularly from Mae Sot taking 3 hours, and from Phitsanulok taking 1 hour. Bus journeys from Bangkok and Chiang Mai are possible, but they are long taking 6-7 hours, and uncomfortable.

Local transport in Sukhothai

You can take conthaews to and from the bus station, running the Charodwithitong road for around 10-20 Baht. Tuk tuks are also available to go from New Sukhothai to Old Sukhothai in arrpoximately 400 Baht. Bicycle and motorbike rental services are also provided by some hotels and guesthouses.

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Sukhothai Photos

Sukhothai, Thailand
Wat Mahathat Temple in Sukhthai Historical Park
Buddha statue at Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai National Park
Loi Krathong Festival, Sukhothai

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FAQs on Sukhothai

What is the best time to visit Sukhothai?

The best time to visit Sukhothai is from November to February.

The months of March to June are hot and travelling during this period to Sukhothai is unfavourable. July to October, Sukhothai receives rainfall and sightseeing might become difficult. Hence the period from November to February is most appropriate as the temperatures are cooler and travelling is comfortable.
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What is the local food in Sukhothai?

More than fine dining restaurants, Sukhothai is famous for the outdoor stalls at the walking street and night market. It is popularly known for making Thailand's culinary spicy and better because of the Kuay Tiao dish, which is noodles with tom yam soup, bush beans and peanuts. Most stalls and restaurants in the city serve this dish. For a western dinner, you can head to Felice which serves delectable Italian food, or the Poo restaurant which is known for its crab.
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What is the best way to reach Sukhothai?

You can take a flight from Bangkok to Sukhothai airport. Otherwise, better options are taking a train from either Bangkok or Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok and then bus to Sukhothai; or bus from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok or Mae Sot.
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What are the places near Sukhothai?

The top places near to Sukhothai are Bangkok which is 368 km from Sukhothai, Chiang mai which is located 216 km from Sukhothai, Pattaya which is located 467 km from Sukhothai, Hua hin which is located 493 km from Sukhothai, Phuket which is located 1019 km from Sukhothai

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