All the photography and history enthusiasts who want to get some splendid and magnificent pictures while exploring the ruins of old city should pay a visit to this destination definitely. You should not miss out on this spot when planning a trip to Thailand. Even after going through extreme conditions created by battle, climate and other factors, the ruins still look grand at this place.
Being the UNSECO world heritage site, this kingdom used to be the first capital of Thailand, formerly known as Siam. Much efforts have been done to preserve the beauty and heritage of this old site. Thai civilisation with its beautiful art, culture and architecture finds its origin in Sukhothai. The meaning of the word Sukhothai is 'dawn of happiness'. This place clearly provides justice to its name because earlier it was a home to peace and prosperity but later it was conquered by Ayutthaya kingdom. Due to its secluded location, Sukhothai witnesses less number of visitors when compared to Ayutthaya. The most important temple ruins can be found nearby Si Satchanalai Historical Park and inside Sukhothai Historical Park.
The reasons why you should surely explore Sukhothai are
Ideal location between Bangkok and Chiang Mai
Once the person lands in Thailand, he or she does not miss the opportunity to visit Bangkok. This old city of Sukhothai is located halfway between the Thai capital, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It is five hours drive from Bangkok and a four hour drive from Chiang Mai.
Filled with Thai culture
Want to know another reason to come to this place? Here it is! Being the first capital of Siam, it saw various developments in terms of art, architecture and culture. Temples have stone inscriptions which are regarded to be the earliest known example of Thai writings. The houses at that time were formed with the help of bamboo and wood which disappeared later. But the religious places still survive at this place and are considered to be the significant reason to visit this historical site.
Stupas and temples at Sukhothai Historical Park
The ancient capital with its remains and temples can be found in this archaeological site which is placed at the west of Sukhothai city. Over 200 wats (temples) and chedi (stupas) experienced excavation and reconstruction which was done partly. Generally, most of them are situated in the central complex with walls made of moat and earth material while some can be seen scattered over the park. You should hire a guide to get the complete knowledge and experience of this historical park.
Explore Khmer architecture at Wat Si Sawai
Originally being a Hindu temple and later converted to Buddhism in the 14th century, this looks similar to Angkor Wat. It is considered one of the oldest temples of Sukhothai. Wat Si Sawai was built during the Khmer empire which is why it has similarities in the architecture with Cambodian temple complex with tower-like spires.
The most unforgettable moment can be spent visiting Wat Mahathat which houses a statue of Buddha in front of a lotus-shaped stupa with four towers surrounding this complex. Being the most visited and largest temple, try to visit it first in the morning or at the last hours of the day because it gets crowded with many tourists.
Calming atmosphere due to fewer visitors
When brought in comparison to Ayutthaya, Sukhothai calls for less number of visitors. This offers a perfect atmosphere where people can find that calmness to sit around and explore the beauty except on weekends and Thai holidays when the city gets filled up with the crowd of people coming.
Experience the Loi Krathong Festival
Loi Krathong is a festival that happens on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month on Thai calendar which means late October/November. The activities related to this festival is believed to have its origin from the old city of Sukhothai. Krathong means small vessels which are made with the assistance of banana leaves and are filled up with dessert or flowers. These are made to float on the rivers as offering to God. The festivities also involve music playing in the background, performances and fireworks in the sky.
Taste of old noodles
The official noodles of Sukhothai is something which you cannot miss. Its name is Kuaitiao Sukhothai. The ingredients used in making it are pork broth, pork slices and rice noodles garnished with green beans, peanuts and salted turnip. Lime and a bit of fish sauce can be added to it while serving. The perfect place to try this delicious plate is Jayhae. It is much famous among the localites as well as tourists.
The calming atmosphere gives the person the much-needed time to just sit, the grand history provides the opportunities to explore and there are many more reasons why one should come here. With its rustic lifestyle combined with the history and ruins of the old city, Sukhothai is a must-visit destination for every tourist stepping into Land of smiles, Thailand.