Sukhotai town is the gateway to the ancient birthplace of Thai Civilization.
Founded in the 13th century, Sukhothai (literally ‘dawn of happiness’) emerged from the northern Thai jungles under King Ramkhamhaeng as the first independent Thai kingdom. Under Ramkhamhaeng’s patronage the burgeoning Thai cultured flourished producing distinct works of art, its own written language, and artesian goods like porcelain that were traded throughout Asia.
The city was the spiritual center of the Northern Thai kingdom, and many of the ancient remains in the area are religious icons and temples. Buddhism flourished here under royal patronage, and images of the Buddha abound. Art, religion, and law flowed from this town almost like a river, but Sukhotai’s most impressive advancements came in the form of engineering. The kingdom is famed for creating an intricate network of dams, ponds, and waterways used by its citizens to perform a variety of tasks some of which can still be seen across the landscape.
Today, Sukhotai is a small town that operates as the political and economic center of Sukhotai Province in Northern Thailand, but the ruins of ancient Sukhothai just a few miles outside of town lure travelers on luxury tours of Thailand to explore the ancient capital painstakingly reclaimed from the jungle and turned into a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 90s.
Best Time to Visit Sukhothai:
June through October rains in the region make the verdant jungle particularly lush. March to May mark the highest temperatures, and the beast weather is from November to January.
How to get to Sukhothai:
The Sukhothai Historical Park lies just outside the modern city of Sukhothai, in Sukhothai Province, Northern Thailand.
Sukhothai Town is best reached by private vehicle using Thailand’s modern roads. About halfway between Bangkok and Thailand’s cultural capital Chiang Mai, the town is a great stop for travelers heading north or south.
The Sukhotai Historical Park on the edge of town is a must-see for anyone touring Thailand.
Appropriate Attire :
Western-wear is fine in town, but if you’re heading into the park to explore the ruins dress for a hike.