Discover Sukhothai - Chiang Mai
If one of your favorite sights involves appreciating architecture, Trip Guru is delighted to recommend that you visit Sukhothai. What was once an ancient kingdom is now a UNESCO World Heritage historical park and should definitely be on your list of things to see while in Thailand. One of the most important temples in Sukhothai is the Wat Mahathat. The Wat Mahathat is the spiritual core of the city as well as the king because just across the street is a view of the royal palace.
You can feel the serenity and bask in the wonder of the architecture of the Sukhothai temples, especially when you gaze at the lotus-bud chedi. The park is peaceful as well as expansive and is perfect if you would like to take a step back and reconnect with yourself. But to truly appreciate a full view of the farthest and most impressive portion of the ruins, it would take a bicycle or motorcycle ride to completely explore. The Wat Mahathat is a good place to learn the art of insight meditation, with classes from the individual English-speaking monks, though the time needed for practice tends to vary.
On Sundays, you can find vendors peddling all kinds of amulets, talismans, and even some traditional medicine. These amulets have all kinds of purposes, from good health to prosperity and there is even an amulet to deter enemies! However, if you wish to experience a one-of-a-kind festival, Sukhothai Historical Park is the best place in all of Thailand to celebrate Loy Krathong. Loy Krathong, in the Western calendar, falls in November. The krathongs are made from banana tree trunks or spider lily plants, and they offer these to water spirits. At this time, the water and the ruins are bathed in soft, sparkling lights. You can also unwind with a nightly sound and light show, afterwards.
To get to Sukhothai Historical Park, there are trains from Bangkok and Chiang Mai that pass by Phitsanulok. Then, ride a bus to New Sukhothai. From there, take a songthaew, or rent a bike to get to the park. It opens from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The Wat Mahathat temple grounds is open from 7:00am to 5:00pm. To get to the Wat Mahathat, you can ride to the Chao Phraya River Sathorn Pier (connected with the BTS Skytrain at Saphan Taksin Station.)
What our experts tell about this experience.
The ruins of Sukhothai have not disappointed me! Was a great visit. I came during November last year and planning to come again. There was a Loykrathong Festival going on. It's a banana stump decorated with banana leaves and flowers. The locals told me that it's a tradition that is annually held to pay respects to the rivers in Thailand. It's known that especially in Sukhothai, it's popular. The light shows and performances they put on were awesome, it was hosted at the historical park. I took lots of beautiful pictures and was more than satisfied.
To me I think that Ayutthaya and Sukhothai are in ways.. similar. But my preference is Sukhothai. The crowd isn't overloaded here. It's more relaxing more peaceful. There are bicycles for rent too. Only 20-30 baht for the whole day! The historical park is worth a sight! Relaxed and enjoyed!
I'm glad this was listed as a "must-see" recommendation from a friend. It's a stunning place and very peaceful. The class on meditation was really interesting. Just a bit annoyed with some vendors who were determined to sell me talismans, but it's still a good place to visit.