Planning a trip to Thailand? Don’t skip over the stunning ancient city of Sukhothai. Located in the northern region of the country, Sukhothai offers a variety of activities that appeal to culture enthusiasts, nature lovers, and foodies alike. Here are ten of the most exciting things to do in Sukhothai.
What Are The Things You Can Do in Sukhothai?
Explore the Ancient Ruins of Sukhothai Historical Park
The main attraction in Sukhothai is the Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 13th century. Covering an area of 70 square kilometers, the park contains over 190 ruins, including temples, stupas, and palaces that reflect the art and architecture of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom. Visitors can rent a bike or hire a guide to explore the park at their own pace.
As you enter the park, you will be transported back in time to the golden age of the Sukhothai Kingdom. The ruins are spread out across the park, and each one tells a unique story about the people who lived here centuries ago. Take your time as you explore the park, and be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the hot and humid weather can be quite intense.
Marvel at the Majestic Wat Mahathat
One of the most impressive structures in the Historical Park is Wat Mahathat, a towering temple that houses a large seated Buddha statue. The temple’s intricate carvings and towering spire are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. Take a moment to sit and reflect in the temple’s shaded courtyard, where you can admire the intricate details of the temple’s architecture.
Legend has it that the Buddha statue at Wat Mahathat was created by a famous Sukhothai artist named Phra Maha Thera Thao Maha Thera, who was said to have been inspired by a vision of the Buddha. The statue is considered one of the most important Buddhist relics in Thailand, and is a testament to the skill and artistry of the Sukhothai people.
Discover the Intricate Details of Wat Si Chum
Another must-see temple in the park is Wat Si Chum, known for its giant Buddha statue that is enclosed within a dark chamber. Visitors can admire the stunning details of the Buddha’s face, hands, and feet as they stand in awe. The temple’s walls are adorned with beautiful murals that depict scenes from Buddhist mythology, and the atmosphere inside the chamber is peaceful and serene.
According to local legend, the Buddha statue at Wat Si Chum was created by a Sukhothai king named Li Thai, who was known for his devotion to Buddhism. The statue is said to have been created as a symbol of the king’s faith, and is considered one of the most sacred relics in the park.
Wander Through the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
For those who want to learn more about the history and culture of Sukhothai, a visit to the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is a must. The museum features a range of artifacts, including pottery, jewelry, and sculpture, that provide insight into the lives of the ancient Sukhothai people.
The museum is named after King Ramkhamhaeng, who is considered one of the greatest kings of the Sukhothai Kingdom. His reign was marked by peace and prosperity, and he is credited with creating the Thai alphabet and establishing the country’s first legal code. As you explore the museum, you will gain a deeper understanding of the rich history and culture of this fascinating region.
Overall, a visit to Sukhothai Historical Park is a journey back in time to a bygone era. Whether you are a history buff, a spiritual seeker, or simply a lover of beautiful architecture, this park is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Immerse Yourself in Sukhothai Local Culture
A trip to Sukhothai wouldn’t be complete without experiencing some of the local culture. Here are a few ways to do just that:
Visit the Bustling Sukhothai Night Market
The Sukhothai Night Market is a hub of activity and a great place to sample local street food, handcrafted souvenirs, and clothing. A visit to the market is a must for those who want to experience the energy and vibrancy of Sukhothai at night.
Learn Traditional Thai Pottery at Sangkhalok Museum
Sangkhalok Museum provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about traditional Thai pottery and even try their hand at making some themselves. With expert instruction from skilled potters, visitors can create their own unique pieces to take home as a souvenir.
Attend the Annual Loy Krathong Festival
The Loy Krathong Festival is a yearly celebration that takes place in Sukhothai. The festival involves floating small candlelit boats made of banana leaves onto the rivers and waterways as an offering of thanks to the water goddess. Attendees can enjoy local music, dance performances, and fireworks that take place throughout the event.
Experience the Natural Beauty of Sukhothai
Despite its impressive history, Sukhothai is also home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful national parks:
Cycle Around the Serene Si Satchanalai National Park
Located just north of Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai National Park is a stunning nature preserve that offers visitors a chance to bike, hike, or picnic while enjoying pristine scenery. Highlights include the ancient city ruins, waterfalls, and scenic viewpoints.
Relax at the Picturesque Ramkhamhaeng National Park
Ramkhamhaeng National Park, another accessible park from Sukhothai, offers lush forests and scenic waterfalls. Visitors can hike through the park’s beautiful trails, swim in the refreshing water, and enjoy a relaxing picnic in the natural surroundings.
Explore the Stunning Thung Salaeng Luang National Park
For those who want to explore a more remote park, Thung Salaeng Luang National Park offers a unique experience. With panoramic views of rolling hills and mountain ranges, visitors can trek through the park’s jungle trails, take a dip in the natural hot springs, and even camp overnight.
Savor the Flavors of Sukhothai Cuisine
Last but not least, Sukhothai is a foodie’s paradise with a delicious local cuisine that is sure to leave any traveler satisfied:
Taste the Famous Sukhothai Noodles
Sukhothai noodles are a must-try dish that combines thin, chewy rice noodles with a flavorful sauce made from pork, chili, garlic, and tamarind. The dish is usually served with green beans and bean sprouts, and can be found at many food stalls around the city.
Sample Local Delicacies at the Morning Market
The Morning Market is another great spot to taste a variety of local delicacies, including fried insects, grilled meat skewers, and fresh fruit smoothies. Visitors can choose from a diverse range of dishes and experience the authentic flavors of Thai cuisine.
Indulge in a Traditional Thai Cooking Class
For those who want to learn more about Thai cooking, a traditional Thai cooking class is a fun and informative way to do so. Visitors can learn from local chefs how to prepare classic Thai dishes, including pad Thai, green curry, and Tom Yum soup, using fresh ingredients and traditional techniques.
In conclusion, Sukhothai offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience that combines culture, nature, and cuisine. Whether it’s exploring ancient ruins, soaking in hot springs, or tasting local delicacies, there’s something for everyone in this charming northern Thai city.