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The Sukhothai Historical Park is one of Thailand’s cultural highlights, along with Ayutthaya, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On site there are countless beautiful temple ruins from the ancient kingdom of Sukhothai, which are still very well preserved.

Sukhothai – a day trip to the Historical Park

Not only within the Sukhothai Historical Park, but also on the outside there are various ruins, statues of Buddha and more. What you can explore on a trip to Sukhothai, you will get to know in this article.

View at the Wat Mahathat in the Historical Park in Sukhothai
View at the Wat Mahathat

How to get to Sukhothai

The options for getting to Sukhothai are diverse. The fastest is without doubt the airplane. Here you can take the flight between Bangkok and Sukhothai operated by Bangkok Airways daily. More about departure times and prices can be found on Skyscanner.

Other possible ways include the bus and the train, which you can either take from the Bangkok region or from the north. Sukhothai doesn’t have a train station directly and many bus companies drive via the next larger city Phitsanulok, which is only about one hour away from Sukhothai. You can find all information about prices, times and tickets at our partner 12go.asia.

Accommodation in Sukhothai – our hotel tipp

In Sukhothai you have the choice whether to stay in New Sukhothai or in Old Sukhothai directly at the Historical Park. A hotel, which we can recommend is the BaanSuk Sukhothai. The hotel offers friendly hosts, a clean facility, swimming pool and close proximity to the Sukhothai Historical Park. From a great breakfast to free bikes to explore, everything is available.

You can find more hotels and a larger selection in New and Old Sukhothai here.

The way to Old Sukhothai

From New Sukhothai you can get easily to the Historical Park! On the main road you can find a shared taxi, which brings you directly to the entrance for 30 baht in about 45 minutes.

The ride on the old wooden benches in the taxi can be quite long and if the children of Sukhothai just have to go to school or if they are on the way back home, then it is sometimes even very crowded.

Nevertheless, a super easy way to get to the Historical Park in a cheap way. Otherwise, you can also rent a Tuk Tuk or a scooter, but expect to pay between 150-200 baht if you choose this option.

The local bus to the Old town of Sukhothai

How to get around the Historical Park?

The actual Historical Park is very large and also continues outside the old city wall, where you will find countless temples or ruins. If you have rented a scooter, then you can reach them with it, but keep in mind the extra costs. In front of the entrance there are also Tuk Tuks offering their services.

We decided on the option with the bicycle. That way you can comfortably explore the whole area in the Historical Park and pay only 10 baht to rent the bike. Not to mention, you will have a little exercise. Shops can be found right across the street from the entrance to the park. In addition, the owner of the shop also gives you a small map of Sukhothai, in which all interesting temple ruins are listed.

Tobi on the bicycle in the Historical Park of Sukhothai

Outside the old city walls

From the bike rental you can turn right around the Historical Park and then take another turn to the right. This way you reach the temples outside the old city wall.

A few meters after the city wall you will see the first ruin, which you can visit as a first stop. The Wat Mae Chon. A small ruin containing a seated Buddha statue.

The Wat Mae Chon, outside the old city walls of Sukhothai

If you follow the road, there is a small wooden bridge on the left side. You can ride your bike over the bridge and then visit the Wat Phra Phai Luang. Many Buddha statues were stolen here in the 1950s, so there are only a few statues left.

Originally, there were three Prangs in this temple, which was built around the 15th century. Unfortunately, there is only one left today. Nevertheless, this temple ruin is really nice and worth another stop.

Wat Phra Phai Luang, Sukhothai
The ruins of the Wat Phra Phai Luang

Wat Phra Phai Luang, Sukhothai

Continue north for a few minutes to Wat Sri Chum. This is the main monument outside the old city (Mueang Kao). The Buddha statue Phra Achana, which you will find there, is the largest image of Buddha in Sukhothai and has a height of 11 meters.

Probably built at the end of the 14th century, the statue is one of Sukhothai’s most popular postcard motifs. Unfortunately, it is so narrow that it is not so easy to take a great picture of the statue, as it is surrounded by walls.

The Wat Sri Chum outside the Historical Park of Sukhothai

The Big Buddha in the Wat Sri Chum, Sukhothai
The Big Buddha in the Wat Sri Chum

In the Historical Park of Sukhothai

The entrance sign of Sukhothai's Historical Park

After visiting the Wat Sri Chum, you can ride your bike to the actual Historical Park. Here you can get access to the park at the side entrance and don’t have to cycle the entire route back.

The first temple, which you can already see from the street, is Wat Sa Si. This temple is located in the middle of Lake Traphang Trakuan. It is one of the most beautiful temples in Sukhothai, which is probably due to its great location.

Over a wooden bridge you can enter the temple ruins with its Chedi. The Ubosot of the temple – the most sacred building in which the monks held their ceremonies – you will reach via another wooden bridge. A great photo location!

Tobi in the ruins of the Wat Sa Si and Tra Pang Tra Kuan, Sukhothai

Near Wat Sa Si there are also two similar temples Wat Chana Songkhram and Wat Tra Kuan.

Now let’s go to the very heart of the Sukhothai Historical Park, Wat Mahathat. This is the temple of the great relic, because since the time of the Kingdom of Sukhothai there was a relic of Buddha.

At its best, the temple contained nearly 200 Chedis, of which only a few are well preserved today. The largest temple of the complex must not be missed on any visit in the Sukhothai Historical Park. We thought it was really impressive!

In the Wat Mahathat of Sukhothai

The Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai

Buddha statues of the Viharn Luang in the Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai

Southwest of Wat Mahathat lies the Wat Sri Sawai with its three Prangs. In contrast to most temples, these are still in great condition. It used to be a sanctuary in Brahmanism, but later adapted to the needs of Buddhism.

Personally, we think this one of the most beautiful temple ruins in the Sukhothai Historical Park. The atmosphere inside the temple is somehow special and difficult to describe. You just have to experience it yourself.

The Prangs of Wat Sri Sawai in the Historical Park of Sukhothai

Finally, we visited the monument to King Ramkhamhaeng, which is located north of Wat Mahathat and not far from the actual entrance to the park.

The king was very special to Thailand. During his reign from 1279 to 1298, he introduced Buddhism, the Thai script was developed, and the kingdom of Sukhothai was the largest at that time.

The Sukhothai Historical Park

Monument for the King Ramkhamhaeng, Sukhothai

After the visit, you can eventually return your bicycle to the rental shop. Afterwards, take the local bus back to New Sukhothai. A beautiful and sometimes exhausting day comes to an end!

Opening hours and prices

The park is open daily from 6.00 A.M. to 6.00 P.M. Inside there are several areas for which you have to pay admission. The price is 200 baht for the central zone. The western and northern zones outside the city walls cost another 100 baht per person each.

You should definitely keep your ticket at all times if you leave certain areas of the Historical Park to the outer zones to get in again. The ticket is valid the whole day.

The Sukhothai Historical Park

Have you ever been to Sukhothai? What did you like most and do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments!