Sukhothai: Thailand’s Ancient Capital

// December 17th, 2010 // Thailand

After saying goodbye to our friends in Chiang Mai, we headed south. I was en route to a volunteer project in Sangkhlaburi and Lauren was off to the beaches of southern Thailand. We decided we had time to make one stop and it came down to Ayuthaya or Sukhothai, both former capitals of Thailand. As much as I wanted to see the infamous face in the tree at Ayuthaya, we decided after reading online reviews that Sukhothai would be better. From Chiang Mai we took the bus down to Phitsanulok and stayed at a friendly little guest house there.

In the morning we bused it to Sukhothai, rented a couple of bikes, and set out on a joy ride. The Old City of Sukhothai is 45 square kilometers of ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was established roughly around the 13th century and was considered a golden era in Thailand. Riding bikes through this historical park was a fantastic way to see the temples. First of all, the grounds reminded me of a Florida retirement/golf community- very green, evenly spaced trees, and well-maintained.  The day that we visited, there was virtually no one else in the park. It felt like a giant playground made for us to explore. We parked our bikes in front of each temple and set out on foot to explore them. We had an absolutely fantastic day climbing on temples and biking around the park. If a visit to Sukhothai is in your forecast, I definitely recommend seeing it by bicycle.

To view more photos of Sukhothai, check out the gallery here!

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13 Responses to “Sukhothai: Thailand’s Ancient Capital”

  1. Kyle says:

    We are seriously considering a trip to Thailand next year and you are the second blogger who has me totally sold on the trip! I want to go so bad, it sounds awesome!

  2. ayngelina says:

    I love the perspective on the second photo, very cool.
    ayngelina´s last [type] ..How to make Peruvian ceviche

  3. Frank says:

    Nice pictures. I think you made the right choice to see the historical park in Sukhothai instead of Ayutthaya. We visited both earlier this year and although I enjoyed the temple ruins of Ayutthaya too Sukhothai was better. And since it sounds like you didn’t have a car it’s much better to have everything gathered in the same place.

    One side note: The famous Buddha in the tree at Wat Phra Mahathat is not carved in the tree. It’s an image intertwined in a tree. If you want to see a picture of it:
    Frank´s last [type] ..Bangkok for Kids and Families

    • Laura says:


      Thanks for the clarification on the face- I will change that. We didn’t have a car and were short on time so could only see one- I’m really happy we chose Sukhothai as well!

  4. Andi says:

    Oh wow what an incredibly place, I’m obsessed with Buddhas! Looove the 2nd shot.
    Andi´s last [type] ..Chile- Argentina &amp Uruguay- Day 1

  5. time for me to share this around with my SU peeps…. cause I love these shots.
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  6. Sarah Wu says:

    Amazing looking place, the more I read about your post make me want to go to Thailand later.
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  7. Kirsten says:

    The second shot is just stunning! But I do like the color and composition in the first as well. Seems like a great place to visit!!
    Kirsten´s last [type] ..The Heidelberg Project

  8. PNR Enquiry says:

    Nice postI’m obsessed with Buddhas! Looove the 2nd shot.

  9. Nomadic Matt says:

    I loved Sukhothai. Amazing capital. Not many people too compared with other places in Thailand.
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  10. Abby says:

    Gorgeous photos, Laura! I love reading your posts — you make traveling so fun!
    Abby´s last [type] ..Trading lives- new Costa Rican expat heads to the tropics

  11. Dana says:

    I have been to this place, very beautiful, have lot of pics with me

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