The ruins of Sukhothai

Sukhothai Travel Blog

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Sukhothai, like Chiang Mai, is divided into two parts: the Old City and the New City. There are public buses that run back and forth between the two parts of the town. There is about 12km between the two parts and it is advisable to use the public transportation as it gets hot. The new city is where most of the action is. The restaurants are located on that end of town as are most of the internet cafés. The old city has a few restaurants and one internet café (that we saw).

 

Sukhothai was the first capital of Siam and it was founded in the 13th century and lasted for 200 years. King Ramkhamhaeng is the most famous king of Sukhothai (one of the three kings in the Chiang Mai statue).

He ruled from 1275-1317 and developed the first Thai script.

 

The ruins are located in the old city of Sukhothai and they are in the Sukhothai Historical Park. The ruins are a World Heritage Site. The park includes 21 historical sites and four ponds within the old walls of the city and there are another 70 sites in a 5km radius. Andrea and I stuck to the sites within the old walls.

 

IT WAS HOT! I think it was in the 80’s (and HUMID). We woke up at seven and had breakfast at the guesthouse. The owner said there would be a surprise and he was right. It was honey still dripping from the honeycomb with part of the branch it has been hanging from still attached. Breakfast was coffee (tea for Andrea), toast, bananas, and honey.

The owner of the guest house explained the best way to see the ruins would be to head out early and get them done before it got to hot and the crowds got to big. We decided to follow his advice. We rode in a tuk-tuk to the entrance and rented two bikes for the day. The women running the bike rental highlighted the best path to take around the ruins.

 

 

The ruins were amazing. The structures were huge and well preserved. There were Buddha statues everywhere: large ones, small ones, broken ones, and some that were still in good condition. The carvings on the stone walls were detailed and I loved the signs that were posted that showed what the ruin we were looking at would have looked like back in the day. The ruins were made from brown stone but the stones were different shades of brown and it gave the ruins an awesome feel.

 

We timed our visit to the ruins perfectly; we arrived at 8:30 and were out before noon. It wasn’t too hot or crowded. After we finished the ruins we headed to the internet café to grab some lunch, a cool drink, and do a quick e-mail check.

 

Following lunch, we headed back to the ruins to check out the museum. The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum was nice. I have never seen so many Buddha statues in my life. The section I liked the best showed the evolution of the Thai script. It had different stone slabs with writing on them that were translated into English. The history major in my shrieked for joy when I was able to read personal accounts written by the people who lived there, it was fun to read what life was like back then. The museum gave a great overview of the history of the area. Outside the main museum was a garden full of large stone carvings that had been taken from the ruins. I think it is a worth while visit.

NavyChiefRule says:
Nice pics I have been there several times and it is always amazing.
Posted on: Feb 09, 2008
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Sukhothai
photo by: DragonFlies