A trip back in time – Visiting Sukhothai, Thailand

BrittanyAsia, Thailand0 Comments

Our second stop in Thailand, following Bangkok, was Sukhothai. We were warned in advance that this ancient city was off the beaten path for our planned itinerary, but visiting Sukhothai, Thailand was a highlight of our honeymoon!

Visiting Sukhothai, Thailand

Traveling from Bangkok to Sukhothai

There is only one airport in Sukhothai and it is managed by Bangkok Air. If you’re planning on visiting Sukhothai from Bangkok, you must either:

  • Fly with Bangkok Air into Sukhothai (quickest but most expensive option) Cost: 1700BHT  |  Duration: 75 minute flight
  • Fly or take a train to nearby Phitsanulok (90 minutes from Sukhothai) and take a taxi or bus the rest of the way to Sukhothai
  • Or take a bus the entire route (cheapest and longest option) Cost: 400BHT  |  Duration: 6-7 hours

This site provides more detail on the various options.

Visiting Sukhothai, Thailand

We were picked up in an open-air Disney World-esque golf cart from the plane… that was a first! No taxis or buses pick up from the Sukhothai airport. You must pay a flat fee of 300BHT ($9) per person at the airport desk and a Bangkok Air van will take you to your accommodation.

Where to eat in Old Sukhothai

We arrived in Old Sukhothai at dinner time and finding food was our first priority. We ventured down the main street which had several tiny restaurants and food stalls, but considering no one was sitting at a single table, we kept walking. (We were REALLY trying to avoid the “Buddha Belly” which everyone said we would succumb to on our first trip to Thailand.) We eventually came to the “Coffee House by Sinvana“. This restaurant was clearly a “touristy” joint meant to accommodate large groups but we ended up being the only people in the restaurant. The food and service was great and we even went back the next day for lunch.

Where to eat in Old Sukhothai

Sukhothai at night

Following dinner, we decided to walk by the entrance of the park to ask the security guards for the opening time for the following morning. Much to our surprise, the park was open! The guards told us we had about an hour before the park closed at 9:30pm. All of the temples and paths were lit up and we had the entire place to ourselves. Walking around the ruins using our phone flashlights felt like something out of Indian Jones. What a night! I actually got a bit excited and lost my camera case in the dark running from temple to temple. The next morning when we returned, we found it sitting on a brick wall waiting for me!

From what I can gather from online forums, it sounds like the park is open every Saturday night, but this information is not listed on their website. Call if you want to be 100% certain!

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Visiting Sukhothai Historical Park

In order to beat the large tour buses and to get the best morning light for photos, we were at the park’s entrance at 7am. The best way to see the park is definitely by bike. We rented ours from our AirBnb for 30BHT each for the day, but there are plenty available right at the entrance as well.

The park covers about 27 square miles (70 sq km) and is divided into five zones, each of which charge a separate admission. The central zone was the royal part of the city and is the first priority to see.

Price of Admission:
Each zone is 100BHT ($3)
OR
All five zones for 350BHT ($10)

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History of Old Sukhothai Park

Founded in 1238, Sukhothai was the first unified Kingdom of Siam.

The kingdom flourished for 200 years, during which its capital at Old Sukhothai was a highly influential political and religious center. Eight kings ruled from the royal capital and during this time, Buddhism was established as the national religion and an early form of the Thai alphabet was introduced.

1n 1438, Sukhothai relinquished all power to the new capital of Ayutthaya.

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Where to stay in Old Sukhothai

Our accommodation may have not been the Ritz but the location was superb! It could not have been any closer to the entrance of the park. The “Space Ben” BnB was cozy, clean and a fabulous deal at $30 a night. And the hotel dog may have had a flea or two but he had spunk!

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Our THAILAND itinerary

And if you’re interested in seeing the entire month-long honeymoon itinerary click here!

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