SUKHOTHAI – 200 temples at your choice

Sukhothai took me by storm: The incredible number of remnants of the glorious times when the city was Siam’s capital is just surreal.

 

The archeologic park of Old Sukhothai, Thailand

The archeologic park of Old Sukhothai is a place of magic and surreal beauty. Best discovered cycling since this way you don’t miss even the tiniest detail of the ancient grand art.

 

Since it would be a big mistake to limit your visits to the archeologic park in the city center, Sukhothai is best explored cycling; this way, you get to all the sites you like to see – and there are quite a few: Almost 200, to be precise.

I came by bus from Kamphaeng Phet, the bus station is quite far from the center, and there is New Sukhothai and Old Sukhothai, and being a tourist, you and I are going for Old Sukhothai, of course. There are Songthaews, so don’t go with one of the tuk-tuks or cabs that will try to screw you over. Actually my extremely pretty accommodation was located near the town entrance – an assemblage of charming individual houses with little porches, nicely furnished and by bicycle ten minutes from the historic town center.

What you do in Sukhothai is clear: looking! Visiting as many temple remnants as you can since they are all so picturesque. And then you cycle a bit further and you see farmers with their cows and rice paddies and lush sceneries. Yet there comes the next temple to be visited – fill your days with beauty.

byemyselftravels
Biking from pretty to pretty.

Again I do something I hate doing, but since I want to be supportive, here’s a list of my favorite sites in Sukhothai:

1. Wat Mahāthāt – You might wonder why there is a temple called Wat Mahathat in every however small town in Thailand. This term means ‘Temple of the Great Relic’, hence there is a Great Relic everywhere. Here, at the “Mueang Khao”, the old town, it’s particularly great.

 

Wat Si Chum
2. Wat Si Chum – This Wat is located in the North West coming from the old town, and standing at the Mondap is really impressing. Since the magnificent Buddha is not only 15 m/50 ft tall but also 11 m/36 ft wide, you have to squeeze yourself in to have a good look at the precisely aligned opening towards the sky.

 

Wat Si Chum
Buddha’s manicure is much nicer than mine. Well, he’s Buddha, after all.

 

Wat Thaphang Thong
3. Wat Thaphang Thong – The beauty of this temple lies mainly in its picturesque location and being surrounded by a lake. Plus, there is Buddha’s footprint to be admired. There’s an active monk community living at this Wat.

 

Wat Sorasak
4. Wat Sorasak – Why do I list this Wat? It has elephants!
Wat Saphan Hin
5. Wat Saphan Hin – This Wat is located about 3 km/ 2 miles outside of Sukhothai on a hill. Honestly, the Wat as such is not worth the climb. I found the climb was worth the climb (“I did it!”) and the beautiful view you have from up there.

 

Wat Saphan Hin
W(h)at are you smiling at? It was a long way up here. Buddha at Wat Saphan Hin.

If your hotel doesn’t supply you with a bike – what sort of hotel are you staying at? They all do! – you can rent one in town.

Bike Station
I’m sure there will be a rental bike left for you.

Again, I cannot recommend any restaurant since at night the stalls along the main road Thanon Jarodvithi Thong fire up their barbecues, so I ate there.

night market
Dinner is served.

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