The Ancient Ruins of Sukhothai

October 29, 2012 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Top Attractions, Travel Tips

Ancient Ruins of Sukhothai, Thailand

Ancient Ruins of Sukhothai, Thailand. Photo courtesy of Mark Lehmkuhler via Flickr.

Situated in Northern Thailand, the ruins of the capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Sukhothai (1238-1438) are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and are a world famous tourist attraction. It is arguably the most famous cultural attraction in the country. Sukhothai is where Thai civilization as we know it first evolved and where Hinduism and Buddhism collided and began to permeate each other (or at least co-mingle) in the particular way that is unique to the region.

The ideal time to visit Sukhothai is during the cooler months (from November to February). That said, it still gets hot, so mornings are the best time of day to tour the ruins. Public transportation in the region is limited primarily to bus, although there are combinations of train and bus, and plane and bus that are advisable if you’re crossing a substantial distance. Once you’ve arrived (and provided you’re physically fit), rent a bicycle and free yourself up in terms of movement and the necessity of haggling over transportation. There is a fee for admission to the various sections of
the ruins, but even for foreigners, the cost is nominal.

Other destinations of interest in the immediate area include the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum (which houses exhibits that include ancient remnants, artifacts and art that were excavated from the ruins), Ramkhamhaeng National Park (which encompasses the ruins, but also includes the vastness of the Khao Luang Mountains), Sri Satchanalai National Park (a favorite with bird watchers), the Royal Palace, and Wat Mahathat.

- John Reality

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