Dozing off and coming to the end of a long bus ride, I sleepily gaze out of the bus window. The broken lane lines blur and converge into a single continuous stretch, while building after building flash past my eyes. But then all of a sudden the scenery changes and green trees start appearing and… WOW! I quickly sit up straight. Behind all the greenery I discovered the most beautiful temple I’ve ever seen. My tiredness soon gives way to impatient delight; are we there yet?!
Sukhothai Historical Park
Even though it would get dark soon, we jumped on our rented bikes (30 Thai Baht for 1 day) and quickly headed to Sukhothai Historical Park. We paid the 100 Thai Baht entrance fee, which – believe me – is really cheap. With a pleasant breeze gently stroking my hair and my heart pounding in my throat, I sped along the concrete road. We biked past perfectly manicured lawns, water so clear you could see the fishes swimming in it, big tortuous trees and… Wow.
“Wow” is pretty much all I can say. I saw so many beautiful things that I just didn’t know where to look. I stopped near a small pond, bike in hand, and stared at the enormous temple I had already seen on the bus. It consisted of a black and white Buddha statue, surrounded by enormous pillars that had blackened with age, which sits on a big, stone platform that had also discolored with age.
Wat Mahathat was the name I read on the sign. Behind the temple were two enormous, walled-in Buddha statues. They were surrounded by multiple chedis and smaller temples. The mountains in the background, the rustling palm trees, the temple’s reflection in the clear, rippling water or the pink lotus flowers floating on it only magnified my amazement.
Sukhothai Historical Park has the most (beautiful) temples. My favorite is obviously the Wat Mahathat, but the Wat Sa Si was also stunning. And don’t miss the Wat Si Chum, 2 kilometers north of the historical park, either. This is without a doubt the biggest Buddha I have ever seen. Entrance fee for this beauty is 100 Thai Baht as well.
I would like to leave it at and encourage you to go and visit Sukhothai when you’re in Thailand!
Sukhothai: transport & information
Sukhothai is divided into an old and a new district. We recommend staying in Sukhothai’s old city district, as the new one is 14 kilometers away from the Sukhothai Historical Park. If you’re staying in the old part of town you can go there by bike, or even by foot. Please check below for a couple of hotel recommendations in the old district.
You can rent a bike anywhere for about 30 Thai Baht per day. Bikes with child seats are also available.
To reach Sukhothai from Bangkok, you need to catch the train to Phitsanoluk. From there, you can take the bus to Sukhothai bus station. It will take about 7 hours to get there. You can buy your ticket on the spot or order them online via 12Go.Asia.
Entrance fees and opening hours
Sukhothai Historical Park is divided into five zones: the center, north, west, south and east. The entrance fee for each individual zone is 100 Thai Baht, but you can also buy an all-in-one ticket for all of the zones for 350 Thai Baht. Keep in mind that tickets are only valid on the day they’re purchased. So if you’re planning on visiting the Historical Park multiple times, the best thing to do is to buy tickets for individual zones.
Sukhothai Historical Park is open every day from 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM.