Sukhothai: a complete guide

Sander & MariskaWith its temple ruins, stupas and fantastically maintained Buddha statues, Sukhothai is regarded as Thailand’s most beautiful historical city. You can find the most beautiful ruins in Sukhothai Historical Park, which, unsurprisingly, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Get on a bike during one of the spectacular sunsets and start exploring this gorgeous piece of history!

– Sander & Mariska

Sights in Sukhothai

Wanna take three guesses as to what Sukhothai has to offer? Why, temples of course! And no, that doesn’t mean it’s boring. Sukhothai is a welcome stop between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, a place where you can explore the traditional and authentic Thailand at your own leisure. Absolutely not to be missed!

Posing in front of Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai

The most beautiful temple complex and the best reason to visit Sukhothai. Hire a bike and explore the temples during sunset or sunrise. Magical!

2. Si Satchanalai Historical Park

Si Satchanalai Historical Park in Sukhothai

More than 50 kilometers north of Sukhothai you’ll find Si Satchanalai Historical Park. Not as well known, but equally beautiful.

Wat Si Chum in Sukhothai

Just try and not to get lost in the oldest and largest Chinatown in the world! It’s a maze of small, narrow streets with bustling markets, little street restaurants, auto repair shops, medicine shops and hidden temples.

4. Wat Chang Lom

Wat Chang Lom in Sukhothai

A small temple which lies in the old part of Sukhothai and is surrounded by stone elephants. Not as spectacular as the Historical Parks, but definitely worth a visit.

Sukhothai Bicycle Tour

One of the most fun family activities in Sukhothai. Tour guide Jib will guide you past the undiscovered life of Sukhothai locals!

6. Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

Ramkhamhaeng National Museum in Sukhothai

The ideal place to learn more about Sukhothai Historical Park’s history and culture.

7. River Cruise on the Yom River

Sunset in Sukhothai

Do you feel like a cruise on the Yom River? You can ask for more information at your hotel, where they can make the necessary arrangements.

Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary Sukhothai

An amazing elephant sanctuary where you can contribute to animal-friendly tourism. The park is located about 1.5 hours north of Sukhothai’s airport.

Hotels in Sukhothai

The historical town of Sukhothai is – we think – one the most spectacular places to visit in Thailand! Rent a bike at your hotel and explore the ancient temples in Sukhothai Historical Park by yourself. Because there are no cars, the roads are quiet and if you feel you need a rest, relax in one of the many grassy fields. What’s not to like?! We selected six of the best accommodations in Sukhothai. Allow us to wish you a very pleasant stay!

Thai Thai Sukhothai guesthouse

1. Thai Thai Sukhothai House

Excellent location Swimming pool Nice atmosphere

$$ – Authentic Thai wooden bungalows with modern interiors, walking distance from the old town’s historical park. We didn’t have any complaints, which is why Thai Thai Sukhothai House is our #1 recommendation for a hotel stay in Sukhothai!

Baan Bed en Breakfast House Sukhothai

2. Baan B&B Guesthouse

Pretty and clean rooms Breakfast included Central location

$$ – Baan Bed & Breakfast, a snug little guesthouse in Old Town Sukhothai, is run by owners Filippo and Ann. It has a pleasant atmosphere, beautiful rooms that are clean and close enough to the Historical Park to go there by bike. Great people too!

Sawasdee Sukhothai Resort

3. Sawasdee Sukhothai Resort

Green garden Big swimming pool Beautiful bungalows

$$ – Gorgeous and spacious bungalows located in a spacious green garden with a large swimming pool. This small-scale resort opened its doors just a year ago. The staff really goes the extra mile to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Nice for children with families as well.

Legendha Sukhothai Resort

4. Legendha Sukhothai Hotel

Stylish rooms Bike rental Friendly staff

$$$ – The perfect, traditionally furnished, resort for couples and families with children: extra beds are available, large and uncluttered swimming pool, bike rental, breakfast included and lots of other nice extras.

If you want Sukhothai

5. If You Want Hostel

New hostel Nice staff Next to the night market

$ – There are lots of (good quality) hostels in Sukhothai. However, we highly recommend the If You Want Hostel. It’s new, trendy and fresh. The staff is super nice and really helpful. Close to the night market and bus stop.

Foresto Guesthome Sukhothai

6. Foresto Sukhothai Guesthome

Swimming pool In front of the bus stop Beautiful guesthouse

$$ – A beautiful guest house (with swimming pool!) in Sukhothai’s new town. The location is great, as the bus-stop – from where buses to the Old Town leave – is only 200 meters away from the hotel. Beautiful rooms and a nice place to stay!

Restaurants in Sukhothai

Curiously enough, Sukhothai’s old town doesn’t have that many genuinely good restaurants. The quality of the food is quite poor here. The nicer restaurants can be found in the new town. Still, we were able to compile a list of restaurants where you can feel at ease and have some nice food. These are our recommendations for both the old town and the new town.

1. Baan Junshine

169/9 Mueang Kao Old City
Good Thai food in a somewhat impersonal setting. Still, you will get your money’s worth. The portions are large and freshly cooked!

2. Nam Khang Restaurant

24 Moo 3 Old City Sukhothai
The Nam Khang Restaurant is a real breath of fresh air in the old town. Excellent Thai cuisine in an authentic setting. The restaurant belongs to the Legendha Resort.

3. Streetfood Sukhothai Old City

Opposite the Historical Park
Opposite the entrance of the Historical Park you’ll find several street food stands where they’ll whip you up a Pad Thai or Noodle Soup in no time.

4. Sweet Rice Café

91/4 Mueang Kao Old City Sukhothai
Cute little café in a quiet location which serves homemade ice cream, freshly baked brownies and cakes. The decoration is amazing as well.

5. Dream Café

86/1 Singhawat Road New Sukhothai
A charming restaurant in the new town with traditional Thai dishes. The curries here are divine.

6. Pizza House by Somprasong Guesthouse

Prawet Nakhon New Sukhothai
Sometimes all you want a nice and greasy pizza. Where do you go? Somprasong Guesthouse of course!

7. Bar 64000

Jarodvithi Thong Road New Sukhothai
Have a beer or a cocktail among the locals? Go to Bar 64000, a great place to spend an evening.

8. Poo Restaurant

Jarot Withithong 24/3 New Sukhothai
All jokes aside, Poo is a good (and cheap) restaurant that serves really good Thai food. We recommend the Panang Curry Chicken and the Pad Thai.

9. Ta Puy Noodle

Ban Kluai New Sukhothai
A local place where you can have the best classic noodles in the area. The restaurant’s name sign is only in Thai.

Transport in Sukhothai

From Bangkok

Most travelers visiting Sukhothai will be arriving from Bangkok. The easiest way to get from Bangkok to Sukhothai is by taking the train to the town of Phitsanulok. From there you can take a bus that will take you straight to Sukhothai bus station.

Domestic flight

  • Travel time: 2,5 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 3,000 pp

The Bangkok Airways flight from Bangkok to Sukhothai is one hour and fifteen minutes. Sukhothai’s airport is situated 40 kilometers north of Sukhothai Historical Park. A taxi/bus will take you from the airport to your hotel in about half an hour.

Train + bus

  • Travel time: 7 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 1,000-1,500 pp

Every day multiple trains leave for Phitsanoluk from Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok. It’s best to take the first one; it leaves at 8:30 AM and takes a little under five hours. From there you can take the bus to Sukhothai.


  • Travel time: 8 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 600 pp

It’s also possible to take a direct bus to Sukhothai from Bangkok. Buses leave from the northern bus station of Mo Chit and will take an average of 8 hours. All buses leave between 7:00 AM and 9:30 PM.

From other destinations

Chiang Mai

  • Travel time: 5 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 200 pp

The best way to get from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai is by bus. This will take about five hours, including a short stop. Buses leave all day long and the best place to buy tickets is at Chiang Mai bus station.


  • Travel time: 5 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 1,000 pp

What goes for Bangkok, also goes for Ayutthaya. Take the train to Phitsanulok. You’ll be traveling for about five hours. From Phitsanulok train station you can take the bus to Sukhothai.


  • Travel time: 8 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 450 pp

Traveling from Pai to Sukhothai is quite the journey. First, you’ll have to go to Chiang Mai by minivan and then you take the bus to Sukhothai. You’ll be traveling for a total of eight hours!

Koh Samui

  • Travel time: 3,5 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 4,000-7,000 pp

To get from Koh Samui to Sukhothai it’s best to take a domestic flight, via Bangkok. If you get a good connection, you’ll be traveling for around three and a half hours. Prices are steep though.

Getting around in Sukhothai


Leave your hotel and start exploring Sukhothai Historical Park by bike. This park is off limits to cars, so you can take your time riding past at all the temples. Rent is about 50 Thai Baht for 24 hrs, some hotels offer free bike rentals.


Songtaews (shared taxis) will take you from the new Sukhothai to the old, Sukhothai Historical Park. You agree on a price with the driver before the ride. A ride from the new to the old center costs 100-200 Thai Baht.

Motorbike taxi

Want to get from A to B in the new town? Hail a motorbike taxi and hop on the back. They’re ideal for short distances, but keep in mind that there may not always be an extra helmet available. A ride costs about 100 Thai Baht.

Weather in Sukhothai

The best time to visit Sukhothai is during the cool season from November – February.

November – February

Regarding the weather, the cool season is the best time to visit Sukhothai. Sunny days, agreeable temperatures (not too hot) and relatively little rainfall. This is Sukhothai’s high season, so it will be busy.

March – May

The hot season in Sukhothai means that it will be boiling hot, especially in the afternoon. The hot, dry season ends in May when the first, invigorating, rains will fall.

June – October

The rainy season is a great time to visit Sukhothai. Of course it will rain, but usually only for part of the day. Bring a rain poncho and enjoy the sunny spells.

Map of Sukhothai

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