Traveling to Cultural World Heritage Sites: Sukhothai Historical City

Traveling to Cultural World Heritage Sites: Sukhothai Historical City 

     Sukhothai Historical Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Sukhothai Province, located in Mueang Sukhothai District. There are more than 200 historical sites inside and outside the city walls. In addition to being a popular tourist destination, there is also great historical significance here. It is an important ancient site in Thailand, and it has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name "Sukhothai Historical City and Acropolis" since 1991 (in conjunction with Si Satchanalai Historical Park – Kamphaeng Phet).

     Visiting Sukhothai Historical Park and going sightseeing to every place in one trip may be very difficult, so we would like to recommend to you seven highlights of Sukhothai Historical Park for those who have little time to travel, but you will still be able to see the beauty and the main attractions of this historical landmark.

     In the past, Wat Mahathat was the most important large temple of the Sukhothai Kingdom. There are more than 200 pagodas in total, with the main pagoda being "a lotus bud" or "bush-shaped pagoda” that clearly maintains the uniqueness and classic look of Sukhothai architecture, part of the heritage that we admire even in the present day. In the evening, Wat Mahathat is one of the beautiful sunset viewing spots of this World Heritage Site. There are many tourists waiting to take photos of the sunset at Wat Mahathat each day.

     Wat Traphang Thong. Start the morning at Sukhothai Old City with morning alms-giving activities. Offer food to monks and receive the dawn’s rays at Wat Traphang Thong,  where alms are given to monks every day at about 6:20 a.m. Traphang Thong Temple is located at the entrance to the Sukhothai Historical Park. Inside the temple, there is the main pagoda, a Sri Lanka-style pagoda, also known as a bell-shaped pagoda. Behind the main pagoda, there is a new ubosot”, a Buddhist sanctuary, built on the base of an old Buddhist sanctuary in the Sukhothai period. Inside, the statue Luang Pho Khao is enshrined as the principal Buddha image. There is also a Mondop Chaturamook, or a quadrangle mondop, in which is enshrined the "Right Footprint"; the mondop was built in the period of Phra Maha Thammaracha Lithai, Sukhothai.

     Wat Si Chum is located outside the city wall. It enshrines Phra Achana, a 15-meter-high Sukhothai-style Buddha image in the “subduing Mara” posture, displaying a beautiful and harmonious Buddhist appearance. It is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Buddhist art and is the largest ancient Sukhothai Buddha image that has come down to us in the present day.

     Hall of Phra Phutthasiri Marnwichai. Inside the hall, Phra Phutthasiri Marnwichai, an ancient bronze Buddha image made in the Sukhothai period, is enshrined. Anyone who comes to pay homage to Phra Phutthasiri Marnwichai should not miss admiring the beauty of the murals, beautifully written with modern techniques by painting images on canvas before attaching them to the wall, which makes the pictures last longer, and the beautiful Buddha Hall was built in the architectural style of the Sukhothai period.

     Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, located at the entrance to Sukhothai Historical Park, exhibits antiques obtained from excavation and restoration of ancient sites in the old city of Sukhothai and nearby ancient cities. 

     Rab Sadet Waterside Market is an evening market that opens for business only on Friday-Sunday nights from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., located at the edge of a swamp in Sukhothai Historical Park. Inside the Rab Sadet Market, there are shops selling local products, pottery, silverware, khanom ping, fried beans, preserved fruits, and local clothes, and there are regular food stores. There is a dining spot by the waterside where you can watch the sunset in the evening and taste local cuisine, and you might want to cycle through the park during the day, if it’s not too hot.

     Tourism in Sukhothai Historical Park is divided into sites within the city walls and outside the city walls. Outside the city walls, you may need to travel by car. Inside the city walls, visitors usually cycle around the ancient sites to fully soak up the surrounding atmosphere. If you don’t want to ride a bike, there is also a sightseeing tram service and an electric train.

Picture Seven Highlights of Sukhothai Historical Park


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