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Sukhothai Historical Park A Complete Travel Guide

Sukhothai Historical Park: A Complete Travel Guide 

Sukhothai Historical Park in all its glory can leave you lost for words, much like Alice in Wonderland was stunned when she fell into the rabbit hole. Welcome the wonders of Thailand’s post-classical Sukhothai Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   

Along with the natural beauty that Thailand offers, Sukhothai Historical Park is worth the adventure you’re seeking, not to mention show you the Land of Smile’s rich culture. And don’t worry, this article will guide you every step of the way so read on! 

Things to Know

Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai (Central Thai)

Calling Code: (+66), (055)

Location: หมู่ที่ 3 498/12 Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai 64210, Thailand

Nearest Airport: Sukhothai Airport (41.4 km)

Operating Hours: 

  • 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Monday – Thursday)
  • 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Friday – Sunday)

Contact Number: +66 55 697 241

Admission Fee: 100 baht


Time Zone: Indochina Time (UTC/GMT+7)

Best Time to Visit Sukhothai Historical Park

The perfect time to visit Sukhothai Historical Park is from January to April because of the cool and dry weather during these months. This way, you avoid the excessive rain and scorching heat of Thailand’s monsoon season and summer months.

However, expect to see more people visiting rural Thailand due to the increased tourism activity at this time.

Take note that Sukhothai Historical Park is also worth visiting during the low season if you want to avoid other tourists and don’t mind a little rain. Services are cheaper during this time so it’s better for your wallet as well.

How to Get to Sukhothai Historical Park

Plane: Traveling by plane is the fastest way to reach Sukhothai Historical Park from key locations like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Phuket. However, you must book a flight with Bangkok Airways since they’re the exclusive owners of the nearby Sukhothai Airport.

Upon arrival, you can choose between the buses, taxis, minivans, and private cars that are available at the airport. If you booked a hotel, check with them to see if they have a shuttle service.

Day Tour Package: With a day tour package, going to Sukhothai Historical Park will be a breeze because the travel agency will provide you with a pick-up service. Tour buses can pick you up at Sukhothai Airport or any hotel in Sukhothai’s new and old cities.

Travel agencies like Viator may also offer pick-up services from nearby towns and key locations within the province. The only issue is you still need to purchase plane tickets to Sukhothai Airport and the day tour is a separate expense.

Bus: The cheapest option for getting to Sukhothai Historical is to board a bus from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Phitsanulok. However, this option is only recommended if you plan on staying at Sukhothai for a day or two since bus travel can take up to ten hours.

For reference, traveling from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal to Sukhothai Bus Terminal may take you six to seven hours for only 250 to 450 baht. Sukhothai Bus Terminal is in the new city so you still need to ride a taxi or tuk-tuk to reach the park.

Pro Tip: 

Chiang Mai buses are at Arcade Station 2 while Phitsanulok buses are at Bus Terminal 2 in Samo Khae.

Train: Traveling by train is only viable if you have time to spare because this option is slower than bus travel. On the upside, a train ride is the cheapest option and it lets you enjoy the view of Thailand’s countryside so it’s nice to try this at least once.

From Bangkok, you can board the rapid and express trains at Bang Sue Grand Station to Phitsanulok Train Station. Afterward, you must board a Phitsanulok bus to Sukhothai Bus Terminal and ride a taxi or tuk-tuk to Sukhothai Historical Park.

Pro Tip: 

Train tickets are cheaper to book at the train station so avoid booking online unless you want to secure the more expensive First-class A/C Sleeper seats that cost 1,304 to 1,516 baht. Third-class Fan seats are the cheapest at a starting price of 179 baht.

Rental Car: Booking a rental car is by far the best option if you want the freedom to explore the countryside on your way to Sukhothai Historical Park. This way, you don’t have to follow a specific itinerary since you can make as many stops as you’d like.

However, just know that most car rental companies require you to be at least 21 years old to use their service. You also need to secure an International Driving Permit, which you have to carry with your passport at all times to avoid hefty fines during police stops.

Private Minivan: A private minivan is a solid alternative if you don’t have the necessary documents to drive in Thailand. 

This option is expensive but you can bring up to eight people with you on a nine-seater minivan, so you have someone to split the bill with. It’s convenient, though, since you can go straight to the park from your hotel.

What to See and Do in Sukhothai Historical Park

Check out the grand pagoda at Wat Mahathat

Media credit: chiangmai__tourguide

Wat Mahathat, in particular, stands out from the other sites as it’s the park’s central attraction as it features a grand pagoda surrounded by eight smaller pagodas and pillars.

This temple ruin is massive so you’ll have a field day looking at every small detail, from the torn-down walls and Buddha statues on its sacred grounds. 

The biggest highlight of Wat Mahathat is its towering monuments and statues, try to spot them all while you’re there!

See the Khmer-style temples of Wat Si Sawai

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Approximately 300 meters south of Wat Mahathat, you’ll come across Wat Si Sawai and its Khmer-style temples or prangs. It’s one of the first temples you can explore during your visit to the park because it’s right next to the bike rental station.

This ruin is unique among the attractions within Sukhothai Historical Park since it’s the only one that features this type of architecture.

The lower bases of Wat Si Sawai’s three prangs have stucco decorations that closely resemble designs from the Yuan Dynasty. It’s said that the three prangs were initially built to depict the Hindu trinity of Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. 

This temple is believed to be a sanctuary for Hinduism because it had depictions of the Hindu God Vishnu before its reconstruction.

Head to the pondside ruins at Wat Traphang Ngoen

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Wat Traphang Ngoen is a small pondside temple at the western portion of Sukhothai Historical Park. Interestingly, the Khmer word for pond is “Traphang,” which explains the origin of this temple’s name.

It’s not as big as the other temples but it features a unique, lotus-shaped chedi that houses walking and standing Buddhas in its four niches.

Overall, Wat Traphang Ngoen isn’t the most remarkable temple but its small details and unique elements make it worthwhile to visit.

Cross the bridge to Wat Sa Si

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If you’re looking for a picturesque spot in Sukhothai Historical Park, the view at Wat Sa Si won’t disappoint you. The unique thing about this temple ruin is that it’s the only one in the area surrounded by a pond, so you have to cross a footbridge to reach it.

The bridge is an elegant construction, and it’s the perfect spot for photos with the temple as your backdrop. Otherwise, you can use the pond to take artistic photos of the ruins in Wat Sa Si with its reflection showing in the water.

If you have some time, you can have a picnic and take the cue from other visitors as they sit on mats and share snacks while watching the golden hour. The lake makes for a stunning foreground when lotus flowers are in bloom!

Drop by Wat Sorasak

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If you rent a bike at Sukhothai Historical Park, you’ll see all the famous sights it has to offer in less than an hour, so the smaller ruins like Wat Sorasak are worth visiting. 

This particular ruin is only 340 meters from King Kamkhamhaeng Monument. Here, you’ll see a modest bell-shaped pagoda sporting 24 impressive elephant carvings around its base. 

At first glance, this small temple doesn’t look striking until you see the surprisingly well-preserved elephant statues carved in its niches and check every detail.

These elephant statues are the foundation of the temple’s aesthetic and are also used for support, which makes this design choice even more significant. If you take the time to visit this minor site, it’s surely worth it!

Stop by the King Ramkhamhaeng Monument

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When it comes to historical significance, King Kamkhamhaeng Monument is something to not miss. 

King Kamkhamhaeng is a revered ruler of the Sukhothai people, so you might see locals paying their respects to his monument with incense sticks, candles, and flowers. Locals also drop a small amount of water at the statue’s feet for good luck. 

It’s also worth noting that the monument has a nearby paid washroom, so this is the perfect pit stop on your way to the facilities. Plus, there’s a small store nearby selling souvenirs, so you can take some time to shop.

Tour Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

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Address: Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai 64210, Thailand

Operating Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Daily)

Admission Cost: 150 baht

Contact Number: +66 55 697 367


Aside from King Kamkhamhaeng’s monument, you’ll find a museum named after him just outside Sukhothai Historical Park. Here, you can learn more about his exploits and understand how he became a revered figure in the province’s rich history.

Ramkhamhaeng National Museum also has exhibits showcasing Buddha statues, relics, and treasures from the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom. You’ll also see discovered artifacts from the historical park so you can add this to your day tour plans.

Just know that you have to pay a separate entry fee to the museum unless it’s already covered by your day tour package. 

We also suggest starting your day tour here if you want to explore Sukhothai Historical Park without booking a professional tour guide.

Visit Wat Si Chum’s giant Buddha statue

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Address: Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai 64210, Thailand

Operating Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Daily)

Admission Cost: 100 baht

Contact Number: +66 55 697 367


Northwest of Sukhothai Historical Park, you can find the famous Wat Si Chum, home to a massive 49-foot Buddha statue. You won’t find other statues of the same size in the nearby areas!

The surrounding structures in this temple are stunning as well, so you’ll have plenty of photo opportunities here. Look around for the huge 200-year-old mango on the temple grounds, a popular photo subject among visitors.

Unlike most temples in Sukhothai, Wat Si Chum also has an on-site cafe. Here, you can enjoy a cup of coffee while winding down from your explorations.

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Address: วัดตระพังทอง 164 2, Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai 64210, Thailand

Operating Hours: 24/7

Admission Cost: 150 baht

Contact Number: +66 85 052 3797

If you arrive at Sukhothai’s Old City early in the morning, you can start your day tour at Wat Traphang Thong and donate alms to the monks making rounds at 6:20 a.m. 

You won’t miss them because they go through the temple’s lantern-filled footbridge.

During this time, you’ll also see plenty of locals waiting at the side of the bridge to hand alms to the passing monks. 

It’s not disrespectful to hand an offering even if you’re a non-Buddhist, but you must be on your best behavior and dress appropriately. If it’s your first time here, you can watch what the locals do and how they give alms so you can follow their example. 

This bridge is also worth visiting at night if you’re up for a romantic sight because the glowing lanterns give this place a romantic atmosphere.

Go to the Holy Heartland Park

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Address: Tambon Ban Kluai Amphoe Mueang Sukhothai Chang Wat Sukhothai 64000 Thailand

Operating Hours: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Daily)

Admission Cost: Free

Holy Heartland Park is a tranquil attraction near Thalay Luang Stadium where you can go for an early morning walk. This park got its name from its heart shape, which is easy to spot from above. 

The construction of this artificial island was for solving Sokhothai’s flood issues, but it also doubles as a tourist hotspot. But the best thing about Holy Heartland Park is that it doesn’t get crowded, so you can have the place to yourself on most days.

Since the park is 16 kilometers from Sukhothai Historical Park, it’s best to visit it on your way back to or from the airport because you’ll pass it along the way.

Try Sukhothai noodles at Ta Puy Noodle

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Address: 54, 12, Ban Kluai, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai 64000, Thailand

Operating Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 84 686 8928

“Sukhothai noodles” is the name for the famous noodle dish from Sukhothai province, and you can’t complete your day tour without trying it. 

This dish consists of Sen Lek noodles, green beans, pork cuts, ground meat, and a clear broth. It’s usually served with lime and extra toppings like fried garlic and crushed pork rinds.

Various noodle shops sell this dish, but our favorite is Ta Puy Noodle in the new city. This small restaurant is only 1.4 kilometers from Sukhothai Bus Terminal so you can stop by before heading to Sukhothai Historical Park. 

The Sukhothai noodles that Ta Puy Noodle serves aren’t spicy, but they put condiments at your table so you can add an extra kick to your order.

FAQs about Sukhothai Historical Park

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