Green Attraction

Biking through Si Satchanalai


      The well-known Sukhothai Historical Park is an ideal starting point for the 60 km (1 hr) northward bus ride to Si Satchanalai, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, although often neglected by visitors for its paucity of nearby air or rail connections.


      After mounting a bike (which can be rented at the Park entrance), the best thing to do is to wind through the imposing 13th century ruins that are scattered willy-nilly, keeping one eye or ear out for the cacophony of birds that inhabit the forested surroundings. Although the constant tree-borne warbling is impressive, it is best to leave your bike and stroll up towards Wat Chedi Chet Yot and Wat Suwan Khiri, where, if you take a seat, you become audience to the flailing circus of birds and monkeys above as they juggle for space on and between the tree branches. Push a little harder on your pedals to get to Ko Noi’s open-air pottery museum for the late afternoon, as the sun setting on the old kilns there gives life to a spectrum of colours. This area was once a ceramics-manufacturing hub where King Ramkhamhaeng the Great originally commissioned Chinese pottery masters to do their work.


       As many as 150 kilns once laid along the banks of the Yom River, producing the distinctive blue or off-white Sangkhalok porcelain that earned itself considerable fame. It reminds the visitor of the fact that Sukhothai’s rise as a cultural and trading hub was due largely to its geographically advantageous location over the old trade routes. 



      Natural beauty here interacts with the finest cultural heritage. Si Satchanalai has been registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1981.



      Ignore the tour operators who will suggest a fast-track itinerary here. Si Satchanalai deserves much more than a few hours spent behind van windows.



      UNESCO needs your help to continue preserving World Heritage Sites, where mass tourism can have a negative impact. Log on to: 


How To Get There

      From Sukhothai, Road 1201 takes you up to the Ko Noi Kilns on Yom River. Through the ruins is Route 1113, where you’ll come across some scenic rice fields.



Sukhothai Historical Park Tel: 0 5567 9211