The 18th to 20th Buddhist centuries were the most glorious period for the Sukhothai Kingdom. Even though they may not be able to witness it first hand, walking among the ancient remains inside the Sukhothai Historical Park gives the visitor some idea of the majesty of the former capital and the people’s strong faith in Buddhist principles. Travelers should not pass by “Wat Mahathat”, the most important and largest of the royal monasteries, which enshrines a magnificent Buddha image and is surrounded by up to 200 smaller chedis. In the past, it functioned as both royal monastery and royal cemetery to the city. Wat Si Chum, on the other hand, is where Phra Achana (The Speaking Buddha Image) is enshrined although its Mondop roof has long deteriorated and only the walls remain. Even in a state of ruin it is another highlight that needs to be witnessed in person. To experience the Buddhist way of life along with the customs of Sukothai, come and join the alms-giving ceremonies in front of Wat Tra Phang Thong before continuing inside to admire the impressive architecture of the main bell-shaped chedi which is encircled by eight smaller chedis and a creates a remarkable reflection in the front pond.
As well as featuring prominently in Thailand’s history, Sukhothai is also the birthplace of Sangkhalok (Sukhothai ceramics), Sukhothai gold and silverware and mud-fermented fabrics by Baan Na Ton Chan. The production of these items has been maintained to this very day and interested visitors are able to try their hand at them.
The wide array of must-try local food includes Kuai Tiao Sukhothai (Sukhothai Noodles), Khao Poep Sukhothai (Steamed Rice Noodles Roll Soup), Mi Phan (Steamed Rice Flour Crepe-like skin with noodle filling). Travelers can sample all of these whilst leisurely biking around the city and helping to reduce pollution and environmental damage. If you are tired, you can simply take a rest under the shade of one of the large trees, although you should always remember to bring a personal water bottle to freshen up as and when needed.