A Complete Backpacking Guide to Sukhothai - A Two-Days Itinerary on Things to Do in Sukhothai, Thailand

A Complete Backpacking Guide to Sukhothai

A Two-Days Itinerary on Things to Do in Sukhothai, Thailand

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Sukhothai, a seemingly small town in the lower northern part of Thailand, is once home to the first capital city of Siam in the 13th Century founded by the great King Ramkhamhaeng and is considered to be the cradle of Thai civilization.

This is the birthplace of all things traditional from art to architectural-style that you would see across the country and there is no better place to learn about the history of the Thais more than in Sukhothai.

Sukhothai, just like Ayutthaya (another ancient city nearer to Bangkok), has done a great job at restoring and renovating the old ruins of the ancient city that scattered throughout Sukhothai Historical Park for you to explore.

I had a chance to visit some of these ruins and temples in Sukhothai Historical Park while I was backpacking Thailand and I am here to compile a list of temples and ruins that are worth visiting, together will all the amazing things you can do in and around Sukhothai. Without further ado, let's begin with an overview of Sukhothai's 2-days itinerary:

Sukhothai Itinerary Map

Sukhothai Itinerary Map

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When to Visit Sukhothai

Sunset over Sukhothai Historical Park from a drone in Thailand.

The best time to visit Sukhothai is from November to January where the weather is cooler and less humid due to Thai's northern climate making it much more enjoyable to cycle around Sukhothai Historical Park.

That said, Thailand in recent years has suffered a lot from air pollution due to the burning season and it is extremely prevalent during Thailand's winter period (December - January) so even though the weather is cooler, your visibility might not be the best. Be sure to buy a face mask if you decided to visit Thailand during this time.

March - April is the hottest and humid period of the year so if you can't handle heat very well, avoid visiting during this time. The air quality may be a bit better during this time but it's not guaranteed.

All the other months are considered to be a rainy season which, even though the weather is a little more manageable than the summer months, you will also be seeing a lot more rain which might prevent you from enjoying the outdoors. Air quality during this time should be better due to rain.

As you can see, the best time to visit Thailand used to be during its wintertime BUT now that the air quality is getting worst and worst, you will have to decide which is more important to you as a traveler, good weather but bad air quality or vice versa.

Where to Stay in Sukhothai

Old City Guest House exterior at Sukhothai, Thailand

Budget - Old City Guest House - 8 USD/Night (Dorm/Single Room with Shared Bathroom)

The reception of Old City Guest House at Sukhothai, Thailand

Mid-Range - Old City Guest House - 19 USD/Night (Economy Double Room)

How to Get to Sukhothai, Thailand

Getting to Bangkok, Thailand

Houses in Sukhothai Old City in Thailand

In order to get to Sukhothai, you will first have to get to Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. Thankfully, Bangkok is a large hub in the region and so you should have no trouble finding a flight from your home country to Suvarnabhumi International Airport or Don Muang International Airport (budget airlines only), Thailand.

From the US, unfortunately, there are no longer direct flights offering from Bangkok to the US via Thai Airways due to operational cost but you can get a cheaper, possibly better service through Emirates, Qatar, or Turkish Airline from the East Coast or ANA Airlines or Korean Air from the West Coast, with only one transit.

From Europe, you can fly direct from most popular European hubs like London, Paris, or Frankfurt via Thai Airways or local carriers like British Airways, Air France, or Lufthansa. You can also go with Etihad, Qatar, or Emirates if you don't mind transiting.

From within Asia, there are several low-cost airlines offering several routes from many hub cities like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Jakarta to Bangkok that you can pick from. AirAsia and Thai Lion Air are a great low-cost option but keep in mind that with budget airlines like these, you will be landing at Don Muang Airport instead of Suvarnabhumi Airport, which might be more ideal than flying regular carrier if you wish to fly domestically after.

To find a cheap flight to Bangkok, I would recommend you use Skyscanner or Momondo to look for the cheapest route and schedule so you can compare and pick the best one.

12 Hours in Bangkok

Getting from Bangkok to Sukhothai, Thailand

The bus terminal in Sukhothai New Town in Thailand

By Air + Shuttle Bus: There are several ways you can go for to get from Bangkok to Sukhothai. The fastest way and not too expensive is to buy a flight ticket from Bangkok to Sukhothai via AirAsia where the flight will take you from Don Muang Airport to Phitsanulok Airport and AirAsia will provide you with a shuttle bus transfer to Sukhothai, all included in the price. It should cost about 800 - 1400 THB and takes 1 hour to fly from Bangkok to Phitsanulok and 2.5 hours transfer to Sukhothai Historical Park by bus.

By Bus: You can take one of the 4 direct buses that leave daily at 7:00, 12:30, 20:00, and 21:30 from Morchit Bus Terminal to Sukhothai Bus Terminal which should take about 8 hours and cost around 400 THB per person.

Keep in mind that the bus will drop you off at Sukhothai Bus Terminal which is in the new town and you will have to get another transportation to get to the historical park. Check out the next section on how to get from Sukhothai New Town to Sukhothai Old Town.

To get a bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai New City, you can book through here: Book a bus from Bangkok to Sukhothai, Thailand.

Getting from Phitsanulok to Sukhothai, Thailand

The interior of buses in Thailand

If you are coming from Phitsanulok, you can take one of the 13 buses that go through Sukhothai New Town daily from 7:00 - 6:10 PM. The journey will take you about 1 hour and will cost you 42 THB per person.

The bus leaves from Phitsanulok Bus Terminal which can be quite far from Phitsanulok city center so I would recommend you stand by this bus stop along the road towards Sukhothai instead and catch the bus heading to Sukhothai from there. The bus will drop you off at Sukhothai Bus Terminal.

How to Get from Sukhothai New Town to Sukhothai Historical Park

A Song Taew from Sukhothai Bus Terminal to Sukhothai Old Town in Thailand.

If you are taking a bus from Bangkok or Phitsanulok to Sukhothai, you will likely be getting off at Sukhothai Bus Terminal which is located in Sukhothai New Town which 12 km away from Sukhothai Historical Park where your accommodation will likely be.

In order to get from Sukhothai Bus Terminal to Sukhothai Old Town, you will have to take the local Song Taew (the marshrutka of Thailand if you will) which is local public transportation that runs between the old and new city every 30 minutes.

The interior of a song taew from Sukhothai bus terminal to Sukhothai Old Town in Thailand.

Once you arrive at Sukhothai Bus Terminal, you will find the old-looking Song Taew (as seen in the photo) waiting for you. Be sure that you get on the one with the Sukhothai Old City sign on top of the Song Taew.

The journey will take about 1 - 1.5 hours depending on how often they stop to pick people up. It costs 30 THB per person and you can pay directly to the driver after you get off. The Song Taew will end its journey in front of Sukhothai Historical Park so you can let the driver know where to drop you off.

How to Get Around Sukhothai

A bike at Sukhothai Historical Park in Thailand

The best way to get around Sukhothai is by bike. There are 3 historical zones, the central, the north and the west, all of which would take some time to cover on foot especially in the heat, and so I would against walking and go for a bike instead.

You can rent a bike for 30 THB per day (until 6 PM as most bike rental places will be closed by then) from one of the many bike rental places in front of Sukhothai Historical Park.

I went with OR Shop as the bikes are quite new and it is in front of the historical park and near my accommodation. The bike was in good condition and the whole process of renting and returning was very easy and efficient.

You can also take a guided tour on an electric tram provided by the park for 40 THB per person and the tram will stop at each attraction within the park. You will have to align your time with their schedule though which is not for me.

How Many Days to Spend in Sukhothai

Sukhothai Historical Park from a drone in Thailand.

If you are only interested in seeing Sukhothai Historical Park, 2 nights minimum is recommended so you can have both sunrise and sunset experience at the park.

That said, if you want to see other old cities in the area such as Si Satchanalai Historical Park, you will need another day to do it as so to follow everything in this itinerary, spending 3 nights in Sukhothai is recommended.

Day 0: Visit Ramkhamhaeng Museum to learn about the history of Sukhothai. Walk by Wat Traphang Thong and check out Wat Traphang Thong Market before ending the day.

Day 1: Spend the morning cycling around Sukhothai Central Zone and continue to explore the North and West Zone of the park in the afternoon before experiencing sunset back at the central zone.

Day 2 (optional): Travel to Si Satchanalai and cycle around Si Satchanalai Historical Park before taking the last bus back to Sukhothai.

How Much Money Do I Need For Sukhothai

From the itinerary above, we can roughly calculate how much money you will be spending for a 2-days itinerary in Sukhothai as follows:

Accommodation: With a total of 2 nights, you will be paying around 16 USD (509 THB)

Food: Food cost about 50 THB minimum per meal per person in Sukhothai so you can expect to pay about 150 THB for a day in Sukhothai.

Transportation: You will pay 30 THB for a bike rental in Sukhothai, 50 THB for a bike rental in Si Satchanalai, and 150 THB for 5 trips between Sukhothai Old and New City on a Song Taew. You will also have to pay for a bus from Sukhothai to Si Satchanalai and back which should be around 100 THB. In total, you can expect to pay 330 THB for transportation.

Activities: The entrance fees for each zone is 100 THB for foreigners and 20 THB for locals. Since you will be entering all the zones as well as Si Satchanalai Historical Park, you will be paying 400 THB for activities in total.

Total Budget for 2 days in Sukhothai: 1,389 THB (43.65 USD)

Is it Safe in Sukhothai, Thailand?

I felt very safe cycling around Sukhothai both during the day and in the evening. I did not encounter and sketchy situation the entire time I was there so I do not think you have anything to worry about when it comes to safety in Sukhothai.

That said, I always recommend everyone to exercise precautions like you would when visiting any city. Do not leave your things unattended and do not make yourself an easy target.

Internet in Sukhothai

There are 3 major carriers in Thailand, AIS, DTAC, and True, all of which offer a pretty similar range of traveler's packages as well as coverages. I personally use AIS as I have been with them since my first phone and they have a lot of Support Center around Thailand and their coverage hasn't failed me yet so if you are looking for a reliable carrier, I can recommend AIS.

There are 3 packages for tourists, 5 GB for 5 days at 160 THB, 15 GB for 8 days at 299 THB, and 30 GB for 15 days. Depending on how long your trip to Thailand will be, you can pick one of these 3 packages that fit your itinerary the most.

With these 3 packages, you can top-up more in case you need more data or calls for your trip. More often than not, 5 GB is more than enough for me to travel around Thailand for a month.

For more information about Thailand's local sim card: Thailand's Prepaid Data Sim Card.

Travel Insurance

If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Thailand, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.

Get a Quote from World Nomads

2-Days Backpacking Itinerary For Sukhothai

Learn About the History of Sukhothai at The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

The exterior of the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

One of the best ways to start a journey into a tourist attraction with historical significance is to learn about its significance before actually exploring it and the best way to do that in Sukhothai is to visit the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

The interior of the second floor at Ramkhamhaeng Museum in Sukhothai, Thailand

The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is filled with information about Sukhothai as well as other periods of Thai Kingdoms from the breakaway from the Khmer Empire to the Ratanakosin kingdom that rules the country to this day.

Artifacts inside Ramkhamhaeng Museum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The museum contains all kinds of artifacts and replicas discovered in Sukhothai ancient city that you can see from samples of Sukhothai-style Sangkhalok ceramic ware that we got from the Chinese in the 15th Century to a showcase of the subtle changing style of Buddha images throughout Thai history.

The development of Thai alphabet throughout the years from Ramkhamhaeng Museum, Thailand.

They also show how the Thai alphabets were developed throughout the entire history of Siam and Thailand. In school, we were taught that the Thai alphabets were its own thing and we came up with it by ourselves but in reality, it was a combination of Pali from India, Mon from West, and Khmer to the East. That was quite an eye-opener as a Thai.

The interior of Ramkhamhaeng Museum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The museum has 2 buildings with 2 floors. All the exhibitions and artifacts are all labeled in both Thai and English so you should have no trouble following what is going on here.

An old traditional wooden boat outside of Ramkhamhaeng Museum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The museum opens from 9 AM to 4 PM. The ticket for foreigners is 150 THB per person whereas, for Thais, it will cost you 30 THB to get in. The museum is very informative and if you are interested in learning about the history of Sukhothai where our culture began to flourish, it is definitely worth it.

Stroll Around Wat Traphang Thong

The entrance of Wat Traphang Thong at night in Sukhothai, Thailand

After spending a few hours at the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, right next to it, you will find Wat Traphang Thong, a temple located photogenically in the middle of a mote.

Wat Traphang Thong at night in Sukhothai, Thailand

Wat Traphang Thong is a rather small temple compared to all the others in the area but it is one of the first ones you will be exploring as it is located right in the old town just outside of the historical park, and it is free to enter.

The bell-shaped ancient chedi of Wat Traphang Thong in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Within the temple, you will find a well-preserved bell-shaped ancient pagoda that was part of the original temple that stood in the same spot back when it was built in the 14th Century.

The wooden bridge that leads to Wat Traphang Thong in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The temple can be accessed via 2 wooden bridges that connect the main road to the island where the temple is located. If you are here during Loy Krathong (1st November), the temple and the mote is where the locals will celebrate the festival.

Mingle with Locals at Wat Traphang Thong Market

The entrance of Wat Traphang Thong Market in Sukhothai, Thailand.

After strolling around Wat Traphang Thong, you can exit out from the eastern wooden bridge to the local flea market where you can go around and buy some street food for the evening.

The interior of Wat Traphang Thong Market in Sukhothai, Thailand.

You can choose to buy all the food and find a quiet place to sit and eat back at Wat Traphang Thong by the water. Watch out for mosquitoes. The mote is where these pesty mosquitoes like to hang out and when the sun is out, they will be out in full force.

Soffel Insect Repellent, highly recommended when you travel in Thailand.

Be sure to buy an insect repellent at a 7-11 convenient store nearby before night comes. For a good insect repellent that has never failed me, I would recommend Soffel, a spray repellent in a pink cap.

Beat the Crowd and Visit Wat Maha That in the Morning

Wat Maha That at sunrise from a drone in Sukhothai, Thailand.

After spending the first evening exploring the surrounding old town area, it is time to explore Sukhothai Historical Park. Sukhothai Historical Park gets a ton of tourists during the day so I would recommend you go as early as 6:30 AM to beat the crowds.

Another angle of Wat Maha That at sunrise from a drone in Sukhothai, Thailand.

First things first, you will have to rent a bike to explore Sukhothai Historical Park. I went with OR Shop just in front of the historical park and I rented a bike for a day for 30 THB. Once you have your bike, go and buy the ticket to enter the historical park.

Me standing in the ordination hall at Wat Maha That in Sukhothai, Thailand.

You will have to pay for the entrance fee as well as for the bike which should cost 100 THB (20 THB for Thais) plus 10 THB respectively. Once you got your ticket from the ticket booth, enter the park and head towards Wat Maha That, the largest ruin complex in the park just west from the gate.

A huge lotus-bud shaped chedi at Wat Maha That in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Wat Maha That is the most impressive temple out of all in the park. It was built in the late 13th Century and include a huge lotus-bud shaped chedi, four corner stupas, four Khmer-style prangs, an assembly hall, and many more.

The lotus pond in front of an ordination hall at Wat Maha That in Sukhothai, Thailand.

You can spend an hour just walking around this first temple. The number of things to see just at Wat Maha That is staggering. One of my favorite sights in Sukhothai Historical Park is at a lotus pond in front of an old temple hall with a seated Buddha image.

Sunset at the lotus pond in front of an ordination hall at Wat Maha That in Sukhothai, Thailand.

This is the best sunset spot you can get at the park hands down. Right at this spot, you will be able to witness the beautiful silhouette of the temple against the purple sky during sunset.

A standing Buddha image at Wat Maha That from afar in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The entrance ticket lasts for the whole day so be sure to check the sunset time and come back to the lotus pond at sunset. Make sure you are covered in insect repellent before visiting at night to avoid mosquitoes eating you alive.

Admire the Beauty of the Khmer-era Wat Si Sawai

The exterior of Wat Si Sawai in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Another of my favorite temples in Sukhothai Historical Park is Wat Si Sawai, located just south of Wat Maha That. Wat Si Sawai is even older than most of the ruins here as it dated all the way back from the late 12th Century.

The Khmer-style prangs of Wat Si Sawai in Sukhothai, Thailand.

This is apparent from the Khmer-style design of the prangs that resembled those you see at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is also one of my favorite features as it stood out from all the other Sukhothai-era structures found in the park.

3 Days Itinerary For Siem Reap

Wat Si Sawai from outside of the wall in Sukhothai, Thailand.

No one actually knows what the temple was called during the Khmer era but we do know that the temple was served as a Hindu temple since Shiva and Vishnu statues were found at the site when it was rediscovered.

The ordination hall in front of Wat Si Sawai in Sukhothai, Thailand.

After the Khmer influence dwindled in the area, the temple was then converted into a Buddhist temple as you can see from what is left of the construction of the assembly hall in front of it.

Relax by the Silver Lake at Wat Traphang Ngoen

Wat Traphang Ngoen from above with a drone in Sukhothai, Thailand.

From Wat Si Sawai, ride back up to Wat Maha That but instead of turning right, go left towards the Silver Lake and you will find Wat Traphang Ngoen, a small Sukhothai-era temple with a great view of the Silver Lake near it.

The view of Sukhothai Historical Park from Wat Traphang Ngoen in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The temple itself which was built in the 14th Century is not as impressive as all the others but due to its location by the lake, especially in the early morning, you should be able to capture some dreamy landscapes of the lake as well as the silhouette of the other temples from Wat Traphang Ngoen.

Check Out Wat Srasri by a Lotus Pond

Me standing in front of a Buddha image at Wat Srasri in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Just north of Wat Traphang Ngoen and the Silver Lake, you will find another temple located photogenically in the middle of the lotus flowers-filled Tra Phang Tra Kuan pond.

A bridge connecting Wat Srasri in Sukhothai, Thailand.

According to the stone inscriptions discovered here, Wat Srasri was founded in the 14th Century with the chedi built in a Sri Lankan architectural style and it was built to enshrine the ashes of King Li Thai of Sukhothai.

Pay Respect at King Ramkhamhaeng Monument

King Ramkhamhaeng Monument in Sukhothai, Thailand.

After cycling around the central zone of the historical park in a loop, you should be back right at King Ramkhamhaeng Monument where you can come and pay respect at King Ramkhamhaeng Monument, a statue erected to commemorate the great king that ruled Sukhothai from 1279 to 1298.

King Ramkhamhaeng Monument from the side in Sukhothai, Thailand.

King Ramkhamhaeng was in fact not the founder of Sukhothai, that title goes to King Si Intratit, his father, but he is considered to be one of the greatest kings of Sukhothai where he introduced the technique of creating Sangkhalok ceramic ware that he learned from the Chinese, as well as credit as the founder of the Thai alphabet.

During his reign, Sukhothai's influence stretched from here all the way to the Malay peninsula as well as from east Burma to parts of the modern-day Laos territory. With this kind of accomplishment, no wonder why he is considered one of the greatest kings of Thailand.

Explore Wat Phra Pai Luang in the North Historical Park

The exterior of Wat Phra Pai Luang in Sukhothai, Thailand.

As mentioned earlier, there are 3 zones you can explore in Sukhothai Historical Park. Unfortunately, you have to pay the entrance fee 3 times to see what the zones outside of central offer and with 100 THB each, it is not cheap. You can buy the ticket when you arrive at Wat Phra Pai Luang.

A bridge above a mote connecting the main road to Wat Phra Pai Luang in Sukhothai, Thailand.

That said, there is not much in the Sukhothai Old Town that can make money except these historic ruins and so if you are looking for a way to support the area, this is the way to do it.

The old chedi at Wat Phra Pai Luang in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Now, after you have done the central zone, it is time to cycle north outside the walled city of Sukhothai and explore the northern zone starting off with Wat Phra Pai Luang, an old temple dated back before the founding of Sukhothai Kingdom.

The broken Buddha images at Wat Phra Pai Luang in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Wat Phra Pai Luang was believed to have been built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII of Angkor (who built the famous Bayon Temple in Siem Reap) in the late 12th Century and that is evidenced by the Khmer-era architectural style you can see on its prang.

A ordination hall at Khmer era prang at Wat Phra Pai Luang in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The temple complex consisted of the Khmer era prang as mentioned before, principal assembly hall, a pyramidal pagoda similar to the architectural style of the Mon Haripunchai, and an ordination hall built in the Ayutthaya era.

A pyramidal pagoda at Wat Phra Pai Luang in Sukhothai, Thailand.

As you can see, the whole complex was not built in only one era but in 3 from the Angkor period to the Sukhothai period and eventually extended in the Ayutthayan period.

The sitting Buddha image at the entrance of Wat Phra Pai Luang in Sukhothai, Thailand.

In my opinion, it is a large complex but nothing really stands out from what you have already seen in the central zone of Sukhothai Historical Park. What makes the northern zone worthwhile is the next temple we are going to explore after the next one.

Get Off the Beaten Path and Check Out the Broken Buddha Image of Wat Sangkhawat

The entrance to Wat Sangkhawat in Sukhothai, Thailand.

There is a small but interesting temple located just north of Wat Phra Pai Luang that is lost away in a dry field, being overtaken but the forest that surrounds it. That temple is Wat Sangkhawat where you will find a somewhat depressing but authentic Buddha statue without the head and arms.

The headless and armless Buddha image of Wat Sangkhawat in Sukhothai, Thailand.

It is an easy ride from Wat Phra Pai Luang and allows you to get off the beaten path a little and enjoy the view of the landscape around the historical park in solitude.

Admire the 15 Meters High Buddha Image at Wat Si Chum

The exterior of Wat Si Chum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Now comes the highlight of the north zone of Sukhothai Historical Park, Wat Si Chum, and its massive Phra Achana, the largest Buddha image in Sukhothai measuring 15 meters high.

Wat Si Chum from a drone in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Seeing this temple makes it all worthwhile to pay to enter the north zone. When you arrive at the gate, be sure to show the ticket you bought at Wat Phra Pai Luang. Do not buy another one!

A bottom shot of Phra Achana at Wat Si Chum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Wat Si Chum and its massive Buddha image were built in the 13th Century that comprises of an open-roof structure where the big Buddha image is housed and the columns of the old assembly hall in front of it. There is also a Bodhi tree that is as old as Sukhothai itself next to it.

The face of the large Buddha inside Wat Si Chum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Phra Achana is so massive that you can see the Buddha image right outside from the gate. Once you are inside, you will even appreciate the scale and how beautiful the Buddha image is.

Someone praying at Phra Achana inside Wat Si Chum in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Once inside, you may also see some locals praying at the Buddha image with candles and incense sticks in their hands. Legends have it that one time, the great King Naresuan wanted to boost the morale of his troops before the war, and so he ordered a soldier to climb up to the top of the structure enshrining the Buddha image and delivered a speech to the troops.

Wat Si Chum from a bird's eye view shot with a drone in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Uknown to the troops that there is a person at the top delivering a message, they believed it was the image of the Buddha speaking to them hence why sometimes they called the Buddha image, the Speaking Buddha.

Hike Up to Wat Saphan Hin in the West Historical Park

Me walking up the stone bridge towards Wat Saphan Hin in Sukhothai, Thailand.

After admiring the beauty of Wat Si Chum, you can continue southwest along the road and visit Wat Saphan Hin, one of my favorite temples in the Western Zone of Sukhothai Historical Park.

The view from Wat Saphan Hin in Sukhothai, Thailand.

Wat Saphan Hin which translates to Stone Bridge Temple got its name for a stone bridge that leads up to the top of a hill where the temple is located. It's a fun 5 minutes walk from the bottom to the top.

Me standing in front of Wat Saphan Hin in Sukhothai, Thailand

Once you arrive at the top, you will be greeted with a large standing image of the Buddha known as Phra Attharot and you will be able to see the view of the surrounding.

Wat Saphan Hin from a drone in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The view on top of the 200m high mound is even more impressive if you have a drone with you as I did. I took up the drone and was surprised to see the infinite hills and mountains behind the mound.

Walk Through a Forest to Wat Chedi Ngarm

A trail to Wat Chedi Ngarm in Sukhothai, Thailand.

After visiting Wat Saphan Hin, you will find a few more ruins scattered around the Western zone of the park that I believe are not worth visiting except one, Wat Chedi Ngarm which is located up on top of a mound where you will have to walk through a small forest together to.

The ordination hall of Wat Chedi Ngarm in Sukhothai, Thailand.

The walk is pretty easy, even more so than the one at Wat Saphan Hin, and it should take about 5 minutes to reach the temple. Once you arrive at the top, you will find an old pagoda and what is left of the ordination hall of Wat Chedi Ngarm.

A large tree along the road in Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand.

I did not meet a single soul here when I was exploring the western zone of the Sukhothai Historical Park and so if you are looking for a place to visit without having the deal with the tourist crowds like in the central zone, you will thoroughly enjoy the western zone as I did.

Spend a Day at Si Satchanalai Historical Park

Wat Phra Sri at Si Satchanalai in Thailand from a drone.

Si Satchanalai is the twin ancient city of Sukhothai with a ton of old ruins and temples in its own caliber that you should check out if you have an extra day at Sukhothai.

Wat Phra Sri at Si Satchanalai in Thailand from a bird's eye view shot with a drone.

The journey with public transport will take you the entire day where you start at 7 AM from Sukhothai Old town and arrive back at 6 PM with around 3 - 4 hours of time for you to explore Si Satchanalai Historical Park on a bike.

The road inside Wat Phra Sri toward Si Satchanalai Historical Park in Thailand.

One of the first places you will visit is Wat Phra Sri, a 12th Century temple that is still currently active today. The temple is actually outside of Si Satchanalai Historical Park but it is one of the oldest in the area. You can clearly see it from the Khmer-style prang that you can climb up to, just like the Angkor Wat.

Si Satchanalai Historical Park entrance in Thailand.

From Wat Phra Sri, you will have to cycle for about 20 minutes to get to Si Satchanalai Historical Park. The ride is really nice on a flat road going through small villages where you will be able to see how the locals live around the area. This is as authentic as it gets.

One of the many temples inside Si Satchanalai Historical Park in Thailand.

Once you arrive at the park, you will have to pay 100 THB for the entrance fee (20 THB if you are a Thai), and you are free to roam the park as you wish. There are several points of interest you should definitely check out while you are there.

Wat Chang Lom at Si Satchanalai in Thailand.

Wat Chang Lom Si Satchanalai, a large pagoda located in an open field, id one of the most beautiful ruins in the park. Wat Chedi Chet Thaew is also another great point of interest with a large area filled with pointy pagodas hence the name Chedi Chey Thaew which translates to "Seven Rows of Pagodas".

The entrance to Wat Chedi Chet Thaew at Si Satchanalai, Thailand.

Other temples worthy of your visit to Si Satchanalai Park are Wat Nang Phaya, Wat Khao Phanom Phloeng, and Wat Khok Singkharam just outside the park so be sure to check those out before leaving the park.

How to Get from Sukhothai to Si Satchanalai

To get from Sukhothai Old Town to Si Satchanalai Historical park, you will have to get to Sukhothai Bus Terminal which is an hour Song Taew ride away so I would recommend you start as early you can. You can catch the Song Taew from the main road in the old town or in front of the historical park.

The bus from Sukhothai to Si Satchanalai does not have a fixed schedule and it often shuffles around all the time, hence why I recommend you to come to the bus terminal as early you can so you have some breathing rooms on which bus to take.

When I was at Sukhothai Bus Terminal, I was told that there were 5 buses that day at 9:00, 10:00, 12:00, 15:00, and 17:00 so I got on the 10:00 bus and ask the bus driver to drop me off at the bus stop near Wat Phra Sri.

All the chedis at Si Satchanalai in Thailand.

The journey will take you 1.5 hours one-way and it will cost you 49 THB for the bus ticket from Sukhothai Bus Terminal to Si Satchanalai. The same goes for when you get back to Sukhothai.

The bike rental place where the bus will drop you off at Si Satchanalai in Thailand.

From the bus stop, you can rent the bike right on the spot as there will be a guy with his bikes waiting for you. It's 50 THB for a day and he will also provide with bus schedule back to Sukhothai. When I was there, he told me to come back before 15:00 as there are 3 buses bound for Sukhothai at 12:00, 14:00, and 15:00.

The entrance to Wat Phra Sri at Si Satchanalai in Thailand.

Keep in mind that the bus is often late so do not expect it to be right on time. I caught a 14:00 bus back to Sukhothai at 14:40 so keep that in mind when you are out and about.

A Complete Backpacking Guide To Si Satchanalai

What to Eat and Drink in Sukhothai

Try the Delicious Sukhothai Noodle at Chan Thong Restaurant

Sukhothai Noodle in Phitsanulok, Thailand.

Sukhothai Noodle is probably one of the most delicious noodles Thailand has to offer and you can find them all over the place in Sukhothai. One of the local restaurants I would recommend you try the noodle at is called Chan Thong Restaurant which is cheap and delicious, unlike the other tourist-catered restaurants that are often extremely overpriced and very very slow.

Sukhothai Noodle is often served with yellow egg noodles, sliced pork or sweet pork-based broth, ground pork and crackling as toppings, and sometimes come with boiled eggs. It is extremely tasty, sweet, and a bit of spice that will make you forget all the other noodles you have tried elsewhere.

And there you have it, a complete travel guide to Sukhothai and a 2-days itinerary of amazing things to do in the area. Are you excited to learn and explore the cradle of Thai civilization? If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments below.

Further Reading for Thailand

Looking for more information for your trip to Thailand? Here is a collection of articles about Thailand that you might find useful:

The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.

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