Sukhothai Historical Park

While there may be some debate among historians, Sukhothai is generally considered the birthplace of Thai culture. The sprawling Sukhothai Historical Park preserves what’s left of the first capital of Siam and makes for a leisurely day out biking through the ruins. The site features a series of crumbling monasteries, temples, stupas, palaces, and stunning Buddha statues as well as portions of the original city fortifications.

While not on the same scale as the Southeast Asian super-monuments of Bagan and Angkor Wat, Sukhothai is still quite impressive and rivals the grandeur of Ayutthaya. For its historical and cultural significance, Sukhothai has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s definitely worth a day or two on the way north to Chiang Mai.

As with Ayutthaya, the Thai government has been playing around with ticketing and ended up with a rather absurd and impractical zone system. To make the situation worse, the current government has eliminated the combined ticket which requires visitors to buy individual tickets for each zone. Because the majority of the best preserved monuments are in the core zone, most visitors limit themselves to that single ticket. Despite the bureaucratic missteps, Sukhothai represents one of Thailand’s architectural and historical highlights.

2 responses to “Sukhothai Historical Park”

  1. avatar Fetler23 says:

    I’ve only been to Ayuthaya. But I don’t like the way they divided things up into zones. It breaks up the historical park. It also makes them construct walls everywhere.

    • avatar Tony says:

      I know. The attempts to build the ruins into a ticketable area are quite annoying and disruptive to the look of the site. I really hate the consumerization of world cultural sites. Tickets make sense to maintain the sites, but rebuilding them into Disneyland is not cool.

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