The steps up to Wat Saphan Hin and Wat Phra Bat Noi are made of slabs of slate. I remember on the way up there are small Chedi's and other points of interest just off of the path, as well as many other ruins further down the hill, over the road and into the forest, but i didnt see them all.
I have included a link to a website I found which contains very detailed and interesting information about all of the Sukhothai temples and ruins.
Pra Ruang Dam is an earthen dam further south of Wat Pra Bat Noi - "The water from this dam once kept the ponds and moats of the city full the entire year. It must also have been used for agricultural purposes"
It's nothing especially great but I liked it. It reminded me of the landscapes I am familiar with in Scotland - only a lot more green!
I would like to suggest, if you can spare the time, to go check out Kamphaeng Phet which is also home to a UNESCO world heritage site and Si Satchanalai-chaliang historical park. Both are quieter and less visted by tourist but are gems nevertheless. Unfortunately, Kaphaeng Phet is situated about 1.5 hours drive from Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai is about 1 hour drive.
In all Sukhothai and the surrounding sites deserve at least 2 days; and even that is pushing it but having travelled so far to Sukhothai and missing these two would simply be a shame.
This wat is not on the typical tourist path. It was designed by a devout Buddhist during the 1970s in accordance to the sights he remembered from his dreams. This special wat is broken into several sections. One depicts the various segments of the life of the Buddha. Certainly one of the most memorable, if disturbing, sections was the one depicting various scenes from Buddhist hell. And a final 3-tiered tiled structure, whose purpose I was unable to ascertain. A strange and wonderful place, worth a side trip.
We stopped and had a look at some of the old kilns around the walls of Sukhothai - and, after scratching around only very briefly, I had trophied a few pieces of original old Sukhothai broken ceramic objects!
I found this to be one of the most, if not the most beautiful buddha images i saw in Thailand. It was so simple, only just shorter than me, but the shape was perfect, and the expression - so full of calm and reasurring contentment. There was still some gold left on the face, and I really liked that someone had placed a golden cloth around the shoulders. I know this is nothing unusual, but it looked so subtle - the evidence that it was a site still cared for, and that someone was dedicated enough to return here and do this
Wat Pra Bat Noi (Lesser Footprint hill)is another ruin just south of Wat Saphan Hin. Very overgrown and crumbling. I find something very fascinating about these hidden relicts. I saw no one else in these places and it made it feel a lot more beautiful to me. After coming from the crowded Wat Sri Chum a totally deserted hill top ruin from hundreds of years past is something special.
There was a temple I went to in Cambodia called Phnon Bakheng and there was also a footprint in the same position (facing east) as the one here. My guide told me it represents the foot of buddha taking a giant leap - supposedly the other footprint is miles further east somewhere?
This is one of the temples to the west of Sukhothai, on the hill. It has a very impressive buddha statue with fantastic views over the fields. I cylce here then walked up about 200 steps to get to it, worth the trip i think.
Old Sukhothai is full of smaller wats that are worth visiting. Each has its own distinctive character - and each its own particulatrattraction: the more you see, the more you want to see (and this is the reson why you need to rent a bycicle). This one in the picture (whose name i don't know9 is possible the one I liked most, because of the curious "walled" buddha image.
I believe it is "off the beaten path", although I have check pages of other VTers because I think that most of people visit more popular places as Ayuthai or Sukhothai.
this place, although very close to Sukhotai (50 km north of Sukhothai), might be left from the busy usual tourists schedule and therefore nice to visit. there is small section about it in Lonely Planet about Thailand within Sukhotai chapter.
to my surprise - one can rent very cheap a tent, bicycles and even sleeping bag there to sleep in the premises of the National park itself. otherwise there are enough simple bungalows - sorry I didn't check thier rent charge, but I guess it shouldn't be more than in Bangkok or some islands, which are very cheap for westerners anyway.
Sukhothai has an amazing historical city, included in the Unesco world heritage list. I had the impression there of being rather off the beaten path, as the foreign tourists where few and the new city is so small.