After Wat Mahathat I thought this was the most beautiful and most interesting of Sukhothai's wats. This wat is one of Sukhothai's oldest. It was originally built by the Khmers as a Hindhu temple. You can still see some beautiful Hindu carvings here. The whole wat had been badly burnt and all the rocks and Buddhas were blackened. I could find no explanation for this in my guidebook. The wat is surrounded by a lovely lily filled moat. Entry is 100 baht and the ticket is also valid for Wat Sri Chum. If you enter from near the northern gate, there is no ticket office, but we were asked to pay on our way out as we headed for Wat Si Chum. We used the same ticket to re-enter Wat Phra Phai luang so I guess it is valid all day.
This wat lies on an island to the east of Wat Mahathat. You get to it by crossing a rickety, old wooden bridge. There are good views towards Wat Mahathat and towards Wat Trapang Ngoen from here across the lilyponds.
We took a walk along the picturesque moat to have a look at the potter's kilns. Not hugely exciting but I guess it makes a change from wats and the walk was pleasant enough. You can still see the remains of several kilns. They date from around 1300 AD and produced a special green glazed pottery.
This shrine costs 100 baht to enter. The ticket also covers entry to Wat Phra Phai Luang. This wat consists of a square building known as a mondop. Inside the mondop is a huge 15m Buddha image. The image peeks at you through the mondop opening as you approach. There were some stalls located just outside and a smaller seated Buddha image off to the right of the mondop.
This shrine is outside the old city area near the San Luang or northern gate. There is no entry fee to visit this wat. The wat consists of a chedi with lots of elephant carvings and although it is small it is photogenic and a bit different, so worth seeing. It is also near other shrines.
This is a lovely, peaceful wat located on an island. It has a large seated Buddha image and a Ceylonese style chedi. You get here by crossing the wooden bridge. A second small bridge will take you to a smaller island. A good place to find a shady spot and rest your tired feet for a while.
In my opinion this was the most beautiful wat in Sukhothai. This was once the religious and political centre of the Kingdom of Sukhothai. It is a wonderful place to wander with its large standing Buddha, seated Buddhas and stucco frieze of walking monks. The area around this wat is full of waterlily strewn ponds and beautiful colourful flowers. A lovely peaceful place.
To enter the temples in the Old City you should buy a ticket from the ticket office to the left of the main gate. Tickets cost 100 baht. We explored on foot, but there was a bike shop - K Shop - just across the road from the entrance.
Wat Mai was the first temple we saw just off to the right as you enter. It was small compared to the other temples but was still worth a look and took a good photo.
After arriving in Sokuthai at the National Park..you will notice many "Motos" for hire, there are many different names for these wheather you want to call them a "tuk tuk" or a" moto"..there really isn't a lot of difference. The main thing is they are definately the way to get around this really huge complex and it will take you all day...I chose to hire mine for the day and negotiated my price. The price was fair and I was pleased. The price of course depends on you own bargaining skills.
Although make sure that you have established a COMPLETE price for all that you want to do in your day hire BEFORE you set off.
The Ramkhamhaeng Museum gardens contain an assortment of replica statutes and other old objects that belong to previous centuries.
We enjoyed wandering around the gardens taking random photos, reading notices, and eating a snack on the go.
Whilst inside the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum no photos were allowed, however on leaving the museum building we entered a large garden area which had many exhibits besides the beautiful flowers.
In a prominent position was a duplicate of a Cross-Draft Kiln used for the manufacture of Thai ceramics. These ceramics were known as Sangkhalok. The original kiln is located north of Wat Phra Phai Luang, Sukhothai Historical Park.
For those visitors who cannot make it to the Sukhothai Historic Park this museum gives a good insight into what to expect in the park.
As you walk up to Wat Si Chum, temple of the bodhi tree, you will see the Buddha through the narrow slit in the wall. It looks impressive , however when you walk inside the building you will see a large Buddha, very impressive.
This temple was builtlate 13th century.
The third photo, taken from inside the temple, shows how large the Buddha is.
Wat Sorasak is a beautiful structure which as renovated during the 1980's. Surround at the base by 24 elephants it is a very impressive temple. The bell shape is very impressive. The monument was built in 1417.
The monuments in the front area of the temple are in severve condition and their styles are untraceable.
Archaeological excavation undertaken by the Fine Arts Department reveal the temple was restored several times in the Sukhothai era. An analysis for reconstructing the structures is mostly based upon imagination.
We first visited the Ramklamhaeng National Museum and then entered the park a little after midday. Our mode of transport was 6 airconditioned mini vans for our group (34 people). An ideal way to travel as the vans moved us from one section of the park to another.
It is hot in the park and for people from Northern Europe you may find it hard going. We live in Perth , Western Australia and are used to temperatures between 30 and 40C. I guess when we visited in March the temperature was around 32C, and quite hot should you be walking a distance.
The attached web link gives information on how to move around the park. Their recommended mode is by push bike which I think is ideal for young backpackers, but not for me.
Remember to take a good supply of bottled water, we drank plenty.
I could not find a photo of anyone cycling through the park, but I think the second photo is superb and shows what this Historical Park is all about.