I’ve had a wanderlust for Sukhothai since the days of when I travelled around Asia for six weeks. I met some awesome girls during that trip who continued their journey by visiting all of Thailand. While I was back in Canada getting settled in Toronto, they were off and about visiting hard to reach places in Thailand like Sukhothai! Every day, I’d log onto Facebook to follow their journeys. One girl happened to be a photographer and she posted gorgeous photos of the Sukhothai temples.
Her photos ignited a wanderlust in me, and I was determined that I will someday come back to visit the rest of this beautiful country.
It was my third visit to Thailand during my year of slow travelling where I finally had the chance to visit this beautiful UNESCO heritage park!
It is thanks to my travel buddies that I even heard of Sukhothai! I mean, think about it – have you heard of Sukhothai before this blog post?
The honest truth about Sukhothai is that it is Thailand’s hidden gem and it should be on your bucket list! Sukhothai is one of the most beautiful cities in Thailand, and yet something like less than 5,000 visitors make it to Sukhothai in any given year.
Wat Si Chuang is what brought me to Sukhothai Thailand
This temple is as breathtaking as it is beautiful. The chamber is tiny, and every sound is magnified. Every so often, a bird would fly in and flap its wings, making it sound so dramatic.
A lovely bike ride around Sukhothai Thailand
Sukhothai is best explored by bike. Traffic isn’t crazy, so you don’t have to worry about fighting with cars for some road space. Once inside the park, you’ll find that the roads and paths are well paved and clean.
Having Sukhothai Historical Park all to ourselves
While the park is not as large as Ayutthaya, it’s still quite a distance to get around the different temples. Because this UNESCO heritage park receives very few visitors, we had the park to ourselves during most of our visits. We also never worried about touts trying to sell us tours, massages or overpriced food because it is not a touristy city at all.
Sukhothai Historical Park is very well maintained compared to Ayutthaya
The Sukhothai Historical Park itself is beautiful and well kept. There are ponds and lots of greenery throughout the park. Sukhothai Historical Park is cleaner and better maintained than Ayutthaya.
Sukhothai Thailand is hot year round
Like Ayutthaya, Sukhothai is hot throughout the day. We took our time and took lots of breaks in the shade and would only walk out when the sun was hiding behind the clouds.
What is the best time to visit Sukhothai Thailand?
Hard to say because it’s hot all year round. We went in September during the rainy season and managed to plan things day by day. We’d try to go sightseeing when the rain would stop and come back before the next downpour. Exploring the temples weren’t so bad even with the crazy rainfall.
September is when rain happens the most in Sukhothai. It rained pretty much every day when we were here. The rain was so loud that I could barely hear my music when sitting in the hotel room. But the rain comes in bursts – it will rain hard for a few hours and then suddenly stop.
The dog situation in Sukhothai Thailand
Remember how scared we were about dogs? Well, it wasn’t so bad in Sukhothai. Most dogs usually left us alone, although one dog walked up to us, got very curious and licked Gary’s leg. They must know we aren’t from around here.
You’ll see a few dogs every 50 meters or so. Most of them just look at you and go back to napping. None of the dogs barked at us or chased us, unlike those damn dogs in Ayutthaya or Chiang Mai (You can read more about my Asia dog encounters here).
The local market in Sukhothai Thailand
The market in Sukhothai reminded me of the days when my aunt used to take me to the market to buy food in Vietnam. The only downside is that the meat smells a bit rotten and I did see some rotten looking meat in this market.
Met a friend in Sukhothai Thailand!
It was in Sukhothai where we met a friendly Australian during dinner one night. We’ve kept in touch and met up with him for lunch in Australia during our seventh month of travelling!
Honestly, guys, if you are hit with wanderlust by my travels, you should hear this man’s stories. He’s sailed for years and travelled for over two years at a time! Incredible!
English is hard to get around in Sukhothai Thailand
Of all the cities we visited in Thailand, we found that English was hard to get by in Sukhothai. For example, the hotel manager couldn’t speak English, and most restaurants didn’t speak much English.
Restaurant options are limited in Sukhothai Thailand
But we still managed to try some yummy dishes. You definitely need to try Sukhothai noodles while in the city – it’s the only place in Thailand where you can eat this type of noodle soup.
Tips for visiting Sukhothai Thailand
- Plan for lots of water breaks – it’s sweltering hot. Like you’ll want to stop in-every-shade-you-pass-by hot
- Bring lots of water; vendors are few and far in some regions of the park. My throat was hurting so much despite drinking lots of water because it was that hot. I was super dehydrated and would start to black out for a few seconds each time I stood up
- Bring an umbrella to create your own shade
- Visit the temples before 11 am or after 4 pm to avoid the heat
- Dogs are everywhere, sometimes in packs
- Eat ice cream to cool yourself down
- Some temples have toilets, but they are few and rare. Plan your toilet breaks wisely
- There are different entry fees for different zones in the Sukhothai Historical Park. Some cost 100 baht while others might charge more
- There aren’t a lot of restaurants in Sukhothai
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