BIRTH OF A NATION
Located on the lower edge of the northern Thailand some 350 kilometres from
Chiang Mai. This was Thailand's first capital, founded in the early 13th century, and the numerous ruined temples of what was once a large and glorious city
are today preserved in Sukhothai Historical Park.
Sukhothai ranks as one of Thailand's not to be missed ancient sights.
Spread over a large area, now attractively landscaped, are the monuments that attest to the birth of the Thai nation and which, in their unique architecture, display the first flowering of the Kingdom's characteristic art.
Not far from Sukhothai are the remains of its satellite towns, Si Satchanalai and Kamphaeng Phet, the former uninhabited and enhanced by a hilltop location, the latter a thriving provincial centre. Both have monuments dating from the Sukhothai era which help complete one's understanding of this vital age in Thai history.
A good base for exploring the Sukhothai area is the town of Phitsanulok, 55 kilometres to the east. It is served by regular flights from both Chiang Mai and Bangkok and has some excellent hotels, as well as a couple of ancient temples well worth visiting. Com¬fortable accommodation can also be found at Kamphaeng Phet and Tak, about 80 kilometres west of Sukhothai.
Note that if you are making the Bangkok Chiang Mai trip by road, these places are ideal for an overnight stop.
Sukhothai is the first truly independent Thai kingdom since 1238. Historical artefacts have demonstrated that Thai culture, most par-ticularly the Thai alphabet and Thai language, originated in Sukhothai.
Sukhothai province covers some 6,596 square kilometres. The provincial capital is some 427 kilometres north of Bangkok. The province's major attraction is the ancient city of Sukhothai, which largely forms the Sukhothai Historical Park, which is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.