Discover Sukhothai with the best sites, activities, restaurants and shops listed in this guide. Sukhothai is named “the dawn of happiness” thanks to its formative role in the origins of Thai culture, like the alphabet, spiritual centres and artisanal crafts. You’ll uncover Sukhothai’s rich history and culture as you visit its nature, the ruins of the Old City, the many impressive temples and local craft shops. 

Visit Sukhothai during the winter season to catch the best weather. You’ll enjoy the cooler, fresher air from October to January, especially for outdoor activities. On other months of the year, expect higher temperatures and higher humidity.

  • Things to do outdoors in Sukhothai

    Where to explore outside in Sukhothai

    Things to do outdoors in Sukhothai
    • Adventure
    • History
    • Photo

    Get to know Sukhothai through its nature. You’ll feel invigorated when you visit beautiful waterfalls, a bat-filled cave, and a historical temple with a view. 

    Take an enjoyable walk to Namtuk Sai Rung waterfalls, which is in flow full during the rainy season. There are no restaurants here so bring lunch and enjoy the picnic area. Experience a wonder of nature at Chao Ram Cave. Make sure to arrive just before sunset to watch the impressive show of thousands of bats as they all leave the cave at once. Take a short easy walk to Wat Saphan Hin in The West Historical Park for an impressive view. Enjoy a beautiful sunrise among the ruins of pillars and a huge Buddha. 

  • Where to experience the culture of Sukhothai

    Must-see temples and museums in Sukhothai

    Where to experience the culture of Sukhothai
    • History
    • Photo

    Experience the culture and history of Sukhothai through its spiritual places and historic sites. Take a visit to a beautiful temple, a historical park and an intriguing museum. 

    Visit the stunning Wat Traphang Ngoen, a temple built on an island covered in lotus flowers on what is called “silver lake”. Be sure to arrive for sunset or sunrise, when the natural light illuminates the temple and Buddha beautifully. Rent a bicycle and take a ride around Sit Satchanalai Historical Park to explore the ruins and take epic pics. Spend some time at Ramkhamhaeng National Museum studying the sculptures and ceramics famous to Sukhothai.

  • Sukhothai Historical Park

    Discover the remarkable ruins of Sukhothai’s Old City

    Sukhothai Historical Park
    • History
    • Photo

    For an unforgettable holiday experience, explore the ruins of Sukhothai’s Old City at Sukhothai Historical Park. You’ll feel the history of Sukhothai at this UNESCO World Heritage site and get a perspective into how the ancient capital stood and how life may have been there. 

    Spend the day discovering the 21 temples that have been revealed by excavations of the area. The central temple, called Wat Maha That, is marked at its front gate with an impressive Buddha statue and it stands next to the King Ramkhamhaeng Monument. You’ll be in awe of the large pagoda inside the temple that is surrounded by 8 others in the shape of a lotus flower.

  • Activities in Sukhothai

    What to do in Sukhothai for fun

    Activities in Sukhothai
    • Adventure
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    Experience Sukhothai through its fun activities. Challenge yourself with a hike to a spectacular viewpoint or spend a tranquil afternoon learning about pottery and try your hand at the craft. 

    Plan a visit to Ramkhamhaeng National Park to summit the 1,200-metre-tall viewpoint. Wear good walking shoes as the path is challenging and steep. You will be rewarded with a gorgeous view of the land at the top. Make sure to leave early in the morning if you want to return the same day or bring a tent and stay overnight in the designated camping area. Visit Celadon Kiln Site and Study Centre to see excavated limestone kilns, pots and wares and then stay for a fun pottery lesson.

  • Dining and restaurants in Sukhothai

    Where to find local foods and delicious treats in Sukhothai

    Dining and restaurants in Sukhothai
    • Food

    Experience the tastes of Sukhothai by sampling its famous local noodle dish when you visit street vendors, markets and restaurants. Try the classic Sukhothai noodles, which are made with crispy pork, green beans, peanuts, and turnip for a tangy sweet flavour. 

    Sample delicious street foods at stalls in the city centre and at the Sukhothai Night Food Market. Try marinated barbecued meats, spicy salads, seafood and traditional Thai sweets. If you’re in the mood for western food, head to Pizza House and enjoy a hot pizza baked in their clay oven. Or go to Nham Khang Sukothai Restaurant for Thai classics served on a balcony surrounded by a lush garden overlooking a canal.

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  • Shopping in Sukhothai

    Where to find local artisan products in Sukhothai

    Shopping in Sukhothai
    • Shoppers

    Sukhothai is known for its local artisanal products, and you can shop these crafts at markets, stores, and studios. Enjoy the rustic shopping experience in Sukhothai as you browse through beautiful fabrics, tapestries, and ceramics. 

    Head away from the main road to find Tra Phang Thong Market, a charming market with vendors peddling fresh foods and local products. Stop by Suntree Thai Weaving and watch fine art in progress while weavers expertly work the impressive looms. Take home a quality piece of unique handiwork as a souvenir of your trip. Visit Suthep Sangkalok and browse intricate ceramics made with traditional methods. The staff at this family-owned shop are friendly and happy to share their love and knowledge of pottery.

  • Nightlife in Sukhothai

    Where to go after dark in Sukhothai

    Nightlife in Sukhothai
    • Nightlife

    Sukhothai is better known for its cultural offerings than a buzzing nightlife, but you can still enjoy a fun evening out at bars and cafés. Check out the bars oriented towards tourists to enjoy cold beers with other travellers. Or enjoy live music with the local crowd at a lively café. 

    Head to Chopper Bar to chink glasses of Thai beer with new friends among a crowd of mostly young tourists. Join the locals at Fong Bear, a hangout where you can take a table, have drinks and grab a snack from the nearby street food vendors. For a fun atmosphere, live music and a local crowd, head to Route 23 or In Black cafés.

  • How to get to Sukhothai

    Ways you can arrive to Sukhothai

    How to get to Sukhothai

    Sukhothai is served by flights and buses from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, or you can take a train to a nearby city. Hop on a direct flight from either Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airports in Bangkok. You can choose from a couple of times daily from each airport. Alternatively, take day or night buses from Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. Expect your bus trip to take approximately 7 hours, 5 hours and 9 hours, respectively. 

    You can choose to arrive via the nearest train station, which is located in Phitsanulok. From the train station, grab the local bus or a tuk-tuk, Thailand’s 3-wheeled covered motorbike taxi, to the bus terminal. Then you will travel about an hour to arrive at Sukhothai.

Mia | Contributing Writer