This is located 12 kms. from town on the Sukhothai-Tak
Highway. It is open daily 08.30-16.30 hrs. Admission fee
is 40 baht. Ruins of the royal palaces, Buddhist
temples, the city gates, walls, moats, dams, ditches,
ponds, canals, and the water dyke control system, which
was the magical and spiritual center of the kingdom, are
now preserved and have been restored by the Fine Arts
Department with the cooperation of UNESCO, not only with
a view of fostering Thailand's national identity but the
safeguarding a fine example of mankind's cultural
heritage. The tourist Service Center is near Wat Phra
Phai Luang. The center provides information and
facilitates visitors to the Sukhothai Historical Park,
as well as displays models of historical buildings and
structures in old Sukhothai. Places of interest are as
The city wall is located in the center of the historical
park in Tambon Muang Kao and surrounded by earthen
ramparts. The north and the south walls are each 2,000
meters long, where as the east and the west walls are
each 1,600 meters long. The walls contain four main
gates: Sanluang on the north, Namo on the south,
Kamphaenghak on the east, and Oar on the west. A stone
inscription mentions that King Ramkhamhaeng set up a
bell at one of the gates. If his subjects needed help,
they would ring the bell and the King would come out to
settle disputes and dispense justice.
Inside the town
stands 35 monuments including Buddhist temples and many other structures.
The royal palace lies in the center of the town and covers an area of
160,000 square meters. This area is surrounded by a moat and contains two
main compounds; the royal building and the sanctuary in the palace. In the
royal compound exists the ruins of the royal building called Noen Phrasat.
Here, the famous stone
inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng was found by King Mongkut
(Rama IV) in the 19th century together with a piece of the
stone throne called "Manangkhasila Asana" King Ramhamhaeng
set up the throne in the midst of a sugar palm grove where,
at his request, a monk preached on Buddhist Sabbath days and
the King conducted the affairs of state on other days This
throne was later installed in Bangkok's Temple of the
A sanctuary lying to the west behind the Royal Palace compound is Wat
Mahathat. It is Sukhothai's largest temple with a customary main Chedi in
lotus-bud shape and a ruined viharn. At the base of the Chedi stands
Buddhist disciples in adoration, and on the pedestal are seated Buddha
images. In front of this reliquary is a large viham formerly containing a
remarkable seated bronze Buddha image of the Sukhothai style, which was cast
and installed by King Lithai of Sukhothai in 1362. At the end of the 18th
century, the image was removed to the Viham Luang of Wat Suthat in Bangkok
by the order of King Rama I and has since been named Phra Si Sakaya Muni. In
front of the large viharn is another smaller viham which was probably built
during the Ayutthaya period. Its main Buddha image (8 meters high) was
installed inside a separate building. In front of the southern image, a
piece of sculpture called, "Khom Dam Din" (a Khmer who come by way of
walking underground) was found, and is now kept in the Mae Ya Shrine near
the Sukhothai City Hall. On the South stands a pedestal of a large Chedi
built up in steps, the lowest platform is adorned with beautiful stucco
figures of demons, elephants and lions with angles riding on their backs.
Mural painting adorn this Chedi.
Situated among magnificent scenery southwest of Wat Mahathat
is Wat Si-Sawai. Three prangs are surrounded by a laterite
Inside the wall, the viham in the west, built of laterite, is separate from
the main prang which was constructed in the Lop Buri or Hindu-style, but the
other also constructed beside the prangs are Buddhist vihams. The Crown
Prince of that time who later become King Rama VI found a trace of the Hindu
sculpture Sayomphu, the greatest Hindu God in this sanctuary, In his
opinion, this ruin was once a Hindu shrine, but was later converted into a
Situated to the west of Wat Mahathat is Wat
Traphang-Ngoen with its square pedestal, main sanctuary,
and stucco standing Buddha image in four niches. There
is a viharn in front, and in the east of the pond, there
is an island with an ubosot. This edifice has already
crumbled and only its pedestal and laterite columns
still remain. Many monuments and magnificent scenery are
visible from this location.
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat
Chana-Songkhram. It was once called Wat Ratchaburana.
Its main sanctuary is a round Singhalese-style chedi. In
front of the chedi exists the base of a viharn and
behind the former stands an ubosot. Bases of twelve
small chedis are also visible. Near Charot Withi Thong
Road is a strange chedi having three bases, one on top
of the other.
Situated near Wat Chanasongkhram is Wat Sa-Si. Around a
Singhalese-style chedi is the main sanctuary on an
island in the middle of Traphang Trakuan Pond. A large
viharn contains a stucco Buddha image. To the south
stands nine chedis of different sizes.
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is
San-Ta-Pha-Daeng. This monument consists of only one
laterite prang with a staircase in the front. Sandstone
Hindu divine object (Lop Bun-style) were discovered
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is the King
Ramkhamhaeng Monument. The bronze statue of King
Ramkhamhaeng sits on a throne named
Phra-Thaen-Manangkhasila-Asana with a base relief
recording his life.
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat Mai. Wat
Mai, having a brick viham as the main sanctuary, is in
Ayutthaya style. The columns of the viharn are made of
laterite. A bronze image of the Buddha under a Naga,
(Lop Bun-style) was found here and is now preserved in
the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.
The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum was built in I960 and
opened on 25 January, 1964. The museum collection
includes gifts from the ex-abbot of Wat Ratchathani and
art objects unearthed in Sukhothai and nearby provinces.
It is open daily from 09.00-l6.00
hrs. Admission fee 30 Baht. Tel. (055) 612167
Situated to the east of Wat Mahathat is Wat
Traphang-Thong. The monastery is located on an island in
the middle of a large pond. A ruined laterite
Singhalese-style chedi is on the island. In front of it,
a new mondop contains the Lord Buddha's Footprint slab
that was created by King Lithaiin 1390 on Samanakutor
Phra Bat Yai Hill. This footprint was removed to the new
mondop some years ago. An annual fair to worship this
sacred Lord Buddha's Footprint takes place at the same
time as the Loi Krathong Festival.
This temple lies about 500
meters north of San Luang Gate. This sanctuary, formerly a
Khmer-Hindu shrine but later converted into a Buddhist
monastery, is surrounded by a moat. It is second in
importance to Wat Mahathat. Inside, there are three prangs
like Wat Si-Sawai, but the southern and the central ones
have crumbled leaving only the northern one decorated with
stucco figures. In front of these prangs are a viham and a
crumbled chedi; the later has a pedestal decorated with
stucco seated Buddha images. A mondop contains Buddha images
in four postures; sitting, reclining, standing, and walking.
They are now all in ruins. A Sivalinga (Phallic emblem of
Hindu gods) was unearthed in the compound of this sanctuary.
Thuriang Kiln is a site where Sukhothai celadons
were made. Kilns exist in an area measuring 100
by 700 meters. Each kiln is divided into three
sections; the fire area, the pottery baking
oven, and the flue. The pottery found here is
usually decorated by three different painted
designs on their bottom: a disc, a fish, and a
flower. Forty-nine kilns and small edifices are
visible. To the north, a pond has been dug into
This lies about 1,980 metres north of Wat
Mahathat. The viharn enshrines a stucco
image of Sukhothai style. Behind stands a
Singhalese-style chedi. To the south, a
brick ubosot base is surrounded by slate
This lies about 2,400 metres north of Wat
Mahathat. The Singhalese-style brick chedi
is supported by a laterite base and surrounded
by a lalerite wall. A Sukhothai
inscription of Wat Hin-Tang described Buddhist
relics and religious rites.
This earthwork dam
was formed to hold back water between Phra Bat Yai and Kiew-Ay-Ma Hills and
restored by Thailand's Irrigation Department. Water from the dam will be
used as a reserve whenever the water level in other reservoirs goes down.
This dam is referred to in the Sukhothai inscription.
This is situated outside the southern city wall 1,150 meters away from Wat
Mahathat. A brick Singhalese-style chedi enshrines Buddha images in niches.
The brick viham contains a handless stucco Buddha image. Fine votive tablets
called Sanaechan are found here
mondop enshrines four Buddha images in different postures: sitting,
standing, walking, and reclining. The outer walls of the mondop still
retains a section in the form of a slate pillar-balustrade window. There is
an entrance to the mondop to the north. Just behind the mondop is a small
sanctuary which contains a Buddha image known locally as Phra Si Ariya
(Maitreya), the Lord Buddha of the Future.
Located to the north of
Chotwithithong Road with a bell-shaped chedi of Ceylonese
influence standing as the center. The chedi is situated on a
3-tiered square base with a platform decorated with a row of
elephants seen by their front halves supporting the round
This type of elephant-decorated chedi is to be seen in many ancient towns of
the Sukhothai period; for example, Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai.
A square mondop is the main
sanctuary. In front of the mondop to the east, is the viham
and beyond the viham stands an ubosot. The outer wall of the
mondop is beautifully decorated by stucco figures in niches.
The southern side portrays the Lord Buddha flanked by angels
descending from Tavatimsa Heaven. To the west portrays the
Lord Buddha preaching to his father and relatives. The
northern side depicts the episode when the Lord Buddha
returned to preach to his wife. These stucco figures,
especially those on the south side, are masterpieces of
This is situated near Wat Traphang Thong Lang. The upper part of the chedi
is round. The base is constructed in three tiered stages. This interesting
Sukhothai type of chedi is of Sivijaya and Singhalese-styles. In front of
the chedi stands a small viharn.