Sukhothai Historical Park is the site of what is regarded as the first capital of Thailand back in the 13th and 14th centuries. The name Sukhothai can be translated as “dawn of happiness”. Today, most of the walls, temples and buildings are not much more than ruins, though some of them have been renovated over the years. In 1991, the historical park together with nearby towns of Si Satchanalai and Kamphaeng Phet were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage sites. The largest and most impressive of the ruins is Wat Mahathat. But there are other interesting sites such as Wat Si Sawai, Wat Chang Lom, Wat Sa Si, and Wat Si Chum. The historical park is mainly flat and the best and easiest way to get around is by renting a bicycle.
This is a two-night, three-day round trip from Bangkok by train and bus. You can also visit here as part of a longer “three ancient cities” trip between Bangkok and Chiang Mai which will take you about a week.
DAY 1: Start your trip by taking Special Express No. 7 that leaves Bangkok at 8:30 a.m. and arrives in Phitsanulok at 1:22 p.m. Ticket price is 479 baht for 2nd Class air-conditioning. From the train station, you can take a tuk tuk to the bus station which is about 2.6km away. From there you can take a bus or minivan to the bus terminal in Sukhothai new town. From here you can take a tuk tuk to the historical park which is about 12km away. Stay at a guesthouse or hotel near the entrance to the park for two nights.
DAY 2: One full day to explore Sukhothai Historical Park. Most guesthouses offer bicycles for free or you can rent one from near the park entrance.
DAY 3: After breakfast, take a bus back to Phitsanulok. While waiting for the train you can explore the city including a visit to Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Woramahawihan. The return journey will be by Special Express No. 8 that leaves at 2:44 p.m. and arrives back in Bangkok at 7:25 p.m.