Sukhothai Historical Park (Old Sukhothai City)

Sukhothai: The Glorious Ancient City of thailand


Sukhothai, the first capital city of Thailand, holds a significant place in the history and culture of the country. Once a bustling center of Southeast Asia, Sukhothai flourished during its golden age and left behind ruins that are now cherished as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Located opposite the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, Sukhothai Historical Park offers a plethora of intriguing places to explore. From ancient temples to defensive walls, each site tells a story of the city’s past grandeur. In this article, we will delve into the details of these remarkable landmarks and their historical significance.

Heading 2: Wat Maha That

At the heart of the historical park lies Wat Maha That, a temple that serves as the center of the complex. Its most prominent feature is the grand pagoda, surrounded by eight smaller pagodas resembling lotus flowers. The front gate of the temple houses the iconic Buddha statue known as Phra Atha Ros. This monumental structure is a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship of the time.

Heading 2: The King Ramkhamhaeng Monument

Situated at the end of Jarod Vitee Tong road on the north side of Wat Maha That, the King Ramkhamhaeng monument pays tribute to King Ramkhamhaeng, one of Sukhothai’s most revered rulers. The monument stands as a reminder of his contributions to the city’s prosperity and cultural legacy.

Heading 2: Sukhothai City’s Defensive Wall

The defensive wall surrounding Sukhothai City played a crucial role in safeguarding the city from external threats. The wall consists of two layers, with the inner layer built on higher ground using laterite as the primary material. The outer layer is a canal switch with a slit wall, adding an extra layer of defense. The city gate and defensive forts are strategically placed between the two layers, symbolizing the city’s resilience.

Heading 2: Wat Chana Songkram

Located on the north side of Wat Maha That, Wat Chana Songkram stands out for its main pagoda, which resembles a giant bell. The temple offers a serene atmosphere, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings.

Heading 2: Prasart Phra Ruang Hill

To the east of Wat Maha That, Prasart Phra Ruang Hill was once a royal palace. The hill offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area and serves as a testament to the grandeur of the royal court during Sukhothai’s golden age.

Heading 2: Wat Tra Phang Ngearn

Situated on the west side of Wat Maha That, Wat Tra Phang Ngearn stands out for its absence of walls. The temple houses a single lotus-style pagoda, which adds a touch of elegance to the landscape.

Heading 2: Wat Sa Sri

Located on the northwest side of Wat Maha That, Wat Sa Sri showcases unique architectural designs. The temple stands out with its building on a pool and a pagoda in Ceylon style. The combination of these elements creates a visually striking scene.

Heading 2: Wat Sri Swai

Situated on the south side of Wat Maha That, Wat Sri Swai is home to three pagodas built in Lopburi style. These pagodas stand as a testament to the artistic diversity of Sukhothai’s religious architecture.

Heading 2: Ta Pha Deang Shrine

Built in Khmer style, the Ta Pha Deang Shrine is an ancient structure of great historical significance. The Fine Arts Department has reconstructed the shrine and preserved the relics found within it at the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.

Heading 2: Wat Phra Luang Luang

Considered the second most important temple after Wat Maha That, Wat Phra Luang Luang served as the center of the community during its heyday. The temple’s oldest remains are the three pagodas, which stand as a testament to the city’s religious fervor.

Heading 2: Sukhothai Historical Park Tourist Center

The Sukhothai Historical Park Tourist Center serves as a gateway for visitors to explore the wonders of Sukhothai. The center itself is a marvel of Thai architecture, featuring intricate details and traditional design elements. Inside the center, tourists can find comprehensive information about the historical park, allowing them to make the most of their visit.

Heading 2: Sukhothai Pottery Archaeological Site

Adjacent to Wat Phra Phai Luang, the Sukhothai Pottery Archaeological Site offers insights into the city’s ancient pottery production. The site, located near the old moat area known as “Mae Joan,” has yielded numerous pottery fragments, primarily cups and bowls, shedding light on the artistic and technological advancements of the Sukhothai period.

Heading 2: Wat Sri Chum

Wat Sri Chum is home to a large Buddha statue called Phra Ajchana. Although the temple itself is in a state of ruin, the statue remains intact, providing a glimpse into Sukhothai’s spiritual heritage.

Heading 2: Wat Charng Rob

Situated on the west side of the Reed gate, Wat Charng Rob is known for its Ceylon-style pagoda surrounded by 24 elephant sculptures at its base. The intricate carvings and attention to detail make this temple a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

Heading 2: Sreed Phong Dam

Located in the old city district, Sreed Phong Dam served as a water storage facility. The dam supplied water to the canals that ran around the city’s defensive wall, providing a steady supply of water to the gold and silver basins within the city.

Heading 2: Wat Che Tu Phon

Wat Che Tu Phon boasts a sanctuary built from brick, laterite, and slate. Inside the sanctuary, visitors can find four Buddha statues in different poses, including sitting, lying down, standing, and walking. This temple offers a unique opportunity to explore the diversity of Sukhothai’s religious art.

Heading 2: Wat Jedi Si Hong

Located on the east side of Wat Che Tu Phon, Wat Jedi Si Hong features a Ceylon pagoda adorned with sculptures of men and women around its base. This temple showcases the fusion of architectural styles and artistic influences that defined Sukhothai’s cultural landscape.

Heading 2: Wat Sapan Hin

Wat Sapan Hin is home to a towering Buddha image in a meditative pose, standing at approximately 12.5 meters tall. Known as Phra Attha Ros, this statue serves as a symbol of spiritual enlightenment and inner peace.

Heading 2: Wat Charng Lom

Wat Charng Lom is renowned for its Ceylon pagoda adorned with half-elephant sculptures at its base. The temple’s architectural design and intricate details offer a glimpse into Sukhothai’s rich cultural heritage.

Heading 2: Wat Tra Pung Thong Lang

Located at the end of Jarod Vitee Tong, Wat Tra Pung Thong Lang houses a sanctuary and a Buddha statue that depicts the story of Buddha’s return to Earth to enlighten his parents. This temple provides visitors with a deeper understanding of Sukhothai’s religious beliefs and legends.

Heading 2: Other Places of Interest

Aside from the Sukhothai Historical Park, there are several other attractions worth exploring in the region. The Sawan Vorra Nayok National Museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that shed light on Sukhothai’s history. Sri Suchanalai Historical Park, located in the nearby district of Sri Suchanalai, offers a similar experience and is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wat Sopharam, the present city’s temple of Sukhothai province, provides a glimpse into the city’s modern religious practices. Lastly, the Mae Rawing Plain, a beautiful public park surrounded by water, offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city.


Sukhothai stands as a testament to Thailand’s rich and vibrant history. The ancient city’s ruins and temples offer a glimpse into the grandeur of its golden age. Exploring the Sukhothai Historical Park is a journey through time, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the region. From the majestic Wat Maha That to the serene Wat Sapan Hin, each site tells a unique story and contributes to the overall charm of Sukhothai. Whether it’s the architectural wonders, religious artifacts, or the natural beauty of the surrounding area, Sukhothai is a destination that should not be missed by history enthusiasts and travelers seeking a deeper understanding of Thailand’s cultural roots.

Address And Location:

Mueang Kao Mueang Sukhothai Sukhothai 64210