Photo gallery: Waking up in Sukhothai

For a real Bangkok escape and an amazing photo opp, head north to this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site

By Derrick Chang

For many tourists, Thailand’s ancient history involves a day trip to Ayutthaya. They see a few demolished ruins between the crowds of other tourists, and return to the hotel thankful they got that out the way and can now go into R&R mode.
It’s a shame they didn’t head further north to Sukhothai, the best place to experience a laidback glimpse into Thailand’s pre-Bangkok days.

Sukhothai was the ancient capital of Thailand from 1238 until 1438 and features the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with the ruins of royal palaces, Buddhist temples and historical monuments.

If you get there early enough you’ll enjoy the golden morning light and have the park to yourself, which makes for an incredible photo opportunity. The best way to tour the ruins in and outside the city walls is to rent a bicycle or a motorbike, which also gives you a chance to see the scenic countryside surrounding the old town. Bike rentals are available at the park gates.

Getting there

  • Buses depart from Bangkok’s Mochit Bus station daily. The trip takes roughly 5-6 hours.
  • There are no trains going directly to Sukhothai but you can travel by train to Phitsanulok and then take a local bus to Sukhothai, which is about 50 kilometers away.
  • Bangkok Airways has a daily flight to Sukhothai in the morning that takes approximately one hour.

Sukhothai is divided into the old and new towns, which are 12 kilometers apart. If you want to get to the Sukhothai Historical Park early in the morning, it’s best to stay in the old town. There are a full range of hotels, resorts and guest houses adjacent to the park. Public buses ferry guests between the old and new town every 20 minutes.

Derrick Chang is a Canadian documentary photographer based in Hong Kong specializing in portraiture, events and humanitarian photography.
Read more about Derrick Chang


Category: Photo @ Sukhothai