Sukhothai is the ancient former capital of Thailand and is located in northern part of the country over 420 km north of Bangkok and approximately 300 km south of Chiang Mai. As we were travelling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai we decided to stop in Sukhothai for a couple of nights.
The old town of Sukhothai was a complete contrast from Bangkok. One day we were in the middle of one of the most lively and energetic cities in the world but the next we were staying in a quiet lane in the middle of the Thai countryside where the only noise we could hear was the occasional whistling of a bird or the rumble of a vehicle outside.
We stayed at the Thai Thai Sukhothai for 2 nights, a spotlessly clean traditional Thai retreat style guest house with incredibly friendly and hospitable staff, immaculately dressed in traditional costume. Although located in a quiet lane there were several restaurants a short walking distance away (although it’s best to bring a torch!)
The retreat was only a couple of km’s from the ancient Sukhothai historical park and we were able to hire bikes for only 50 baht (£1.00) for 24 hours.
We had an enjoyable day cycling around the historical park stopping off to take photos, wander through the ruins and get a drink every so often in one of several small cafes and roadside ‘shacks’ throughout the park and surrounding areas.
It was a real pleasure to cycle on quiet, smooth and flat roads! The main road from the retreat to the historical park even had a cycle path which, given the majority of South East Asian roads don’t have footpaths was a real bonus!
Our Sukhothai trip was a wonderful stopover place to break up the long journey between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Getting to Sukhothai
Sukhothai doesn’t have a train station but there are a few options:
- Get a bus from Bangkok/Chiang Mai to take you straight to Sukhothai
- Take a train to Phitsanulok and get a bus to Sukhothai.
- Fly from Bangkok to Sukhothai airport
- Take a driver or taxi
We went for option 2 thinking that traveling the majority of the journey from Bangkok by train for 6 hours would be preferable to a 6-7 hour bus journey.
The train left Bangkok at 08:30 and was 30 minutes late arriving at Phitsanulok in the early afternoon. As soon as we left the train station we were approached by several tuk tuk drivers offering to take us to Phitsanulok bus station. From there, buses run every 30-60 minutes to Sukhothai bus station. The bus fare was 50 baht (£1) each for the 1.5 hour journey in a local non-AC crowded bus. (And bizarrely the return fare was only 39 baht for a 1 hour journey in an AC coach with about 6 people all the way…)