The remains of Sukhothai Kingdom evoke an unfeigned essence of early Thai culture. Although only in power for two centuries between 1238 to 1438, the Sukhothai Kingdom is often referred to as the leading influence in proper Thai culture. Nestled in fields of rice and sugar cane, the worn towers, broken brick walls, and crumbling stupas still impart a sense of clam and inner peace. Broken into four quadrants, the most prominent structure of the Sukhothai Historical Park is the Royal Palace and Wat Mahathat. This moated palace is 1,600 square meters and one of the most important temples showcasing many impressive Buddha images, towering columns, and picturesque pagodas. Inscriptions carved into the walls recount a time when the Great King Ramkhamhaeng placed a bell outside the palace gates which was rung by subjects in need of help or justice, summoning him to dispense a resolution. Within this historic temple during the height of power, King Ramkhamhaeng changed Thai history and language, with the creation of the Thai alphabet.
Sukhothai is divided into two sections New and Old. New Sukhothai is typical of most Thai cities. Old Sukhothai is 12km west of there, where the ruins sprawl throughout town and into the Historical Park. A particularly beautiful time to visit is during the Loi Krathong festival which illuminates the ruins amidst hundreds of lanterns. The celebration believed to have originated in Sukhothai over 700 years ago is typically held end of November on the full moon of the 12th lunar month. If you can't make Loi Krathong, anytime between December and February is a good time to visit as it is the cool monsoon season, with average temperatures between 24°C and 31°C.
Winding mountain roads lead you around the spectacular countryside. Marvel at the glorious nature, discover ancient ruins, wander sacred temples and enjoy the charm of Northern Thailand before heading south to the stunning beaches and islands.
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The full moon of the 12th lunar month in the traditional Thai calendar marks the Thai festival of Loi Krathong. This celebration thought to originate from the Hindu Festival Diwali, in India, has progressed for Thai people into veneration of Mae Khongkha, the Mother of Waters. The act of floating ornately decorated Krathong or traditional banana leaf lanterns out onto various rivers and waterways is the main act in this brilliantly preserved tradition, also known as the “festival of lights”. Evolved from ancient Royal rituals, it has since been adopted by common people by making offerings to the Mother of ...0 miles away.
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Thailand blends the exotic with modern convenience: Bangkok is a gleaming city with a robust traditional cuisine and a culture of devout Buddhism, while the ancient city of Chiang Mai is spa central. When you're done lapping all that up, move on to cloudy mountains or lounge around on the pearlescent sand of those famous beaches.
Loy Krathong, in early November, is Thailand's most beautiful holiday, honoring the water spirit and serving as a day to wash away sins committed during the previous year. The most spectacular celebrations are in Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, and Chiang Mai.
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