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Visit the Dawn of Happiness at the Sukhothai Kingdom

Published by Kristin Cowles, Editor-in-Chief

Country: Thailand

The Experience

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.

When to Go to Sukhothai Thailand

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.


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Japanese , Lao , Malay , Mandarin , Thai , Vietnamese are some of the languages spoken in Thailand. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


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