First Capital City of the Kingdom of Siam
Thailand has three historical landmarks listed by UNESCO for their impressive cultural heritage. Another two sites are so designated for natural heritage status. There are currently several more sites in The Land of Smiles under consideration to be listed as World Heritage Sites.
The first place that usually comes to mind as a UNESCO site in Thailand is the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya located only one hour from the Thailand’s largest city. The other two are Ban Chiang in Udon Thani Province, the most important pre-historic settlement discovered so far in Southeast Asia, and Sukhothai, capital city of the first Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Sukhothai, which literally means “Dawn of Happiness,” is located in the north central region of Thailand. This former medieval city is now an historical landmark of Thailand’s golden age under the famous King Ramkamhaeng, and consists of several partially rebuilt ruins in an area of the city called Sukhothai Historical Park. Wat Mahathat is the largest temple surrounded by a long brick wall and moat. Also of note are Wat Srichu, famed for its enormous Buddha image and Wat Chang Lom surrounded by elephant statues. Sukhothai Historical Park is a great place to celebrate the Thai holiday, Loy Kratong, which falls each year on the full moon of the 12th lunar month.
A fun way to get around the area is by bicycle, which are available for rent. Your travelers who wish to explore further than cycling distance can easily hire a tuk tuk. Sukhothai is also a perfect place for a stop over when traveling by car, bus or train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The most scenic option to Sukhothai is by train. If your travelers do not have the time to enjoy the wonderful train journey, there are daily flights from Bangkok.
For more information about how to include a visit to Sukhothai or other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Thailand, please contact at [email protected].