Thursday, 26 May 2022

A happy trip to the happy province of Sukhothai

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Sukhothai is an ancient town whose history dates back more than 700 years. Its name means dawn of happiness, which is surely an auspicious omen for our trip of 2 days and 1 night!
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Our trip has something for everyone with activities ranging from discovering contemporary street art to exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Sukhothai Historical Park and of course the famous Loi Krathong Festival at the Historical Park is an event that should never be missed.
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And please wear a face mask and carry hand sanitisers anywhere you go.

Day 1
Sawankhalok District
– Street Art
– Sawankhalok Police Station
– Jongkon Cafe
Mueang District
– Sukhothai Historical Park

Day 2
– Wat Sri Chum
– Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
– Sangkhalok ceramic wares community
– Mai Klang Krung Restaurant

Street Art project
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We start our visit to Sukhothai in Sawankhalok district, some 38 kms from Sukhothai city. An ancient town as old as the first capital of the Thai Kingdom itself, Sawankhalok boast a new contemporary attraction, which tells the stories of its people and the unique art and culture. The street art was created by Thai artists along with their peers from Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia and features six spectacular spots of pop art on the walls of old buildings along Pisan Soonthonkit Road in Sawankhalok old town.

Address: Pisan Soonthonkit road, Sawankhalok District, Sukhothai
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/auWCAze211jcXAaV9

Architectural gem: the old police station

This unusual looking police station was built in 1939, the same year Sawankhalok lost its provincial administrative status and was absorbed into Sukhothai province. Aside from its beautiful design, this old police station still holds great significance for local residents.

The wooden building is a one-storey structure raised on stilts. It has an open plan and features a hip roof or Panya. The heritage building now exhibits the history of the police station including many vintage office supplies and police uniforms.
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Address: Na Mueang Road, Sawankhalok District, Sukhothai
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Cx8rJm9SqrysDCNh7

After walking around, let’s take a rest, have a cup of coffee and dessert at Jongkon Café, which is located not far from Sukhothai Airport. It’s a minimalist style coffee shop with a comfortable atmosphere, decorated with many kinds of trees that give a feeling of shadiness and comfort.

They have a wide variety of drinks to choose from. Moreover, the cake is very delicious. If you don’t know what to order, we recommend Basque Burnt Cheesecake and Strawberry Crepe Cake.
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Address: 107/4 Ban Khlong Krachong Subdistrict, Sawankhalok District, Sukhothai
Open daily from 09:00-16.00 Hrs.
Tel. 064 220 1017
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/zueobSZsbhTN6iue9

Our next stop is Sukhothai town, about 45 minutes by car from Sawankhalok. There are many interesting attractions to see in this historic city, especially its beautiful temples and ruins.
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Sukhothai Historical Park

The historic walled town of Sukhothai, which is home to the remains of the Sukhothai Kingdom, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.
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Address: Mueang Kao Subdistrict, Mueang District Sukhothai
Open daily from 06:00-18:00 Hrs.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/gXY72BkyneK

There are a number of fascinating ruins within the Historical Park, but only a few are highlighted here.

Wat Mahathat is the principal royal temple of the Sukhothai kingdom and is located in the heart of the old town, next to the ruins of the former palace. It is characterised by its main Chedi or pagoda in a lotus shape, surrounded by 8 minor pagodas.

Thailand’s biggest bronze Buddha Image, Phra Sri Sakayamuni, now housed in the Ubosot or ordination hall of Wat Suthat Thepwararam in Bangkok, was once enshrined in a laterite Wihan or assembly hall of this temple.

A 12-metre high Buddha image named Phra Atharot stands in the Mondop on either side of the main Chedi.

Wat Sa Sri is set on an island in the middle of Trapang Traguan, a man-made pond, occupying one of the most scenic spots in the historical park.

Its main Chedi in the Lanka bell shape is preceded by a large Wihan enshrined with
a stucco seated Buddha image in the gesture of subduing Mara. A minor Chedi of the Srivijaya and Lankan styles stands to the south with Buddha images enshrined under its facades in all four directions.

There is also a small island with a minor Ubosot in the pond.

Day 2

First place of our last day in Sukhothai is Wat Sri Chum.

This temple is part of the Sukhothai Historical Park but located outside the walled city to the northwest. To many visitors, taking a picture of the temple’s magnificent Buddha image, Phra Atchana, is a real challenge. The massive Buddha image occupies most of the floor space in the square Mondop in which it is enshrined making it very complicated to find any good angles to capture its features in their entirety.

Phra Atchana is a Sukhothai-style seated Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara. The word Atchana is derived from Pali and means the unperturbed one or the one who deserves to be worshipped.
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This Buddha image is believed to be the origin of a well-known Sukhothai folk tale about a talking Buddha image.
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Legend has it that while King Naresuan the Great was on his way to quell Sawankhalok’s army, he stopped over at this temple. The King had one of his soldiers climb up a hidden passageway from behind Phra Atchana to deliver a motivating speech to his men giving the impression that the Buddha image was talking to them. The morale of his soldiers was boosted as a result, and the battle was eventually won.

There is in fact a narrow passage within the south walls of the Mondop with stairways leading up to the side of the Buddha image and onto the top part of the wall. However, it has been sealed off for security reasons by the Fine Arts Department.
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Address: Sukhothai Historical Park, Mueang Kao Subdistrict, Mueang District, Sukhothai
Open daily from 06:00-18.00 Hrs.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/zUHC1mKjAKcJDToe6
– Vehicle entrance fees:
Car : 50 Baht
Motorcycle : 20 Baht
Bicycle : 10 Baht

Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

The Museum displays exhibits from the archaeological sites within Sukhothai town and those donated by the public.

Address: Mueang Kao Subdistrict, Mueang District, Sukhothai
Open daily from 09:00-16:00 Hrs.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nPfXcCveazhTcLBs6
Tel. 055 697 367

The Museum consists of three main buildings:

1. Lai Sue Thai Memorial Building features an overview of Sukhothai province including the geography, natural resources, administration, and the ways of life of its people.

2. Museum Building features archaeological objects found in Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai and Kamphaeng Phet; such as, inscription stones, Buddha images, sculptures, ceramics, votive tablets, weapons, and relics.

3. The Building of Stucco Sculptures features various stucco sculptures and information about how they were made. The exhibits are a fine example of Sukhothai’s craftsmanship and should not be missed by anyone interested in Buddhist arts.

 

The walking Buddha image of Sukhothai is unique and was created according to the belief in Mahapurislaksana (features of the great man). The style is widely admired for the graceful expression of ideal aesthetics and the power of compassion and composure imparted by the sculpture.

The relic room exhibits Sukhothai period’s antiques and valuables from the excavation sites located within the Museum’s compound. Among the important artefacts found is a miniscule relic believed to belong to one of Lord Buddha’s main disciples.

 

Other objects of archaeological value include votive tablets made of various materials, crystals, beads, and jewellery. These aforementioned valuables were put inside the pagoda as offerings to Lord Buddha and as a means to preserve Buddhism.

The Outdoor Museum displays various artefacts; such as, stone Buddha images, inscriptions, traditional Thai buildings, replica kilns, and Sema boundary marker stones.

Before going home, we bought some souvenirs from the Sangkhalok ceramic wares community, which is located near the Sukhothai Historical Park.

Here, there are many Sangkhalok ceramic ware shops, so you can walk around and choose the stuff that you like.
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Address: Mueang Kao Subdistrict, Mueang District, Sukhothai
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/W8ALsQGDp6TEBkfFA

We ended this trip with eating delicious food at Mai Klang Krung restaurant. The restaurant is decorated with old appliances and also sells sarongs, so fabric lovers should be pleased.

The restaurant’s signature menu is Sukhothai noodles with a mellow taste that you shouldn’t miss. In addition to noodles, there is also rice mixed with shrimp paste, rice crackers from an original recipe, and Phat Thai that are equally delicious.
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Address: Charot Withi Thong Road, Thani Subdistrict, Mueang District, Sukhothai
Open daily from 08:00-15:00 Hrs.
Tel. 055 013 519, 081 971 4406
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/4SEytpkk5D7cnfUU8

 

For more information : TATContactcenter