I arrived in Sukhotai riding a motorbike with an Italian friend, actually we were based in Phitsanulok but we spent the full day in the historical park.
It was just great, the archaeological complex is so big that you need to ride the motorbike (or at least a bike) even inside the ruins, obviously they will charge you also a “motorbike” ticket.
I was not yet into photography so I had with me just an old and basic point and shot camera, that was really a pity.
The site is full of ancient Khmer style and temple, actually quite similar to Ayutthaya but with a clear separation between the old ancient town and the new city.
Sukhothai was once part of the Khmer empire, until A.D. 1238, when two Thai chieftains, Pho Khun Pha Muang and Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao, declared their independence and established a Thai-ruled kingdom.
Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao later became the first king of Sukhothai, calling himself Pho Khun Si Indrathit (or Intradit). This event traditionally marks the founding of the modern Thai nation, although other less well-known Thai kingdoms, such as Lanna, Phayao and Chiang Saen, were established around the same time.
Sukhothai expanded by forming alliances with the other Thai kingdoms, adopting Theravada Buddhism as the state religion.
Under King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, as he is now known, Sukhothai enjoyed a long period of prosperity.
After this golden age the vassal kingdoms, first Uttaradit in the north, then the Laotian kingdoms of Luang Prabang and Vientiane liberated themselves.
In 1319 also the Mon state broke away. The Sukhothai kingdom was quickly reduced to its former local importance only.
Sukhothai was once the cultural center of the first Thai Kingdom and it has a number of fine monuments illustrating the beginnings of Thai architecture, Thai language, Thai writings.
On December 1991 Sukhotai was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the associated historical parks in Kamphaeng Phet.
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