At the beginning of 2022, I travelled through beautiful Thailand for 3 months. I decided to include Sukhothai in my travel itinerary because I love the culture and architecture of the ancient ruins of the Khmer Empire.
Sukhothai is a city in Northern Thailand. Sukhothai is the capital of Sukhothai Province and the Sukhothai District. Sukhothai is situated on the Yom River, about 427 kilometres north of Bangkok. The city is approximately 12 kilometres from the historic site of Sukhothai and is therefore also known as New Sukhothai. The old city was the centre of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom.
Moreover, it’s a beautiful stopover if you’re traveling by train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You get off at Phitsanulok and then it’s an hour by taxi or bus to Sukhothai.
Sukhothai captured my heart during that period and is in my top 3 of visited places in Thailand. It might not fit into everyone’s travel schedule, but if you are traveling for a longer period, I would recommend everyone to visit it.
During my guided bike tour through the historical park, the guide wouldn’t stop talking about the annual Loy Krathong festival, which is celebrated every year in Thailand and surrounding countries. Sukhothai, along with Chiang Mai, would be the most beautiful place to attend this festival. Since then, it has been at the top of my wish list!
The last week of October and the first 3 weeks of November make up the twelfth lunar month, called ‘duan sipsong’ in Thai. This time of year is ‘na naam’, the high water season. During this time, there are often floods in many parts of Thailand, including Bangkok. But because the rainy season is normally over, the weather is clear with a temperature of about 25 degrees. This is the time of year when on the day of the full moon of the 12th lunar month, the Loi Krathong festival is celebrated in Thailand and neighbouring countries. ‘Loi’ literally means to float, and a ‘Krathong’ is a small vessel made of various materials in the shape of a lotus flower. This vessel normally contains a candle, 3 incense sticks, flowers, and some coins.
In 2023, I saw my chance and decided to travel to Sukhothai to celebrate Loy Krathong, and it was amazing! The entire historical site with the old temples was lit with candles and lanterns, the water around the temples was illuminated by the many krathongs. There were various places with stalls to buy souvenirs and eat street food.
On the second day, I attended the light and sound show held at the main temple, which was a performance of the history of Sukhothai, depicted by actors, accompanied by music, light, and fireworks. A spectacular conclusion to a wonderful three days in the old capital of Thailand!
Sukhothai, see you soon!