A 13th c Thai capital, Sukhothai was the first independent kingdom. The name translates to “Dawn of Happiness,” indicating that the Sukhothai period is considered a “golden age” in Thailand’s history. During this era, the alphabet was created under King Ramkhamhaeng, setting the stage for artistic and intellectual developments.
Today, visitors can walk the ruins of this once great city, now a site protected by UNESCO and restored thanks to an initiative of the Thai King himself. Having historical significance and a variety of tourist attractions, Sukhothai is easily accessible by plane, bus, and train from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phitsanoluk, and Mae Sot.
1 Sukhothai Old City
This UNESCO World Heritage site stands as a testament to Thailand’s storied and colorful past. Nearly 200 temples were excavated and partly reconstructed.