Going to Sukhothai by airplane – comfortable!
Now, there are five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Thailand. Two of them are natural sites, and three of them are cultural sites. One of the cultural sites is in Sukhothai province. It is the “Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns”. What a long name it is! But, maybe, it is impossible to describe this large historical site in a short name. There are a lot of ruins in Sukhothai as its long name represents.
Well, let me try to write about the historical background of Sukhothai a little. In Sukhothai, there used to be a kingdom. According to the document I have, it was founded in about 1240, and it was merged into Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1378. It is remarkable that this very famous kingdom existed for only 140 years, isn’t it?
The reason I feel like that is because the name of the King Ram Khamhaeng is so well-known. This king was the third in Sukhothai Kingdom, and he was king from 1279 to 1300 (there are various views). He is known to have developed Thai script, and his reign was also described as “In the time of King Ramkhamhaeng this land of Sukhothai is thriving. In the water there are fish, in the field there is rice…” as on inscribed King Ramkhamhaeng’s stone. It also sounds like they are saying of a meaning of Sukhothai, it means “Rising of Happiness”. Sukhothai had gotten the best in his period.
That is a story from a long long time ago. Now, the new Sukhothai city is very small. and it doesn’t have anything interesting for travelers (I’m sorry). I’ve stayed in this city about 5 times, and I was always looking for something interesting at night. But I couldn’t find anything.
So when I went to Sukhothai the 2 most recent times, I stayed in the Old City (it’s called “Muang Kao” in Thai) that is located in front of the Sukhothai historical park about 12km away from the new city. The Old City is much smaller than the new city, and it also doesn’t have anything interesting at night. Still I think it is worth stay in there because the location is a really good for sightseeing in the historical park. When I went there, I always took pictures from morning to night. If I had stayed in the new city, I couldn’t have taken pictures of the historical park in the morning or at dusk. I think, in Sukhothai, you might want to stay in the Old City if you like historical places. But unfortunately, there are not many hotels in the Old City. If you go there, you should book accommodation in advance.
Anyway, today, I’m going to show pictures of the scenery from an airplane and Sukhothai airport. In the past, when I went there, I always took the train. They have a Special Express train that is called Sprinter (Sorry, I’m not sure it still works now or not). But even though it’s a special train, it takes about 5 or 6 hours. On top of that, it doesn’t go to Sukhothai directly. It goes to Phitsanulok. After that, you have to transfer to a bus to go to the new Sukhothai city. It takes about 1 more hour. So it is considered the most inefficient way to get there (but I used to like that way). On the other hand, if you go by airplane, you can get there in only about 1 hour, and from airport to the Old City, it takes about 1 hour. This way is expensive, but it is significantly more comfortable. And Sukhothai airport is really beautiful, so it is worth seeing. If you go to Sukhothai from Bangkok, I recommend you go by airplane.