Sukhothai (สุโขทัย) is a small city (population 35,713) in Lower Northern Thailand, most famous for the ruins of the ancient city Sukhothai. The name translates as “the dawn of happiness”. The province is located on the lower edge of the northern region, 427 kilometres north of Bangkok, and covers some 6,596 square kilometres.
The city is a popular tourist destination because it is located near the ruins of the ancient city of Sukhothai, which was the Thai capital during the 13th Century A.D. The historical Sukhothai was the first capital of Siam founded by King Ramkhamhaeng. The province’s temples and monuments have been restored well and Sukhothai Historical Park – a place with numerous sites of historical interest has been made into a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other interesting places include Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, Ramkhamhaeng National Park, Sri Satchanalai National Park and The Royal Palace and Wat Mahathat.
Sukhothai was the first kingdom of Siam established some 800 years ago. The exact year is unknown but according to the Fine Arts Office it was between 1238 and 1257.
Established in around 1238 to 1257, Sukhothai literally means “Dawn of Happiness.” Phokhun Si Intharathit was the founder of the Phra Ruang Dynasty, Sukhothai’s first Dynasty. For 120 years as the capital of Siam, Sukhothai was ruled by many kings. In this connection, the most dynamic monarch being King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, who created the Thai alphabet, laid the foundation for politics, monarchy, and religion, as well as, expanded its boundary of influence. Though the golden era of Sukhothai no longer exists, tourists should bear in mind that respect and admiration for the renowned ruined twin cities of Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai is valued.