Bicycle tour Sukhothai, cycling its Historical Park, Thailand
Besides being an ideal starting point for a cycling trip of northern Thailand, Sukhothai has some amazing history to take in. The Sukhothai Historical Park encompass 193 ancient ruins on 70 square kilometers of land.
The park is maintained by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand with help from UNESCO, which has declared it a World Heritage Site.
The park sees thousands of visitors each year, who marvel at the ancient Buddha figures, palace buildings and ruined temples. It’s easily toured by bicycle or even on foot. The park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore.
Some other interesting stops in this area include Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, Ramkhamhaeng National Park, Sri Satchanalai National Park, the Royal Palace and Wat Mahathat.
Sukhothai was the capital of the first kingdom of Siam, established some 800 years ago somewhere between 1238 and 1257.
The name Sukhothai literally means “Dawn of Happiness”, and it was Phokhun Si Intharathit who founded the Phra Ruang Dynasty here, Sukhothai’s first dynasty.
As the capital of Siam, Sukhothai was ruled my many kings for some 120 years. The most dynamic monarch was King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, who created the Thai alphabet, laid the foundation for politics, monarchy, and religion in Siam.
Though the golden era of Sukhothai no longer exists, we should always bear in mind that the respect and admiration for these renowned ruins is very much intact.
It’s important for us as visitors to be respectful and leave a good impression so that others can come after us!
Sukhothai Historical Park, Old Sukhothai (Sukhothai Muang Kao) is located 12 km to the west of today’s Sukhothai.
You can find a place to stay in either the old or the new.
The main city of this part of Thailand is Phitsanulok, which is 60-70 km from new Sukhothai, or 80 -90 km from the Sukhothai Historical Park.
is located about halfway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, about 7 or 8 hours drive from each.
If you’re flying into Bangkok, one idea is to take the overnight train to Chiang Mai and then cycle back down towards Sukhothai. The overnight train is an experience of its own, and leaves Bangkok at either 18:30 or 19:30 every evening.
Sukhothai does have its own airport as well, so domestic flights in and out are an option too. There are also buses and trains arriving and departing daily, so no shortage of ways to get there.
Sukhothai as starting Point for bicycle tours
As I mentioned from the start, this is a great location to start your trip of northern Thailand. From here, you’re 160 km from Mae Sot, a small city on the border of Myanmar, in Tak province.
You can follow the Thai – Myanmar border to the north and enjoy some amazing scenery as you work your way through Tak and Mae Hong Son provinces. On this classic route, you can continue on and get all the way up to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Laos.