Sukhothai, temples and palaces of a former great kingdom

Wat Mahathat, view from the lake, Sukhothai, Thailand

After our visit of Ayutthaya we were not already bored by temples and Buddhas. Thus we decided to continue our trip to the north in order to visit the famous old city of Sukhothai, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The Sukhthai kingdom preceded the one of Ayutthaya and existed between the 13th and 15th centuries.

Plate, Sangkhalok museum, Sukhothai, Thailand

A preliminary visit to the Sangkalok museum (in the new Sukhthai city, at bout 8km of the site) enabled us to discover the advanced technology of the Sukhthai civilization. For instance they had water piping and irrigation. Thay had built very big clay tubes that fitted together and carried the water. And this network is still in use!

Wat Mahathat, zoom on a frieze, Sukhothai, Thailand

The museum also shows very beautiful porcelains, potteries, attesting of the former commercial trades with neighbor kingdoms (China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Lao). We go from showcase to showcase, following french (!) explications in a little book. We are happy with those relevant explanations and the good translation! We learned for example why the sleeping Buddhas are always very big. A giant wanted to follow the Buddha instruction but could not make up his mind to meet him because nobody can be bigger than Buddha. One day Buddha wanted to teach outside and lying down. At the same time the giant decided to come. Then Buddha became bigger and bigger in such a way that the giant was small compared to him and could then listen to the Buddha words. This story shows we should not have prejudices and that everybody can follow Buddha teaching.

Wat Mahathat, Rémi shows his head, Sukhothai, Thailand

We went to the old city with a songthaew, a kind of small truck with open back and wood banks. It is practical and cheap!
The old city of Sukhothai is built in a squared shape and surrounded by double moats. Inside there are many temples, lakes and palaces which are now more or less damaged. A scattering accompanies us during the whole visit, quite refreshing!

Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai, Thailand

Other temples were also built outside the fortifications. But mother Nature repossessed those old stones.

Wat Mahathat, Romane near a tree, Sukhothai, Thailand

So it was a great visit!
As for the new city there is not much to do, except the museum. Its night market is small and too used to tourists (they even give english menus !).

New Sukhothai, lighted bridge, Thailand

(Tip: Ban Thai Guesthouse, a peaceful place, very nice owners and clean rooms, 200B the double without bathroom)

4 comments for “Sukhothai, temples and palaces of a former great kingdom”

  1. Rémi on t’a vu dans l’arbre, pas la peine de nous faire jouer à trouver Charlie… Et si c’est pour manger ton gâteau que tu te caches c’est raté !
    Vos photos sont comme d’habitude superbes, la céramique qui montre deux poissons aussi. La finesse du bas relief est étonnante jusque dans les drapés.
    Merci de nous faire partager ainsi de telles découvertes.

  2. Hum, hum ! Je comprends mieux d’où vous vient cette subite passion pour les poissons rouges !
    Bubulle se porte bien. C’est à présent le petit animal domestique de Robin, et c’est nous qui le gardons, évidemment ! Bref, on est dans l’ordre des choses…

  3. C’est pourtant la premiere chose que les parents apprenent lorsqu ils offrent un animal de compagnie, que ca va devenir le leur!

  4. Bonjour,

    votre carnet de voyage est super intéressant. Merci pour ce partage. A mon tour de vous proposer de lire un récit sur

    Bonne lecture a vous et vos commentaires sont les bienvenue


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