Sukhothai province was once the kingdom and the first capital of Thailand 700 years ago. The word ‘Sukhothai’ means ‘the dawn of happiness’. As the first capital of Thailand, it is one of the important and well-known cities among tourist for its long history. Most of attractions in Sukhothai relate to historical backgrounds such as Phra Mae Ya Shrine situated in front of the City Hall, by Yom River. The shrine houses the stone figure of Phra Mae Ya, and it is believed to house the spirit of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great whom is beloved by Sukhothai and Thai people. Noen Prasat Phra Ruang or Sukhothai Palace boundary is the ruin of ancient brick building with lotus based figures. It is believed that the area was once the pavilion of the kings in Phra Ruang dynasty of ancient Sukhothai. This area interests tourists in its mystical and wonderful construction.
For those who are interested in nature, the Khao Naria peak in Ramkhamhaeng National Park is a must. The peak is 1,160 meters high above sea level with the cliff that visitors can see breathtaking view of Sukhothai city and the nearby city – Pitsanulok. At night, the beautiful lights from the city can be seen from the cliff. The national park also has herb garden on the foothill for travellers to get relaxed.
There are a lot of festivals in Sukhothai. Pho Kkung Ramkhamhaeng’s Day Festival takes place around the Monument of Pho Khung Ramkhamhaeng the Great for commemorating his good reputation. People will make merit and give food to monks, have play fireworks, have merry performances all day and night. Every full moon night of the 12th lunar month, there is Loi Krathong and Candle Festival held in Sukhothai Historical Park. There are joyful activities such as floating krathongs, traditional performances, lighting of lanterns and parades which fascinate both Thai and foreign visitors.
Visitors cannot miss tasting a famous snack called Kanom Kliao made from wheat flour and eggs, seasoned with pepper, salt, and made it into a twist-shaped dough, fried and mingled with sugar. Sri Samrong’s fried beans or 200-year fried beans is a famous snack with secret ancient recipe.