Where to Go
As Sukhothai is such a popular tourist destination and is located along the way from Bangkok to Chiang Mai it can be reached via car, bus, or airplane. It is also possible to take a train to nearby Phitsanulok and then travel via bus to Sukhothai. Once there, it may be easier to get around the province with a car, but there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors staying in town: i.e. local bus, songtaew, motorbike taxi, tuk tuk, and samlor. There are also motorbike rentals in Sukhothai town and bike rentals available just outside Sukhothai Historical Park.
There are no trains going directly to Sukhothai. One may travel by train to Phitsanulok and then take a local bus to Sukhothai, about 59 kilometers away. Contact Bangkok Railway Station Tel. 1690, 02223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or visit www.railway.co.th for more information.
Those with cars will find it enjoyable to drive from Bangkok through rural Thailand, including the provinces of Ayutthaya, the capital of Thailand after Sukhotha; Saraburi, with its temple containing Lord Buddha's Footprint; Lopburi, which features ancient Khmer temples and a monkey festival; Chai Nat, which contains a huge irrigation dam; Nakhon Sawan, where major rivers converge to form Maenam Chao Phraya; Phitsanulok, with its various historical attractions; and even Kamphaeng Phet and Tak, which have beautiful hills and rivers.
Air-conditioned busses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) to Sukhothai daily between 9.45 a.m. and 10.20 p.m, departing with greater frequency in the morning. The journey takes 7 hours. Call 0 2936 2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th for more information. Private bus companies which operate daily bus services to Sukhothai include Win Tour (Tel: 0 2936 3753 or 0 5561 1039) and Phitsanulok Yan Yon (Tel: 0 2936 2924-5, 0 5525 8647).
From Chiang Mai there are ordinary/2nd class and air-conditioned busses that travel through Tak, a 5 ½ our journey; busses depart frequently between 7pm and 2am.
From Chiang Rai there are ordinary/2nd class and air-conditioned busses making the nine hour voyage throughout the day.
Sukhothai is also easily reached from Phitsanulok, Tak, and Kamphaeng Phet. Buses to/from Phitsanulok (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 30/42/54B, one hour) leave every half hour or so. Buses to/from Tak (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 40/56/72B, 1½ hours) and Kamphaeng (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 39/55/70B, 1½ hours) leave every 40 minutes.
There are also busses from Khon Kaen (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 179/251/322B, 6½ hours), Phrae (ordinary/2nd class air-con 83/116B, three hours, four times daily), Lampang (2nd class air-con 162B, four hours) and Nan (ordinary/2nd class air-con/1st class 132/185/238B, four hours). Finally, there are eight 12-seat minivans to/from Mae Sot (125B, three hours) that depart between 8.30am and 5.30 pm.
Bangkok Airways flies from Bangkok to Sukhothai daily, a 1-hour journey. Sukhothai Airport is about 40 kilometers north of the town. For more information, call 0 2265 5678, 0 2265 5555 or 0 5564 7224-5 or visit www.bangkokair.com
Songtaews, pickup trucks with seats in the rear, are the most popular form of public transport for getting around town or between rural destinations. Larger sized songtaews travel to and from the city and the Sukhothai Historical Park between 6.30am and 6pm from Jarot Withithong Road near Mae Nam Yom. There is sign on the north side of the street, but the songtaews leave from the south side.
There are non air-conditioned busses for inter-provincial travel to and from other districts in Sukhothai province.
Tuk Tuk and Motorbike Taxi:
There are numerous tuk-tuks and motorbike-taxis available for short journeys around Sukhothai town.
There are bicycles for touring the Sukhothai Historical Park available from bike tour operators, many guesthouses, and vendors just outside the park itself.
Samlors, three wheeled, pedal powered cabs, are available for short rides around Sukhothai town. Fares are negotiable.
By Rental Motorbike:
Motorbikes can be rented at many guesthouses in Sukhothai town, which will often require you to leave your passport as a deposit. Be sure to inspect bikes prior to rental and drive with extreme caution as rental motorbikes are not normally insured and accidents are frequent. Helmets are required by Thai law.
Within the historical park there are small shuttle busses that take visitors around attractions within the park grounds.