Sukhothai Province (Thailand)

2017-04-10 16:15:49 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Sukhothai province is one of the lower northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are Phrae, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, and Lampang. Sukhothai can be translated as Dawn of Happiness.

History

Sukhothai, meaning the Dawn of Happiness, was a town founded in the 13th century on the fringe of the Khmer empire. The exact year is unknown, but according to the Fine Arts Office it was between 1238 and 1257. Founded by Phokhun Si Intharathit, it was the first truly independent Thai (Siamese) Kingdom after defeating the Khmers. Sukhothai enjoyed a golden age under their third king, King Ramkhamhaeng, who was credited with creating the Khmer-derived Thai alphabet which is essentially the same as that in use today. He also laid the foundation for politics, the monarchy and religion, as well as expanding its boundary of influence. Sukhothai was later ruled by many kings. The province is most famous for the historic city of Sukhothai, the capital of the Sukhothai kingdom. It is located about 12 km from the modern New Sukhothai city. Not far from Sukhothai are the Si Satchanalai historical park and the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park. Both were cities within the former Sukhothai kingdom and of the same time period.

The province was at first known as Sawankhalok; it was renamed to Sukhothai in 1939.

Tourism

Sukhothai province is most famous for its historical city of Sukhothai, 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.

Sights / Attractions

Sukhothai Historical Park is located in Tambon Muang Kao, Ampher Muang Sukhothai. It is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) away from town. It is opened daily from 8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m. Ruins of the royal palaces, Buddhist temples, the city gates, walls, moats, dams, ditches, ponds, canals, and the water dyke control system, which were the magical and spiritual centre of the kingdom, are now preserved and have been restored by the Fine Arts Department with the cooperation of UNESCO. It’s not only with a view of fostering Thailand's national identity, but of safeguarding, a fine example of mankind's cultural heritage.

The park covers the ruins of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in December 1991. During its golden age, Sukhothai was the centre for administration, religion, and economy. The original city was surrounded by walls with 4 city gates. Today the walls house a number of sites worthy of visiting. They include:

• The Royal Palace
• Wat Mahathat,
• The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
• The Ramkhamhaeng Monument
• Wat Si Sawai
• Wat Traphang Ngoen
• Wat Traphang Thong
• Wat Chana Songkhram,
• Wat Sa Si
• Wat Mai
• San Ta Pha Daeng (the Deity Shrine)

Wat Mahathat is the largest temple with a customary main Chedi in lotus-bud shape and an eight metre high Buddha image. It is located in the middle of town that reflects to prosperity of the Sukhothai architecture within the monastery are housed Phra Rattana Chedi, the pagoda of the temple, which was erected on the Charot Withithong Rd. The museum collection includes gifts from the ex-abbot of Wat Ratchathani and art objects unearthed in Sukhothai and nearby provinces, so if everyone is interested in art objects, Monument of Phor Khun Ramkamhaeng museum is a good place to visit.

Agrotourism

Cycling Route along the Orchards

Some visitors enjoy cycling around the orchards and tasting a variety of fruits like pomelo, santol, sapodilla, coconut, star fruit, various kinds of bananas, as well as the tasty and fleshy plum mango (Bouae Macrophylla) with its chicken-egged size.

Tambon Ban Tuek Community of Amphoe Si Satchanalai. This is a small and peaceful community filled with trees, paddy fields, and scenic mountain ranges, while tourists can enjoy the traditional life of fruit growers. Different types of fruits grown along the hilly terrain include longkong, langsat, mangosteen, durian, banana, pomelo, rambeh, and rambutan.

Eco & Soft Adventure Tourism

Cycling Route: The Old Town of Sukhothai Trips within the Sukhothai Historical Park is also made by personal or rental bikes.

Local Products

Khanom Kliao - Famous snacks of Sukhothai made from wheat flour and egg, seasoned with salt and pepper, and made it into a twist shaped-dough. Fried until crispy and further glacé. It has a sweet taste and is available everywhere.

Sangkhalok ceramics - These replicas arguably look as good as the originals.

Thung Luang terra cotta of Khiri Mat district comes in unique patterns. The products include flower pots, vases, basin, water jar, lamps, with perforated decorations of animal figures like frogs, bullfrogs, and dogs.

Butter-baked Banana - A well-known snack of Amphoe Khiri Mat, it resembles another local sweet called Khanom Rang Nok made from sweet potato. This butter-baked banana snack is made from slicing raw banana horizontally, left to dry for half a day, seasoned with salt, deep fried, adding sugar, and giving it a good stir. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and add butter. This product is available everywhere.

Local Snacks: Khanom Phing, Thong Muan, Thong Phap, Thong Tan Famous crispy snacks of various shapes: square, round tube, and thick roll.

Local Culture

Lifestyle

The Thais are a friendly, laid-back, non-aggressive, and non-confrontational people who are known worldwide for their impressive smiles – even to complete strangers.

The Thai-Chinese make up the majority of Sukhothai’s new town urban folk while the original Thai-Thais prefer their more traditional rural roots in the Sukhothai countryside. The northern Thais in Sukhothai are Lanna in origin and their ancient roots lie in Burma, Tibet and southern China.

The people of Sukhothai are very proud of their heritage and do not take easily to tourists there who don’t show any interest in wishing to learn about their history. Since they look up to King Ramkhamhaeng the Great as their adopted father, all foreign tourists should only mention him with respect.

Festivals

Phor Khun Ramkhamhaeng’s Day Festival (or King Ramkhamhaeng the Great Memorial Fair Phor Khun Ramkhamhaeng’s Day Festival, annually held on January 17. It honors of the Great King of Sukhothai Kingdom. In this day, people will visit the Monument of Phor Khun Ramkamhaeng the Great for praising Phor Khun Ramkhamhaeng. People will make merit and present food to a Buddhist priest. At night, there is merrymaking and many shows that all people can enjoy. There are fireworks, too.

Song Nam Aui Than Festival Song Nam Aui Than Festival is annually held on April 12, Songkran Ceremony in the SriSathanalai Historical Park. It exhibits the Buddha image procession from Wat Phra Prang to the Historical Park for people who want to pour the water over the Buddha image.

Si Sachanalai Ordination Celebration Si Sachanalai Ordination Celebration is called by Thais as "Buat Chang Hat Siao", held annually during 7–8 April at Ban Hat Sieo, Ampher Si Sachanalai. It features a spectacular procession of ordination candidates in colourful costumes on the backs of some 20-30 decorated elephants.

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