Visiting Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai. The Sukhothai Kingdom reigned in current northern Thailand for 200 years starting in 1238. Sukhothai Kingdom was at one time part of the Khmer/Angkor Kingdom, the predecessor of modern-day Cambodia. Sukhothai is considered to be the first capital of Thailand, followed by Ayutthaya, Thonburi, and with present-day Bangkok.
Sukhothai has been designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns. Did you note that title includes “Associated Historic Towns”. This UNESCO site also includes Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park. Si Satchanalai is located approximately hour north of Sukhothai and Kamphaeng Phet about an hour south.
Sukhothai is a very worthwhile visit in Thailand but of course it is not as prominent on a visitor’s lists such as a Phuket, Chiang Mai, or Bangkok. I strongly encourage visits to Sukhothai which has a plethora of temples, but I equally encourage visits to both Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park.
Si Satchanalai Historical Park
I left Sukhothai in the morning and drove to Si Satchanalai Historical Park for a day trip. The infrastructure and the grounds are impeccably maintained at the park. “The City of Good People” was founded in 1250 as part of the Sukhothai Kingdom. The Crown Prince made his home here in the 13th and 14th centuries. You can explore the ruins by foot, bike, or the tram. I spent my time on foot visiting these majestic temples.
Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park
I spent the night in Kamphaeng Phet when I visited this park. The park is split in two by a road. One side of the park known as Khet Nai, which is anchored by the impressive Wat Phra Kaeo, is easily explored on foot once you get there. The other side of the park called Khet Aranyik, anchored by Wat Chang Rob, is spread out and is better explored by car or via the park’s tram.
Where To Stay
In Sukhothai, I stayed at Sriwilai Sukothai which I highly recommend. Great, comfortable room and beautiful grounds. It is about a five-minute drive to the park.
In Kamphaeng Phet, I stayed at White Wall Riverfront Hotel. This is a newer, “trendier” hotel built (surprise, surprise) on the river. The hotel is more than adequate and I would guess one of the better options in town. It is about a 15 minute drive to the park. (These are links and I will earn an affiliate link.)
Unfortunately, all three parks employ Dual Pricing, meaning foreigners pay a different and higher price than locals. You will note that for the Thai pricing, they utilize Thai numbers so foreigners will not be aware that they are being charged 5x.
Traveling During Covid
I traveled during early July to these three parks. Sukhothai was somewhat busy since my visit coincided during a long weekend in Thailand. It was mostly Thai people with a handful of foreigners. But for instance, at sunrise, I was the only person at Wat Mahathat.
At Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park, I was the only foreigner. Both parks were nearly empty of visitors.
The parks were employing some levels of hygiene; requiring masks, temperature checks, and hand sanitizer available at the park.
I flew my drone at both Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park. I would like to thank and commend the staff at both parks who were both helpful and professionals. After presenting my Thai drone license and filling out a brief form, I was permitted to fly in the park.
Visiting Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai.
Check out my visit to Koh Mak during Covid.