Thailand is a huge country full of so many choices of what to do and where to visit. To help guide people on where to travel and what to do in Thailand, I will be starting a mini series of tried and tested mini trips in Thailand. When it comes to organising holidays in Thailand I am ridiculously meticulous and spend a stupidly long time planning the best places to go, what to do and researching the best value hotels with the top reviews.
Ruins at National Historical Park, Sukhthai
Two nights in Sukhothai
How to get to Sukhothai
Day 1: Catch the train (terminating in Chiang mai) from Bangkok Hualumpong station to Phitsanulok. For some reason you can not book the train online anymore, but tickets can easily be purchased on arrival at the train station. Check out www.railway.co.th for an up to date timetable.
N.B: A 2nd class train ticket to Phitsanulok including aircon on the DRC train will cost around 490 baht. This train leaves at 8.30 and takes 5hrs + meal and snacks included – It’s clean, comfortable and quick with a western toilet
A 2nd class train ticket with fan only on the Rapid train will cost around 289 baht – This train does not include a meal and has a squat toilet instead (Quite the challenge on a bumping and jerking train). This train is also slower, taking around 7 hours. It is fine when travelling during the daytime, but it does become a bit of a bug fest at night time with all the windows open (not to mention a tad grubby).
A 3rd class train ticket costs from around 69 baht- it’s not particularly comfortable so I would not recommend this for journeys over an hour long.
Catch the bus from Phitsanulok bus terminal to travel to Sukhothai – the ticket kiosks are clearly marked and the staff are very helpful in pointing you in the right direction. A bus ticket costs 43 baht and the journey to Sukhothai is just over an hour long. There are tuk tuks and buses outside of Phitsanulok train station which can take you to the Pitsanulok bus terminal located about 5 minutes away – the tuk tuks tend to charge around 60 baht for this.
Where to stay in Sukhothai
For people on a low budget, check in at TR Guesthouse in Sukhothai for around 300 baht per night. If you have time to spare, a trip to the main Sukhothai market is advised where you can buy some extremely cheap clothing and shoes or tuck into some of the local Sukhothai food. Also make sure to visit the Chopper Bar in Sukhothai, a few doors up from TR Guesthouse; a biker style bar where they have an awesome local musician to play american/ country infused Thai folk music every night.
Sukhothai historical park
After exploring Sukhothai town, on day 2 visit the Sukhothai historical Park – Hire a moped from 200 baht and cruise around the historical park ruins with a prepared picnic. Alternatively, catch the songthaew to the old city, and then rent a bicycle to cycle around Sukhothai historical park. It’s best to head out early in the morning or later in the afternoon/ evening to avoid the heat and the crowds. The Sukhothai historical ruins are absolutely huge, but in my opinion, 4 or 5 hours will suffice. Entry to each of the sections of Sukhothai historical park costs around 100 baht each.
Book a tour with Cycle Sukhothai
As well as Sukhothai historical park tours, Cycle Sukhothai also do countryside, sunset and Karma & Darma tours which are all a little more off the beaten track and show you a side of Sukhothai that you will unlikely experience as a tourist otherwise. In my opinion, touring the Sukhothai historical park is something you can easily do alone without a guide though. Cycle tours can cost from 350 baht – Check out www.cycling-sukhothai.com
Day 3: Take a taxi to the Sukhothai bus terminal for 60 baht and catch a bus back (they come roughly every hour) to Pitsanulok.
+ Optional Phitsanulok detour for nature lovers!
The charming Rainforest Resort, Phitsanulok
*Phitsanulok and Sukhothai are actually situated along the main route to Chiang Mai, so if you have not been before, it is a good idea to continue on the same train and make a visit to Chiang mai too.
The town of Phitsanulok itself, is a little lacking in things to do on it’s own. But if you hire a car or don’t mind catching the bus around, there are plenty of national parks and waterfalls to explore and experience the Phitsanulok rainforest, although they are fairly spread out.
- Take a bus from Phitsanulok bus terminal to the highly recommended Rainforest Resort for 25 baht. This place is situated, if you can’t guess, in the rainforest area about 35km outside of Phitsanulok town and off the beaten track. Make sure to write the Thai address down and mention Khaeng song water fall (pronounced nam dtok gaeng song) so that you can catch the correct bus. It is a 5 minute walk back towards Phitsanulok from this waterfall. 1 night in a bungalow will cost from around 2000 baht.
- The rainforest resort offers kayaking and white water rafting activities. You can also easily check out the nearby Khaeng Song waterfall where the Phitsanulok locals spend their days off for picnics and swims in the river.
A bungalow at Rainforest Resort
Road trippin’ Phitsanulok and Sukhothai. You can check here for more ideas of what to do in Thailand.