The Sukhothai (Rising of Happiness) Kingdom flourished from the mid-13th century to the late 14th century. This period is often viewed as the golden age of Thai civilisation, and the religious art and architecture of the era are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles. The remains of the kingdom, today known as meuang gòw (old city), feature around 45 sq km of partially rebuilt ruins, which are one of the most visited ancient sites in Thailand.
Located 12km east of the historical park on the Mae Nam Yom, the market town of New Sukhothai is not particularly interesting. Yet its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, good transport links and excellent-value accommodation make it a logical base from which to explore the old city ruins.