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Sukhothai Old City Community

Sukhothai

About the Community

King Ramkhamhaeng’s stone inscription is not the only evidence of the rich cultural heritage left behind by the ancient Sukhothai civilization. While over 700 years have passed, the root of the kingdom’s arts, language, culture and traditions can still be seen by taking a look into the lifestyle of the inhabitants of the original area.

Sukhothai’s old community today has enough to satisfy any tourist or weekend visitor, offering a fascinating insight into what life was like in the past. Traditional Sangkhalok pottery, carved wooden birds and Buddha images, as well as locally popular sweets like Khao Tak Nga – roasted pounded sticky rice with sugarcane syrup – are as readily available as they ever were. Residents still practice traditional Sukhothai and Burmese dances passed on to them by their ancestors.

In some ways, exploring this part of Thailand is similar to delving into an interesting history book or documentary. But instead of being sat at home or in a library, you’ll be learning about ancient civilization and the local’s well-preserved traditions first-hand, which is always going to be more rewarding and insightful.

What will you learn?

See how villagers make traditional handicrafts with these techniques having been inherited since the Sukhothai period. Engage in activities such as Celadon Sangkhalok ware drawing and carving. Enjoy making traditional desserts and practicing local performance arts such as long drum dance and Sukhothai dance.

Cultural and Local Wisdom Heritage
  1. Chinaware for using as containers and other purposes. The pattern represents the prosperity of Sukhothai in the past and features a unique and well-recognized design.
  2. Carved buttonquail from teak wood crafted using a technique passed on from their ancestors. The only tools involved are a gouge, axe, knife and saw. Buttonquail is believed to be a guardian animal for those who own them.
  3. The Sukhothai accent is unique and different from other accents, resulting in a fascinating charm (especially for other Thai people).
  4. Tomtom dance is influenced by the Burmese culture from the Thonburi period. The dance is lively with a lot of moves. Sukhothai locals adopted this culture and modified it to suit Thai culture, making it easier to sing and dance along.
  5. Sukhothai dance started in the early days when Thai people began to develop dancing art. Evidence can be found from stone inscriptions. The lyrics, outfits and delicate moves have been modified to suit the Sukhothai people’s unique culture.
  6. Wooden Buddha image carving is another technique passed on from their ancestors so still to this day locals create magnificent carved Buddha images.
  7. Sticky rice and sesame dumplings are more than a local dessert. They contain good fat and nourish the brain. They have long been the community’s local delicacy.
Activities
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  • Craft potteries and draw patterns on Celadon Sangkhalok Ware.
  • Crafting palm leaf fish hanging mobile which is the symbol of fertility.
  • Make Sukhothai-period Buddha amulets at Ban Phra Phim Laksamonsilp.
  • Visit the Sukhothai Historical Park World Heritage Site.
  • Cook the local dessert Kanom Dag Nga (Thai Traditional dessert).
Programs

Program 3 Days 2 Nights

Day 1
9.30 am Meet at the assembly point at the entrance of the Sukhothai History Park
10.00 am Arrive at the Mueang Kao, Sukhothai. The best way to explore the area is by bicycle, allowing you to see the sights from two wheels dotted around Sukhothai Historical Park. Take in the fresh green scenery along the way.

  • Listen to the history of the most important historical sites and temples, such as Wat Mahathat, Wat Si Sawai, Wat Traphangngoen and Wat Sra Si.
  • Admire the highly-respected monument of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great.
12.00 pm Lunch served up in a traditional ‘Pinto’ style under the ‘bodhi’ tree, Ko Klang at Wat Traphangtong.
1.00 pm Have fun as you get to understand more about the villagers’ way of life at Mueang Kao, Sukhothai. Learn how to make Mueang Kao’s ‘votive tablets’ at Ban Phra Pim Luk Mon Slip. You’ll be told all about the different patterns of Sukhothai Buddhist art, as well as prepare the clay to mold Buddha patterns. A firing technique is used to perfectly harden the clay.
3.00 pm Learn how to make pottery at Usa Sangkhlalok. From the ancient remains, many pieces of ‘celadonware’ were found in the area that featured unique patterns depicting fish and black sharks (similar to carp). This is evidence of the plentiful and prosperity that Sukhothai enjoyed when it was the ancient capital of Siam.
Consequently, some households in the area have carried on the tradition of making pottery and this can be seen at several locations dotted around the Old Town area of Sukhothai.

  • Learn how to write ‘Sangkhalok’ patterns on the celadonware.
4.00 pm Return to the homestay with leisure time before dinner.
6.00 pm Dinner with local traditional food dishes at the homestay.
Day 2
6.00 am Experience villagers’ way of life as you go shopping around the community’s morning market at Wat Traphangtong and offer morning alms to the monks at Wat Traphangtong.
8.00 am Breakfast at homestay
9.00 am Travel around Sukhothai Historical Park to reach the ancient ‘Tao Thu Riang’ which is used as a ‘Sangkhalok’ kiln. See how the pottery is made in the kiln and learn about its history.
10.00 am Travel to Wat Si Chum, a temple where the “Phra Atchana” Buddha is installed.

  • Search for answers from the legends of the ‘Speaking Buddha’
  • Learn how to make traditional woven Thai craft fish and small baskets with palm leaves under the guidance of an expert.
12.00 pm Lunch, with the opportunity to try making “Khao Poep”, a popular food dish of Na Ton Chon community.
1.00 pm Learn how to make a wooden quail at the Wooden Handicraft Center at Ban Nok Khum, which is considered an auspicious object that protects the city and homes and maintains peace. Learn about the local wisdom of Mueang Kao’s villagers as well as how to hammer the wooden pattern by yourself.

  • Learn about the history and beliefs that have been passed on from generation to generation.
  • Learn about wood-engraved handicrafts.
  • Learn how to engrave the pattern onto the wooden quail with the experts
3.00 pm Return to the accommodation and leisure time
6.00 pm Bring your DIY basket made with palm leaves to float on the water at Wat Traphangtong as an offering to Buddha.
6.30 pm Dinner and leisure time
Day 3
8.00 am Breakfast at the homestay and check-out
9.00 am Say good bye to the community and travel onwards to Phitsanulok
10.00 am Stop by to admire the Buddha Chinarat at Wat Phra Sri Mahathat Wora Maha Wihan, in Phitsanulok.
Buddha Chinarat is a highly-respected Buddha in Phitsanulok and widely accepted as one of the exquisite most Buddha images of its type.
11.00 am Lunch
12.00 pm Travel back safely

Program 3 Days 2 Nights

No. of visitors 2-3 persons 4-6 persons 7-9 persons
Rate/Person (THB) 17,000 11,000 8,500

Instructions

  • Prepare sun protection, such as sunglasses, sun cream, hat and umbrella.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and practical footwear like sneakers.
  • Refrain from carrying valuable items.
  • Kindly respect and follow the staff’s instructions.

Included in the program:

  • Meals as stated in the program (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners)
  • Transportation as stated in the program
  • Activities as stated in the program
  • Guide or Local Alike staff member
  • Community communicator
  • Travel insurance
  • 7% VAT and 3% WHT

Not included in the program:

  • Personal expenses
  • Food and drinks not mentioned in the program
  • Return air tickets between Bangkok-Buriram

Notes:

The program may be adjusted to suit the weather and situation. If any outdoor activity cannot be conducted as per the program, Local Alike will arrange a back-up activity indoor to ensure an authentic community tourism experience for our visitors. The satisfaction of our guests and community members is our priority.

Program 7 Days 6 Nights

Day 1
3.00 pm Assemble at the meeting point, the entrance of the Sukhothai Historical Park.
3.30 pm Arrive at the ancient town and learn about the history of Sukhothai Kingdom at the provincial tourist information center, which itself was designed in a typical Sukhothai architectural style. The replicas of the highlighted archaeological sites of the province are exhibited inside the building.
5.00 pm Arrive at the accommodation and leisure time.
6.00 pm Enjoy local dishes for dinner at the homestay.
7.00 pm Leisure time
Day 2
6.00 am Rise and shine with the fresh morning breeze and make merit at Trapung Thong Temple.
7.00 am Breakfast at the homestay.
8.00 am Join the activities that should not be missed – Bike tour around the park while admiring the stunning sites and temple ruins surrounded by evergreen and big, shady trees.

  • Learn about the history of some of the ancient sites, such as Mahathat Temple, Trapung-ngern Temple and Sa-Sri Temple.
  • Pay respect to the King Ramkhamhaeng monument.
11.30 am Enjoy some delicious dishes served up in Thai-style tiffin carriers with the chilled atmosphere under a Bodhi tree on the island in the middle of the pond.
This temple houses Bhudda’s footprint and its name is derived from the surrounding landscape which contains a large pond, one of the main resources of the community since ancient times.
1.30 pm Travel to Wat Sri Chum, a temple which houses a great Buddha statue. Here, you can learn about its religious significance and fascinating history.
2.00 pm Relax under the shady trees in Sri-Chum Temple, learn how to weave a carp and try making a Kratong from palm leaves.

  • Learn how to weave a carp, a kind of fish figure that signifies the fertility of the Sukhothai Kingdom, as well as Kratong making followed by a story about this ancient annual festival.
  • Learn how to select the right palm leaves and weave a carp using a threading technique.
  • Learn how to make a Kratong from palm leaves which you can float on the water in the evening.
4.30 pm Travel back to the accommodation.
6.00 pm Float your previously-made krathong on the pond of Trapungthong Temple – this is a way of paying respect to Buddha.
Enjoy some local dishes for dinner at the homestay with free time for the rest of the evening.
Day 3
8.00 am Breakfast at the homestay
9.00 am Have fun as you get to understand more about the villagers’ way of life at Mueang Kao, Sukhothai. Learn how to make Mueang Kao’s ‘votive tablets’ at Ban Phra Pim Luk Mon Slip. The process involves:
Preparing the clay

  • Learning how to make a mold of the Buddha
  • Learning the firing techniques for perfect hardened clay of Buddhist art.
12.00 pm Lunch
1.30 pm Coffee break among the atmospheric rice fields
Learn about traditional Thai fabric at Ma-kwid Village
3.00 pm Join a Sankhalok pottery painting activity and practice the Sangkhalok pattern on t-shirts
Learn the history through the drawings at Pridibhirom
Coffee break
4.00 pm Return to the homestay with free time before dinner.
6.00 pm Local dishes for dinner at the homestay
Day 4
8.00 am Breakfast at the homestay
9.00 am Learn how to make pottery at Usa Sangkhlalok. From the ancient remains, many pieces of ‘celadonware’ were found in the area that featured unique patterns depicting fish and black sharks (similar to carp). This is evidence of the plentiful and prosperity that Sukhothai enjoyed when it was the ancient capital of Siam. Consequently, some households in the area have carried on the tradition of making pottery and this can be seen at several locations dotted around the Old Town area of Sukhothai.

  • Learn how to paint the Sangkhalok pattern on the celaldonware
12.00 pm Lunch
1.00 pm Learn how to make a wooden quail at Wooden Handicraft Center at Ban Nok Khum, which is considered an auspicious object that protects the city and homes and maintains peace. Learn about the local wisdom of Mueang Kao’s villagers as well as how to hammer the wooden pattern by yourself.

  • Learn about the history and beliefs that have been passed on from generation to generation
  • Learn about the process of wood engraving handicrafts and try engraving the pattern on the wooden quail under the guidance of an expert.
3.30 pm Travel to Chao Ram cave, located at Ban Dan Lan Hoi. This site is presumed to be where King Ramkhamhaeng the Great used as a place to relax, as well as use as a hide-out shelter from enemies.

  • Travel into the cave and check out the scenery surrounding the cave.
  • Watch as the bats fly out from the cave at night in search of food.
6.30 pm Bat watching and coffee break
7.00 pm Travel back to the accommodation.
8.00 pm Dinner and leisure time
Day 5
6.00 am Experience the local way of life while shopping at the morning market, Tra Pung Thong Temple.
7.00 am Back to the homestay.
8.30 am Breakfast
9.30 am Leave for Baan Tung Luang, Kirimas District, an area well-known for its uncoated pottery making industry, which has been preserved through generations.
10.00 am Arrive at the Tung Luang Community and learn about pottery-making

  • Learn about the history of various types of pottery and techniques, such as clay forming using a wheel, molding and clay casting
  • Explore the folk way of life and see some of the 200 plus households in the area that still rely on the industry for their income.
11.30 am Lunch – served up in the earthenware from Thun Luang Village
12.30 pm After lunch, try different techniques of pottery molding, making various shapes under the instruction of a local professional artisan

  • DIY Pottery molding with gold plating
4.00 pm Travel back to the old town community
6.00 pm Enjoy some local dishes for dinner at the homestay
7.00 pm Leisure time and sleep tight
Day 6
8.00 am Breakfast at the homestay
9.00 am Check-out and bid farewell to the local community
Set off to Baan Na To Jun community, Sri Satchanalai District.
11.00 am Arrive at the tourist information center of Na Ton Chan community and learn about the community and receive a warm welcome from the local people.
12.00 pm Lunch and learn to make “Khao Perp”, a local dish of the Na Ton Chan community.
1.00 pm Learn the way of life and enjoy various activities, including:

  • Getting to know the procedure of mud cloth weaving, a famous local product, and go souvenir shopping.
  • Visit Khun Tawong, the founder of the only place producing the wooden “Bar-pulling” models.
  • Observe fabric weaving in a house basement.
4.00 pm Travel back to the accommodation with free time in the afternoon.
5.00 pm Go on a sunset bike ride through rice fields before dinner.
6.30 pm Dinner
Day 7
6.00 am Morning alms offering in front of the homestay
8.00 am Breakfast at the homestay
9.00 am Bid farewell to the community and travel back safely

Program 7 Days 6 Nights

No. of visitors 2-3 persons 4-6 persons 7-9 persons
Rate/Person (THB) 42,000 26,000 18,000

Instructions

  • Prepare sun protection, such as sunglasses, sun cream, hat and umbrella.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and practical footwear like sneakers.
  • Refrain from carrying valuable items.
  • Kindly respect and follow the staff’s instructions.

Included in the program:

  • Meals as stated in the program (6 breakfasts/ 7 lunches/ 6 dinners)
  • Transportation as stated in the program
  • Activities as stated in the program
  • Guide or Local Alike staff
  • Community communicator
  • Travel insurance
  • 7% VAT and 3% WHT

Not included in the program:

  • Personal expenses
  • Food and drinks not mentioned in the program
  • Return air tickets between Bangkok-Buriram

Notes:

The program may be adjusted to suit the weather and situation. If any outdoor activity cannot be conducted as per the program, Local Alike will arrange a back-up activity indoor to ensure an authentic community tourism experience for our visitors. The satisfaction of our guests and community members is our priority.

Seasons/ Periods of Visit: All-year-round

Local Foods
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  • Omelet soup
  • Grilled fish and chili paste served with boiled vegetables
  • Tom yam muak
  • Jackfruit soup
  • Farmer’s kaya
  • Kanom see tuay (the 4 desserts)
  • Kanom Pra Ruang
Local Products
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  • Chinaware
  • Palm leaf fish figures
  • Carved buttonquail figures
  • Pottery
Home stay
Community homestay
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Hosts/Local Masters
Local Master
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Mr. Suthep Prompetch

Local chinaware master

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Mr. Anotai Prompetch

Local pottery-making master

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Mr. Nun Chueabua

Buddha carving master

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Mr. Leng Chanchay

“Kao Tok Pra Ruang” sacred stone master

Local Interpretors
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Mr. Jamras Maenmuean

นายบวบ-กุลสินทร์

Mr. Buab Kulasin

นายรัฐชานนท์-ทองนาค

Mr. Ratchanon Tongnak

Photo/VDO Gallery
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Nearby attractions
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  • Ramkamhaeng National Museum, Mueang Sukhothai district, 0.3 km and 5 minutes journey from Mueang Kao community
  • Sapanhin Temple, Mueang Sukhothai district, 3 km and 4 minutes journey from Mueang Kao community
  • Srichum Temple, Mueang Sukhothai district, 1.3 km and 2 minutes journey from Mueang Kao community
  • Tung Talay Luang (heart-shaped island), Mueang Sukhothai district, 16 km and 15 minutes journey from Mueang Kao community
How to get there

By plane:

  • Bangkok Airways have flights to Sukhothai. From the airport, rent a car from the airport or taxi/minivan. The distance is 40 kilometers and the journey takes about 1 hour.
  • AirAsia flight to Pitsanulok, then rent a car, private taxi or minivan from the airport. The distance is 87 kilometers and the journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

By car:

  • From Bangkok, use the highway no. 117 towards Pitsanulok. Change to no. 12 to Sukhothai. The distance is 427 kilometers and the journey takes 5-6 hours.

By bus:

  • Take a Bangkok-Sukhothai Historical Park A/C bus from the North bus terminal (Mochit 2). The journey takes 5 hours and 25 minutes.

Community’s Contact Information

Community tourism coordinator: Mr. Ponglert Chalermsirirot
Phone: 08-0116-4141
Social media: Mueang Kao Sukhothai Community Tourism Promotion Association
Address: 420/5 Moo 2, Mueang Kao sub-district, Mueang district, Sukhothai 64120

Tour Agent Contact Information

Tour operator’s name: Local Alike Co., Ltd.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: 0-2115-9861, 08-1139-5593
Social media: www.facebook.com/LocalAlike, localalike.com www.instagram.com/localalike, twitter.com/localalike