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Sukhothai Historical Park Is A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sukhothai Historical Park

  • The UNESCO designation of Sukhothai provides a good tourist perspective of what can be seen there; ' Beginning in the 12th century a people from Yunnan in China settled in the northern regions of the Khmer state. Known as the Thai (free men), they organized themselves in small communities.
  • A Thai prince married a Khmer woman, then revolted against the central  power and created the first Siamese state, calling it the kingdom of Sukhothai after the name of its capital city. Ramkhamhaeng (or Rama the Strong), second son of the founder of the state (c.l280- 1318) was one of the most important Thai sovereigns, for he brought his state extensive territory through his military victories.
  • He invented the Siamese alphabet (Khmer script). He imposed strict observance of the Buddhist religion and instituted a military and social organization copied from his vanquished neighbors, the Khmers. The great civilization which evolved in the kingdom of Sukhothai was a tributary of numerous influences and ancient local traditions, but the rapid assimilation of all these elements forged, in record time, what is known as the ' Sukhothai style ”.
  • The three old towns nominated for inclusion on the World Heritage List by the Thai government were the principal centers of the kingodm of Ramkhamhaeng: Sukhothai (the capital), Si Satchanlai (second royal residence), and Kamphaeng Phet. In their architecture (they are built of brick with decorations in stucco and wood), they offer a great variety and skillful mixture of elements inspired by the Singhalese or Khmers. The great meeting rooms with the massive chevet decorated with a monumental portrait of Buddha are specific to Sukhothai architecture and subsequently influenced all Thai art.