The Thai’s are a friendly, laid back, non-aggressive, and non confrontational people
who are known world wide for their impressive smiles even to complete strangers.
The Thai - Chinese make up most Sukhothai’s new town urban folk while the original
Thai - Thai’s prefer their more traditional rural roots in the Sukhothai countryside.
The northern Thais in Sukhothai are Lanna in origin and their ancient roots lie in
Burma, Tibet and southern China.
The people of Sukhothai are very proud of their heritage and do not take easily to
tourists there who do not show any interest in wishing to learn about their history.
Since they look up to King Ramkhamhaeng the Great as their adopted father, all foreign
tourists should only mention him with respect.
Sukhothai was the first truly independent Thai Kingdom and enjoyed a golden age under
King Ramkhamhaeng, who is credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples
and monuments of this great city have been lovingly restored, and Sukhothai Historical
Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see for all travellers.
Sukhothai became an independent kingdom when two princes Pho Khun Pha Muang and Pho
Khun Bang Klang Hao combined their forces and drove the Khmer's out of Sukhothai,
then a major frontier post of the Angkor Empire.
One of Thailand’s finest warriors, King Ramkhamhaeng, second son of Pho Khun Bang
Klang Haok, made Sukhothai a powerful and extensive kingdom that even established
direct political relations with China. Returning from the funeral of Emperor Kublai
Khan, King Ramkhamhaeng brought back Chinese artisans who taught the art of pottery
to the Thai’s.
While visitors are eager to pick up today’s Sangkhalok Pottery, antique examples
of such are eagerly sought by collectors.
King Ramkhamhaeng also promoted religion and culture, and through his efforts Buddhism
flourished among the population. Inspirational faith gave birth to classic forms
of Thai religious arts; images of the Lord Buddha sculptured during the Sukhothai
Era are cultural treasures that impart a feeling of peace and serenity.
A total of eight kings ruled Sukhothai but the gradual decline of Sukhothai occurred
during the reigns of the last two kings. The end of this first Thai kingdom occurred
in 1365 when it became a vassal state of Ayutthaya, a rising power to the south.
King Ramkhamhaeng, who reigned over Sukhothai’s golden age promoted religion and
culture, and brought Chinese artisans back to the city to teach his people the art
of pottery. Visitors can visit villages still engaged in the production of Sangkhalok
Pottery as well as Hat Siao cloth, named for the village in Si Satchanalai district,
just north of Sukhothai town. This famous hand-woven cloth is produced not far from
Si Satchanalai Historical Park, where the ruins of another important historical city
can be explored.