Although Sukhothai is a major tourist attraction, the town centre itself is rather small and nondescript. There are a limited number of Sukhotahi hotels and lodging options here, but enough to accommodate all visitors comfortably. Some plush resorts are popular with tour groups, while Sukhothai guesthouses and modestly-priced local family-run hotels are found in Sukhothai town, which is a few kilometres from the historic park. For more ambience, there are a couple of really nice places just outside of the Sukhothai Historical Park, and for a bit of pampering, expect to pay about 1,500 baht at the top hotels in Sukhothai.
There’s not much going on in Sukhothai by night and if you’re comfortably put up in a plush resort then you’re better off staying there. Those staying in the town itself might want to wander to the evening market and will discover a number of local Thai restaurants/bars within walking distance. They’re fine for a quiet meal and a few drinks.
Recommended guesthouses in Sukhothai
Ban Thai Guesthouse: one of the friendliest and most popular guesthouses in town with simple bungalows situated around a garden. Kid-friendly and full of information, even the food here is good…more details and booking
Orchid Hibiscus Guest House: this excellent mid-range choice is just minutes from the old city ruins in a wonderful old house with just eight charming rooms. The pool and jacuzzi add that perfect touch to the relaxing garden grounds…more details and booking
Lotus Village Hotel: is a relaxing base from which to explore the ancient monuments of the Sukhothai kingdom. Thai style buildings are crafted from teak and are tastefully furnished with individual touches…more details and booking
There are plenty of affordable bungalow operations, Sukhothai guesthouses in old homes and concrete hotels in the new city district. If you accept a free ride from a red taxi driver at the bus station, expect to stay wherever he takes you, though thankfully there aren’t many disappointing hotels in Sukhothai. Things are steadily moving upscale, with more stylish boutique Sukhothai hotels opening every year.
Restaurants, bars and nightlife in Sukhothai
Sukhothai is a great place to tuck into traditional Thai food in all its myriad forms. Thanks to a busy tourism scene, most restaurants in Sukhothai have English menus and know a little bit about Western service concepts. Be sure and browse the food stalls in the new city that open after dark. Cheap and delicious, these streetside vendors serve up some surprisingly tasty treats.
Dream Cafe: the old Thai antiques decorating the walls add a special ambience to this charming cafe known for its dessert menu, pastas and sandwiches. 86/1 Singhawat Road, tel: (055) 612 081.
Coffee Cup: even if you’re staying in the new city, make this sharp morning cafe your place for breakfast. Jarodwithee Rd., Old City, tel: (055) 633 480.
Ran Je Hae: stop by this popular spot if you want to try Sukhothai’s famous noodles, known as kuaytiaw. Jarot Withithong Road (Route No. 12, on the way to Sukhothai Historical park), tel: (055) 611 901.
Sukhothai Suki-Koka: this is the place for Thai-style sukiyaki, but this cozy cafe also has a full menu of other local favourites. 65/2-5 Sawasdipong Hotel, Singhawat Road, tel: (053) 611 567.
Recommended Sukhothai bars:
Chopper Bar: just on the edge of the Sukhothai guesthouses neighbourhood in the new city is this popular hangout for locals and travellers alike. Live music, cheap drinks and food bring them running after dark. Open: 17:00-00:30, 69/1 Prawet Nakhon Road, tel: (055) 611 190.