For the most part, tourists only find out about Si Satchanalai after finding out about Sukhothai. However, this district was once the second most important city in Sukhothai and it was teeming with life and trade.
The town of Si Satchanalai was built in 1250, during the reign of Sri Indraditya, the first king of the Sukhothai Kingdom. He sent his son, crown prince Ban Mueang to govern the town. When he succeeded to the throne, rule over the town was given to his brother, Ramkhamhaeng. This quickly became a royal succession tradition that a crown prince or an heir apparent shall rule the town.
Because of its role in the history of Sukhothai, supported by the reconstruction, preservation, and conservation efforts of the historical ruins found in this district, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 12, 1991.
If you are interested to explore this ancient town, we’ve prepared a 1-day itinerary for you to follow!
Map Overview of the Si Satchanalai Itinerary
One-Day Tour in Si Satchanalai
7:30 AM: Take Song Taew from Hotel to Sukhothai Bus Terminal
From your hotel, take a Song Taew to Sukhothai Bus Terminal. It’s better if you go to the bus terminal early so that you will have time to find the bus that actually travels to Si Satchanalai, buy a ticket, and reserve your seats. The fare costs THB49 for a 1.5 hours trip from Sukhothai to Si Satchanalai.
There are five buses from Sukhothai to Si Satchanalai at 9 AM, 10 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, and 5 PM. Take the 9 AM trip to Si Satchanalai.
Note: Buses are operated by private companies and the schedule may change depending on the demand, so be as early as possible.
8:00 AM: Grab breakfast at 7-11 near Sukhothai Bus Terminal
While you wait, you can grab breakfast at 7-11 near the bus terminal. Ready-to-eat foods here are SO cheap that you can already grab a great meal for under 50 Baht. Like this steamed bun that only costs 9 Baht!
Or this filling Fried Rice Noodles with minced meat for only 45 Baht.
And there are a lot more cheap food options here that are not just junk food! 7-11 in Thailand carries foreign items too like onigiri, sushi, and others. You can also buy snacks or lunch to bring on your trip so that you won’t worry too much about looking for a place to eat!
9:00 AM: Travel from Sukhothai to Si Satchanalai
The duration of this trip will depend on how fast the bus will go or if you’ll encounter any traffic, but you’ll be in Si Satchanalai in approximately one hour and 30 minutes. From Sukhothai Bus Terminal, you’ll arrive at Si Satchanalai Bus Stop which is only 4 minutes away from Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat Rajaworaviharn. However, you can also ask the bus driver to drop you off at the entrance of Wat Phra Sri.
One thing you have to take into consideration is the proximity of each temple to one another. Si Satchanalai Historical Park itself is already quite a large area and measures about 11,150 acres! It’s quite difficult to explore the park on foot but don’t worry because you can rent a bicycle for THB30 for the whole day at the entrance.
10:30 AM: Explore Wat Phra Sri
The first place you can go is Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat Rajaworaviharn. Wat Phra Sri is one of the oldest temples in the area, built in the 13th century under the Khmer Empire. You can climb up to the top of the Prang, similar to that in Angkor Wat. You can also check out the other ruins near Wat Phra Sri before heading inside the historical park. They are quite interesting too!
10:50 AM: Head to Wat Khok Singkharam
From Wat Phra Sri, you will have to cycle to the park for 20 minutes. No need to worry because the view you’ll get is also really nice because you’ll pass by the villages and see local life as it is in Si Satchanalai. Before arriving at the historical park, you can stop by Wat Khok Singkharam.
Wat Khok Singkharam has three pagodas and an assembly hall. These ruins are well-preserved and are located in a shaded area which is great for a quick break from the scorching heat.
11:30 AM: Lunch at Preaw Restaurant
By this time, you’re probably hungry after going around the temples and cycling from Wat Phra Sri to Wat Khok Singkharam. There are some great restaurants near Wat Khok Singkharam that you can eat at but the nearest one is Preaw Restaurant. It doesn’t seem much at first glance but it offers great food for affordable prices.
You can take this time to rest and recollect yourself before heading to the park. Make sure to rehydrate by drinking as much water as you can and also, don’t forget your sunscreen! The midday heat may be more intense than in the morning so re-apply sunscreen as needed!
You might also like to read: 3-Day Kanchanaburi Itinerary – History, Nature, and the Best Places!
12:30 PM: See Wat Nang Phaya first
Preaw Restaurant is only 5 minutes away from the entrance of the historical park. There is an entrance fee of THB100 or about USD3 per person.
The first temple you’re going to see when you enter the park is Wat Nang Phaya, a 15th-century temple built during the Ayutthayan Dynasty. The area still has the well-preserved bell-shaped pagoda that was designed after the Sri Lankan Singhalese-style.
1:10 PM: Head over to Wat Chedi Chet Thaew
The Wat Chedi Chet Thaew is older than Wat Nang Phaya since this was built during the 14th century. Here you’ll find the ancient Sukhothai architecture with the lotus bud exterior, a large pagoda at the center, many more pagodas, and an assembly hall. This is one of the grandest temples in the park.
Wat Chedi Chet Thaew translates to The Temple of Seven Rows of Pagodas.
1:40 PM: Be with the elephants at Wat Chang Lom
In Thai culture, elephants are loved and considered holy and you’ll see how important these gentle giants are to the country’s history as well as to the Buddhist beliefs at Wat Chang Lom. This temple was named after the 39 large elephant sculptures that can be seen in the area.
Wat Chang Lom is definitely one of the most beautiful ones with all the sculptures found here! It won’t be a surprise if this ends up on your list of favorites!
2:00 PM: Visit Wat Suan Keao Utthayan Noi
Just a few minutes from Wat Chang Lom is Wat Suan Keao Utthayan Noi. This temple is quite small in size but since it’s quite near the last temple, it’s worth a visit. Do check out the lotus bud spire stupa that is similar to that of its older sibling at Wat Chedi Chet Thaew.
2:20 PM: End your trip at Wat Khao Phanom Phloeng
The last stop may not be for everybody since Wat Khao Phanom Phloeng has a 144-step set of stairs that one must climb up. The climb up might be exhausting after a day of exploring and cycling but the view of the whole park from the top of the hill on which this temple stands is stunning and worth the climb!
Definitely, the hike up is a great way to culminate your journey around this ancient city. However, you must not linger too long since you still have to go back to the bus stop which is 20 to 30 minutes away. The last trip from Si Satchanalai to Sukhothai is at 3 PM so you must not miss it or else, you’ll be stuck here!
Food in Si Satchanalai
The homestyle dishes are what make Preaw Restaurant popular among tourists. Many tourists who come here are surprised at the quality of the food here and most of these cost around THB70-THB200, but the portions are enough for 2-3 people. They have stir-fried shrimp with chili sauce, stir-fried spinach, Chinese soup, and many more to choose from!
But for the most part, restaurants in SiSatchanalai serve similar food options. Restaurants here are not as big compared to that in Sukhothai or Bangkok. It’s quite difficult to find restaurants like Preaw Restaurant that look normal on the outside but serve delicious food!
Things to Pack and Bring for my Si Satchanalai Itinerary
Thailand is a hot country and the heat you’ll experience in Si Satchanalai is no different! The scorching heat is what you’ll want to consider for the most part so here are some things you need to bring on your trip as well as other things that may be important too!
What should I bring to Si Satchanalai?
- Hat. The heat of the sun can become very intense and a hat is a great way to cover your head from it. So, Make sure to bring one on your trip.
- Sunscreen/sunblock. Speaking of protection, the best way to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet rays is sunscreen. Re-apply your sunscreen as needed to best protect your skin from sun damage
- Water. Water is essential wherever you go and in a new place like this, there’s a very high chance that you don’t know where to buy drinkable water or if there are vendors in the area you’re going to visit, so it is best to bring your own!
- Cash. You must bring cash with you because there may not be any ATM machines in the area or restaurants and other establishments might not accept cards for payment.
- Passports and IDs. Traveling to a foreign country is pretty unpredictable. We will never know when these will be needed, so just prepare them at all times.
Transportation in Si Satchanalai
Traveling by bus is the most common way to go to the ancient town. After all, it is only an hour and a half away from Sukhothai, so the bus is the most convenient and less expensive option. Meanwhile, in the district itself, you can book tuk-tuks or songthaews to get around. Songthaews are more affordable but tuk-tuks can bring you to where you really want to go.
If you’re not confident to use public transportation, you can rent motorcycles to go around the area. But if your main focus is to simply go around the historical park, you only need to rent a bicycle that you can use to explore and it only costs THB50!
Accommodations in Si Satchanalai for your itinerary
There are other places to see in Si Satchanalai that a day may not be enough. In addition to that, Si Satchanalai is a beautiful district where you might be enticed to stay longer or come back next time for a longer trip. So, with that in mind, a place we recommend you can stay in Si Satchanalai is Navy SiSatchanalai!
The district is not quite well-known for its resorts, hotels, or any accommodation since most tourists stay here for just a day. However, Navy SiSatchanalai is one of the best places to stay in the area since it is one of the most booked accommodations as well as one of the most affordable options.
We can say that Navy SiSatchanalai is a bang for the buck because room rates start at THB560 or USD11 per night for a Standard Double Room that is good for two people! The room is complete with free Wifi, air conditioning, a garden view, and all the things you’ll need for a good night’s sleep!
This place may not look anything special but it offers one of the best and most practical accommodations in town. And did I mention that it has one of the best coffee in the area too? You can sip on one before you head out on your trip! The location is also great since it is near to most of the attractions in the Historical Park!
If you are interested in staying the night here in Si Satchanalai, you can check out Navy SiSatchanalai’s available rooms here!
You can also use our favorite travel resources for all your travel needs, from flights to accommodations to attractions, we made sure that you’ll find everything you’ll need for your trip at once!
When is the best time to visit Si Satchanalai?
The best time to visit SiSatchanalai is from November to January as these are the cooler months in the district. Humidity is significantly lower during these months too which makes it perfect for cycling or even walking. But don’t be too confident as the heat might still be unbearable, especially for those who are not used to warmer weather.
In contrast, April, May, and June are the hottest months to visit Si Satchanalai so you better avoid planning your trip during these months.
How many days should I spend in Si Satchanalai?
One whole day is enough to explore the ruins at Si Satchanalai Historical Park. If you are staying in Sukhothai for more than a day, we suggest you not book a stay in Si Satchanalai so that you won’t have to move from one hotel to another. Simply travel to SI Satchanalai, go on a tour, and then travel back to your hotel outside of Si Satchanalai.
Do I need a VISA to visit Si Satchanalai?
Since you’ll be staying in Si Satchanalai for only a day, you probably won’t be asked to present your VISA. However, since situations can be unpredictable, we still advise you to bring yours just in case you’ll need to present it. After all, it’s always better to be prepared!
What is the currency used in Si Satchanalai?
The currency used in Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai is Thai Baht.
Do I need cash in Si Satchanalai?
Yes, you need to bring cash with you all the time while in SiSatchanalai. There are establishments that accept card payments but most of the restaurants and sites only accept cash. So, to avoid any inconvenience, bring cash.
You can exchange your foreign currency for Thai Baht at the airport if you need money for a taxi, food, etc. Bangkok’s airport, for example, has a Kasikorn Bank booth wherein you can ask how much the rate is and exchange your money there. This bank offers the best rate among the other bank booths at the airport like Thai Military Bank and Siam Commercial Bank. But unlike TMB and SCB which are open 24/7, Kasikorn Bank is only open from 7 AM to 11 PM only.
You can also exchange your money at the hotel you are staying at. Usually, hotels in Thailand offer money-changing services, however, rates are usually lower compared to bank rates.
How much should my budget be for my Si Satchanalai Itinerary?
One of the best things about Si Satchanalai is that it is not an expensive place to explore. In fact, USD30 or about THB 1100 already covers basic expenses like food, transportation, and activities. If you wish to buy souvenirs or eat more snacks, you can bring extra just in case.
Si Satchanalai is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a hidden gem to discover in Thailand! There are not a lot of tourists here, so you will not have the problem of dealing with a big crowd and the view here is stunning too! It’s also very peaceful here which is nice for a change!
The only thing though is that there is really not much to see here because tourism is mainly focused on the temples and the ancient town. That is why a lot of tourists who’ve come here recommend a stay of one day only. But if you so happened to have fallen in love with this district, it’s not surprising that you’d decide to come back and stay longer!
If you would like to know more about the best places in Thailand, you can read our articles where we talked about the country and all the things you can see there!
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