A lot of people visiting Thailand are often looking for a day trip out of Bangkok and often don’t have a lot of time to spend travelling. In this case Ayuthaya is the clear favourite because it’s within easy reach of Bangkok, about 1-2 hours depending on traffic. If you have more time to spare then I would recommend Sukothai every time, not that I dislike Ayuthaya, but Sukothai is just….well….better!
Firstly, Sukothai is a lot further north from Bangkok. It’s around about a 6-8 hour drive, depending on your form of transportation and the traffic. Thus it will take a few days out of your schedule, but can be done as a stop off on the way to Chiang Mai. But because of it’s slightly more remote location, it receives far less visitors than Ayuthaya, which is a very popular day trip location for tourists and locals. On any given day you’re likely to find coach loads of the local school children milling around the temples of Ayuthaya.
This makes Sukothai a far more peaceful place to visit, and so it’s easier to get clear photos. On my visit here, over half a day I guess I probably only encountered a hundred or so other visitors. The temples are set in a historical park in well kept and fairly expansive grounds. It is completely separate from the main modern-day town. Although you can drive in the park, because it’s off the main roads there is no traffic noise or the associated dust and pollution. Sukothai has plenty of trees and so plenty of chances to get in the shade.
As I said earlier, a lot is going to depend on your circumstances and how much time you have to spare. Ayuthaya is great if you can only spare a day or two and are based out of Bangkok. It’s easy to get to and there are numerous tours. If you can spare the time, or are en-route to Chiang Mai then go for Sukothai.
Here's some pictures for you to compare the two. And check my website at http://www.matthewt.co.uk for more.
Also you can visit my website for South East Asia photos www.matthewt.co.uk
My blog – http://matthewted.blogspot.com
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