Even though Sukhothai lacks in terms of city flair and further tourist attractions, the old city of Sukhothai is quite worth a trip. It is a pretty huge area (entry has to be paid for each area or for a combined ticket) and it does make sense to borrow a bike at the entrance in order to move along a little faster.
Since it was incredibly hot during our stay we did not manage to see all of old Sukhothai but it was enough to make a long lasting impression. Everything you see over there is quite different to the other temples or shrines you usually see around Thailand. Those temples in Sukhothai are from a time long ago and show a completely different style to it’s visitors. Very impressive and monumental.
Furthermore it is quite nice to see how old Sukhothai is kept in shape. It is really relaxing to walk or go around by bike and to chill out beneath some trees or on the green grass. Relaxing in this historic atmosphere really gives you something. So my advice to you: Take your time, sit down, lay down and enjoy the silence and the atmosphere for a while before heading over to the next sight. Those sights will be there for another 10 minutes I think.
After telling you that Sukhothai is worth a trip and that the old ancient area is quite nice to see I also have to say two or three negative words about Sukhothai. Just to be honest with you. The way to Sukhothai pretty much sucked. We went there from Chiang Mai (about 4 hours by bus) and had the worst bus ever! Totally packed, tiny seats hot and cold as hell (engine made the rear cabin hot, the aircon frosted the rest of the bus) and simply the worst bus ride in Thailand so far. Obviously bad luck and not the fault of Sukhothai, but that was part of our trip so I had to let you know. Do not say I did not warn you ;-)
Furthermore, as mentioned above, Sukhothai does not offer much besides those ancient town. Most hostels (haha, “most”) are located in new Sukhothai which is about 12 km away from old Sukhothai. So you are very likely to be stuck there….
And the last piece of advice: Do not go there during Songkran festival. Or at least bring waterproof bags for your cameras!
more Sukhothai pictures, like always, on facebook :-)