(Photos courtesy of TAT Sukhothai-Kamphaeng Phet)

To mark the 70th birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, Sukhothai Historical Park is illuminated with “Light Up The Night” throughout the weekend so that tourists can learn about Thailand’s history and cultural splendour.

Until July 31, Wat Mahathat, Wat Chana Songkhram and Wat Sa Si in the inner layer of the canal serve as major attractions for a night tour that runs from 6-9pm. Located in the heart of the ancient city, Wat Mahathat is the largest temple, home to a pagoda that resembles a lotus bud in classic Sukhothai style.

Eight pagodas encircle the main chedi as 200 distinct chedi, 10 wihan, one ubosot, and eight Buddha statues were uncovered during surveys. Before being relocated to Wat Suthat Thepwararam in Bangkok, it served as the residence for Phra Si Sakyamuni, the biggest bronze Buddha statue in Thailand.

Built in the 14th century, Wat Chana Songkhram is located to the north of Wat Mahathat and has a bell-shaped chedi that rises majestically from a square foundation. The wihan‘s base and pillars are in ruins and lined up on its front, while the main chedi in Singhalese architecture is still present.

Just a short walk from Wat Mahathat and Ramkhamhaeng Monument, Wat Sa Si is surrounded by the Traphang-Trakuan pond, making it a sacred small sanctuary on the island. According to the stone inscriptions, this temple was erected in the late 14th century and its Singhalese-style principal chedi contains the ashes of King Li Thai. A large Buddha statue in subduing Mara sits at the back of its wihan and there are another nine chedis in the south and an ubosot with a Sukhothai-style walking Buddha statue on view.

On weekends and holidays, Tha Nam Rap Sadet Market is open from 4-8pm and serves a wide range of local delicacies, desserts and refreshing beverages in a nostalgic setting. Every Saturday from 5-8pm, a walking street market is set up in front of Wat Ratchathani.

Both foreign and Thai tourists can participate in the “Light Up The Night” festival for free. Find out more details at facebook.com/TAT-Sukhothai-Kamphaeng-Phet.

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