It seemed like my temple fatigue in Chiang Mai had already subsided and I was ready to see more Buddhist temples. From Umphang, I traveled by bus to Kamphaeng Phet, stayed two nights there, and then continued to Sukhothai.

Kampaeng Phet was a royal town in the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom, while Sukhothai (town) was its capital. They are included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites as “Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns.”

I expected the popular Sukhothai to be crowded with tourists, so I thought it would be nice to visit Kampaeng Phet and explore ancient temples ruins in relative solace.

Itinerary Overview

  • Umphang
Day 1
  • Kamphaeng Phet
  • Umphang to Kamphaeng Phet
  • Kamphaeng Phet hostel
  • Around Kamphaeng Phet
Day 2
  • Kamphaeng Phet
  • Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park Bicycle Tour
Day 3
  • Sukhothai
  • Kamphaeng Phet to Sukhothai
  • Sukhothai Hostel
  • Sukhothai Temples Tour
Day 4
  • Sukhothai
  • Phrae
  • Sukhothai to Phrae
  • Chiang Rai and Phrae
  • Northern Thailand
  • Indochina

Trip Date — August 2012

Itinerary Notes & Tips

Day 1

Umphang to Kamphaeng Phet

  • Ride songthaew from Umphang to Mae Sot – B120
  • Drop off at the mini-terminal beside the market in Mae Sot town center.
    • I overshot the mini-terminal and dropped off along the road to the new bus terminal. So, I had to ride an otherwise unnecessary tuk-tuk – B30
  • Ride shuttle van from Mae Sot to Tak – B88
  • Arrival in Tak
  • Lunch at the Tak bus terminal
    • Fried rice with chicken – B30
  • Ride van from Tak to Kamphaeng Pet – B50+
  • Drop off at Kamphaeng Pet Bus Terminal

Kamphaeng Phet hostel search

  • Ride motorcycle taxi from Kamphaeng Pet Bus Terminal to 3J Guesthouse – B50
  • Check-in at 3J Guest house
    • Fan bungalow with double bed (shared TB)

Around Kamphaeng Phet

  • Walking around Kamphaeng Phet
  • Dinner at night market
    • Fried seafood (oyster, shrimp, crab thingy) omelette – B50
    • Bottled water (500ml) – B5
    • Pad thai noodles – B10
    • Fried pork balls – B20
  • Grocery run at 7/11 – B68
    • Conditioner, Bread, Milk

Day 2

Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park Bicycle Tour

I rented a bicycle at 3J Guesthouse and started my tour at the riverside of the Ping River. The staff at the guesthouse told me there was a parade and boat race happening that day and I was glad I didn’t miss it.

Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites as “UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns.”

I was able to explore two temple groups at the park namely Kamphaeng Phet and Khet Aanyik. Both were within easy biking distance from my guesthouse and had lots of ancient Buddhist temple ruins. Most of the old structures were already in a severely ruined state but I was still enjoyed visiting them because there were no crowds around to share them with.

One full day was enough to go to all the major sights by bicycle. Here is a list of the standouts:

Kamphaeng Phet Temple Group

  • Wat Phra Kaeo
  • Wat Phra That
  • Sa Mon (Royal Palace)

Khet Aanyik Temple Group

  • Wat Phra Non
  • Wat Phra Si Iriyabot
  • Wat Phra Sing
  • Wat Chang Rop – My favorite!

Day 3

  • 10:00am- check-out

Kamphaeng Phet to Sukhothai

After enjoying the crowd-less ancient temple ruins at Kamphaeng Phet, I hopped on a songthaew for a short ride to Sukhothai, known historically as the capital of the first Kingdom of Siam. I dropped off at “New” Sukhothai, which was where the bus station and most hostels can be found.

Sukhothai Hostel Search

Sukhothai Temples Tour

After checking-in my hostel room, I got on another songthaew to “Old” Sukhothai and rented a bicycle for the rest of the afternoon to explore Sukhothai Historical Park.

I stayed at the park around until after sunset because I had a feeling that it would be a nice experience to see the twilight beside the big pond at the park. True enough, the sunset, at the time, was spectacular and I got to enjoy it peacefully (without the crowds since they already left).

Day 4

Sukhothai to Phrae