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Sukhothai (สุโขทัย)

Thai. ‘Dawn of happiness’. Name of a province (map) and its capital city in North Thailand, 427 kms north of Bangkok and with a population of around 25,000. It formerly was a kingdom established in 1238 AD by Poh Khun Indraditya who is also known as Phra Ruwang and liberated Thailand from the yoke of the Khmer (fig.). He was the father of King Ramkamhaeng and his kingdom flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries AD. Its remains can still be seen today in the World Heritage site known as ‘meuang kao’, the ancient city. Its ruins are well preserved and restored. It is considered the cradle of Thai civilization and Thailand's first independent empire and first capital. Here Buddhism was accepted as the state religion and King Ramkamhaeng created the Thai script. Sukhothai is also an art style from the region and from the period between the 13th and 14th centuries AD, officially from 1238 to 1448 AD. The province has nine amphur. The local places of interest include several historical sites and the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum (fig.). See also Sukhothai data file.