Wat Sangkawat – two lonely hidden temples

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ April 22nd, 2015. Filed under: Thailand.
Temple ruins at Wat Sangkawat

Main set of temple ruins at Wat Sangkawat – they get better …

Wat Sangkawat is worth a visit for the solitude

Sukhothai has many grand temples. Most look clean, neat and well kept for near on 400 year old buildings. On the outskirts of Sukhothai you will find various ruins that are no more than bricks or broken stone blocks. Not so exciting.

There are however two somewhat hidden temples in Sukhothai’s  Historic park worth seeking out. If you like a little bit of that abandoned temple feel. The two temples are simply known as Wat Sangkawat.

Last of Sukhothai’s northern temples

Road to Wat Sangkawat

Road to Wat Sangkawat

Wat Sangkawat is located in the far north of Sukhothai Historical Park. You really will need a bicycle or motorbike to get there. The road is also rough so be prepared for some bumps. It’s not far though and really not hard to find. Sunset is a particularly good time to visit here. Though don’t stay out here alone in the dark.

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The First of Wat Sangkawat’s temples

Opposite some rice padi’s is the first of Sangkawat’s temple complex. It’s not very exciting and is definitely the lesser of the two areas. Nonetheless do hop off your bike for a quick look.

First set of ruins at Wat Sangkawat

First set of ruins at Wat Sangkawat – easy to miss

All that remain here are just over a dozen columns that once supported a temple roof. It’s worth walking over as you’ll get a close up look at the very weather untreated stone blocks that remain. The porous stone is riddled with holes and almost looks like it might have worms! As you may guess this is simply a form of erosion from the elements.

The Second of Wat Sangkawat’s temples

Continue up the road for another 50 feet or so and you’ll see the back of a headless Buddha statue. Take a right here and veer around to the front of the main temple ruins.

The bridge to cross over to see the main Wat Sangkawat complex

The bridge to cross over to see the main Wat Sangkawat complex

There’s a little wooden bridge you’ll need to cross over. It’s dilapidated but still seems to function well. Across the bridge and you’ll be in a very small compound of several broken pillars. The main attraction is the large seated buddha with no head or history.

Back of the Buddha's statue at Wat Sangkawat

Sunset at Sangkawat

There is no more to the Wat Sangkawat complex. Unless of course you visit here during sunset. Then the dull grey stone lights up into golden hues that bring majesty back to the temples. With rice padi’s to the rear it’s hard to believe the main road is just off to the front.

Wat Sangkawat at sunset is beautifully serene, peaceful and untouched.

Is Wat Sangkawat worth visiting?

For many just looking to see the “big” temples in Sukhothai such a place as this will be boring and best skipped. For others who like a little bit of peace and solitude while enjoying untouched temples it’s worth a quick trip

Wat Sangkawat is simply a small temple complex that hasn’t been renovated. That is just one of the reasons that makes it so charming. If you are into these things that is.

Entrance fees into Sukhothai Historical Park
  • Entrance to Sukhothai Historical park = 100 baht
  • Bicycle surcharge = 10 baht
  • Mystery all section ticket = 350 baht (if you can find the right person)

Food and drinks are a touch and go affair in the park. There are a few cafes. They aren’t too outrageously expensive. But if you are on a budget bringing one’s own water will half your cost.

It’s 2 kilometers from the central zone ticket office to the northern section. The main road there is surfaced, flat and quite easy to use via a bicycle.

The park is open from 6am-18.00. Keep in mind the bicycle shops closed between 17.30 and 18.00 too. I’ll write later about night time viewing of the temples but sufficed to say, it’s very dark and very isolated so don’t get caught out alone after dark.

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13 Great responses to Wat Sangkawat – two lonely hidden temples

  1. Tony says:

    Nice find Dave. Reminds be of the ruins around Angkor and how you could just “bump” into one anywhere.

  2. Daryl says:

    The sunset on the statues back photo is some lovely.

  3. Anna's World says:

    Great to see so much of Sukhothai, a place not so many people know about I think!

  4. Niranjan says:

    Glad to know about them. Did not visit them while in Sukhothai.

  5. Amanda says:

    Nice discovery! It looks lovely with the sun on its back. I’d like to see some rice padi!

  6. Ang says:

    Old ruins in the middle of nowhere in Thailand … quite a find. Did you discover this yourself or did you use a map?

  7. De'Jav says:

    Looks like an undiscovered gem.