Appreciate the Cultural Heritage Sites and Cultural Wisdoms of Thailand
Si Satchanalai – Chaliang Historical Park*
During the 13th century, the Sukhothai Kingdom consolidated its power in the Central Plains by building a number of satellite cities. One of these important cities was Si Satchanalai. Today, its ruins lie on the right bank of the Yom River, located in the south of modern Si Satchanalai and is one of the best examples of a Thai city-state. It was laid out along fixed cosmological line-temple complexes at its heart, surrounded by city walls, rivers, and forest. It is considered by many historians to be the apogee of Thai city planning. The main temple at the heart of this moated city is Wat Chang Lom with a huge bell-shaped Sri Lankan-style main chedi. Built during the reign of King Ramkamhaeng, this monument is thought to be one of the early Sri Lankan-style chedis of the Sukhothai Kingdom. The style was later copied throughout Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.
*Si Satchanalai – Chaliang were declared a World Heritage Site number 574 on 12 December 1991.
The ruins of Si Satchanalai are not as grandiose as those of Sukhothai but are in some ways more interesting. They have not been extensively restored, and fewer tourists have visited the site. The ruins evoke the impression of a once powerful city. Despite not being the seat of government of the Sukhothai Kingdom, it was the city of the deputy king and a commercial centre which was renowned all over Southeast Asia and China. Beyond the city walls, further west on a mountain outside the city, is a ruined mountain reachable by a shady path. At the top of the path is a large Sri Lankan-style chedi and there are over 30 ruins located outside the city walls.
The nearby ruins of Chaliang are thought to be the earlier Khmer settlements and outposts of the empire dating back to the time of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1220). Architectural and archaeological remains found in this historic town clearly indicate that it was not only a politically important town, but also an important religious centre. A large number of religious buildings, constructed from laterite and decorated with stucco, are considered high artistic achievements of the ancient Thai people. Wat Khok Singkharam is located about 1 km southeast of Si Satchanalai city. The major historic structures in this temple include the main Sri Lankan-style chedi, a rectangular vihara, an uposatha, and 4 subordinate chedis built from blocks of laterite. “Phongsawadan Nua” or the historic chronicle of Northern Thailand mentioned Wat Khok Singkharam as the temple located at the centre of the town where Brahmans, high-positioned Buddhist cardinals, high-positioned monks, 500 enlightened monks and other monks were invited to meet one another.
Archaeological excavations have also yielded much evidence that the area of Chaliang was first occupied during the 3rd – 4th century AD. Human habitation in this area continued up to at least the 6th – 7th century. Around the 11th century, large brick buildings started to appear in this area. Finally, a Sukhothai period temple was built.
The group of glazed ceramic kilns were discovered along the bank of the Yom River, about 4 – 5 kilometres from Si Satchanalai city. About 200 kilns were found in the area, measuring about 1.5 square kilometres. Two groups of kilns have been excavated and the area has been developed into site museums.
The centre of the city was built on the right bank of the Nan River in the middle of a broad plain encircled by a chain of mountains that can be seen in the distance. Uttaradit province has improved its agricultural output as a result of the construction of the Sirikit Dam. The dam is 160 metres high and 800 metres wide and the lake behind it covers 22,000 hectares. This vast expanse of water provides electricity for the region and it is a source of fish for the people living near its banks. Uttaradit province is still regarded as a forest region with orchards, waterfalls, and a chain of mountains. There are many historical sites, homes of Northern Thai textile productions, many very beautiful woodcarving masterpieces, and many interesting old temple architectures.
This coming November, join us on a weekend trip from Friday, 24 to Sunday, 26 November to explore various cultural heritage sites and cultural wisdom in upper central plains Thailand with Khun Euayporn Kerchouay, Senior Consultant of The Siam Society.
The tentative programme will be as follows:
|Day 1: Friday, 24 November: Bangkok – Sukhothai|
|14:00||Meet at Suvarnabhumi Airport and check in at the Bangkok Airways counter|
|15:30||Depart Bangkok for Sukhothai province by Bangkok Airways flight PG213|
|16:50||Arrive at Sukhothai Airport, and proceed to the hotel|
|–||Check in at the Sukhothai Heritage Resort|
|Evening:||Dinner at own arrangement and overnight at the hotel|
|Day 2: Saturday, 25 November: Sukhothai – Uttaradit|
|–||Breakfast at the hotel|
|08:00||Check out of the hotel and proceed to Uttaradit province.|
|All day:||– Visit Sawankhaworanayok National Museum
– Visit Si Satchanalai – Chaliang Historical Park and Kilns Sites Museums
– Visit the Lanna Textile Shop and the Old House
|Noon:||Lunch at a local restaurant|
|Late afternoon:||Arrive at Uttaradit, and check in at the Seeharaj Hotel|
|Dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight at the hotel
|Day 3: Sunday, 26 November: Uttaradit – Sukhothai – Bangkok|
|–||Breakfast at the hotel|
|Check out and proceed to Lab Lae district
Visit many orchards, waterfalls, Northern Thai Textile productions and see the masterpieces of woodcarvings at the temples in a local village.
|Noon:||Lunch at a local restaurant|
|Return to the city of the Uttaradit province
Visit the ditches and ramparts of the old Uttaradit city. Take a look at the mural paintings, several types of temple architecture and several bronze Buddha images of the Sukhothai period.
Then proceed back to Sukhothai Airport
|Depart Sukhothai for Bangkok by Bangkok Airways flight PG214
Arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport
The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary.
**As a high number of travellers is expected during the time of our trip which can result in the hotel and the flights being fully booked, we kindly ask you to confirm your reservation before the end of September 2023.
– The Siam Society may utilise photos taken from study trips, lectures, performances, and other activities as part of its public relations and marketing communication campaign. These photos, which may sometimes contain image(s) of activity participants, can also be featured on the Society’s website and other online social media channels.
The contribution of THB 22,500 (THB 23,500 for non-members), single room surcharge THB 1,500, will cover air tickets, transportation, meals as mentioned in the programme, accommodation for 2 nights (two persons per room), entrance fees, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. A photocopy of the identity card or identification page on your passport must accompany the booking. Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the payment has been made. In addition, basic travel insurance is included. There is a 3% surcharge for credit/debit card payments to cover bank charges. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to “The Siam Society”. Transfer can also be made to The Siam Society travel account at TMBThanachart Bank (ttb), savings account no. 053-2-18000-7 or by scanning the QR code on your right. Once payment has been made, please e-mail the transfer docket to us.
– Extra surcharge for aviation fuel and those related to air travel.
For further information and bookings, please contact Khun Thun at 02-661-6470-3 ext. 205 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Society office is open from 09:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Saturday.