Sukhothai Historic Park
The ruins of the ancient city of Sukhothai lie on the banks of the River Yom, approximately 200 mites north of Bangkok. The site, rescued from the jungle by the Thai Fine Arts Department, is now a Historic Park. Numerous retinas or stupas (relic mounds) and viharas (Buddhist monasteries) bear testimony to the splendour of classical Sukhothai architecture and its Khmer and Sinhalese antecedents. In 1978 a joint UNESCO/Thai Government Project was inaugurated to maintain restoration of the various structures, many of which are in urgent need of repair. The importance of this work is twofold. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Sukhothai was the capital of the first truly Thai kingdom, controlling, at its height, most of present-day Thailand and Lower Burma. In addition, it is an awesome monumental expression of the power the Buddha and his vision exerted over men's hearts and minds.