Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Si Satchanalai.
Three morning buses from the new Sukhothai bus terminal to Chiang Rai, which depart daily at 06:40, 09:00 and 11:30 are able to drop passengers off some two kilometres from the historical park and less than a kilometre from What Phra Si on Route 101. The bicycle rental shop that used to be found here has closed, so you'll have to walk to the park, where you can rent bicycles for 30 baht. Buses may be flagged down as they head back to Sukhothai at the same place on route 101, and we were told by locals that they pass roughly hourly all day with the last one coming between 16:00 and 17:00 (we wouldn't recommend getting there later than 15:30).
Hiring a motorbike -- available from most guesthouses for 250 to 300 baht per day -- is a good way to go if you're a little more adventurous. You'll want to take route 1195 north from new Sukhothai or route 1113 if coming from old Sukhothai. If taking 1195, the road will turn into route 1201 after Sawankhalok town. If coming this way, be cautious to follow the signs for Si Satchanalai both in Sawankhalok town and in Si Satchanalai village near the park. If coming from old Sukhothai, you'll want to bear right, following signs for Si Satchanalai onto 1294, which will emerge onto route 1201 just south of Si Satchanalai. Both of these options are flat, easy and picturesque roads perfect for motorbiking, but we don't recommend taking the busier route 101, which is filled with trucks and eye stinging dust. If you do end up on route 101, however, take a pit stop at Wat Sopharam along the way to see the giant Sukhothai style golden Buddha — it's huge.
If buses or bikes sound too daunting, most Sukhothai guesthouses are able to arrange taxis to the ruins with the option of a tour guide for 1,200 to 3,000 baht (depending on group size and so on) for the day. A pink and purple songthaew could also be negotiated in Sukhothai for around 1,800 baht for a half-day trip.
Once you reach Si Satchanalai, the actual park can easily be covered on foot, although you'll probably want to rent a bicycle near the front gates for 30 baht to head out to Wat Phra Si and the kiln sites. Motorbikes and cars are also allowed inside the park.