A meditative site
Published/Last edited or updated: 16th June, 2016
While many travellers only hit Wat Saphan Hin before turning back to the busier parts of the historical park, we suggest continuing south to Wat Khao Phra Bat Noi and other peaceful sites spread over a forested hill.
Accessed by a sandy path that leads up a gradual hill, Wat Khao Phra Bat Noi was named after four images of Buddha footprints that are now exhibited at Ramkamhaeng National Museum. It was one of several meditation monasteries spread over a wooded area known as Aranyik. Removed from the city’s grand monuments and bustling lanes, monks lived here to focus on meditation amid the quiet of the forest. While the monks are long gone, the serenity remains.
Adorned with thin webs of lines that are unique in Sukhothai, the laterite base of a huge collapsed chedi stands at the rear of the site. In the front, the remains of another chedi features large niches on all four sides that once contained Buddha images. Also check out the tiny brick structure that would have been used for solitary meditation sessions.
A series of dirt paths cut south through the woods to other ancient sites, including Wat Chedi Ngam and Wat Tham Hip Bon. The actual sites aren’t all that impressive but travellers who appreciate peace and quiet or are looking for a place to meditate could easily lose an hour or two wandering around here. If you’re not up for a hike, these other sites can also be reached from the main road through the western zone.
Wat Khao Phra Bat Noi is just south of Wat Saphan Hin in the western zone. It’s not visible from the road but a sign marks the trailhead, from where it’s a five-minute walk to the site.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Sukhothai