King Ramkhamhaeng Monument

Sukhothai

Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is the King Ramkhamhaeng Monument. The bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng sits on a throne with a base relief recording his life.

King Ramkhamhaeng made Sukhothai a powerful and extensive kingdom which included many parts of what are today neighbouring countries. He opened direct political relations with China and made two trips to China – the first in 1282 to visit Emperor Kublai Khan and the second in 1300 after Kublai Khan’s death. From the second visit, he brought back Chinese artisans who taught the Thais the art of pottery. Today, the old “Sang khalok Potteries” are eagerly sought by collectors.

A major achievement of King Ramkhamhaeng was the revision of various forms of Khmer alphabets into a system suitable for the writing of Thai words. The alphabet that he invented in 1282 was essentially the same as that in use today.

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