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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Thailand series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about Thailand, Thai Culture and Thai People. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 5 - Sukhothai Province
Sukhothai Province, or จังหวัดสุโขทัย in Thai, is located on the lower edge of the northern region of Thailand. It has a great history of more than seven hundred years, and in hearlded as the first truly independent Thai Kingdom. Sukhothai was founded in the thirteenth century when the King พ่อขุนศรีอิทราทิตย์ (Pho Khun Si Indrathit) became the first king. During the Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng Era, the Kingdom expanded, covering the majority of Thailand as we know it today, and also groing rapidly in terms of government administration, commerce, law, religion, and culture.
There are six things for which Sukhothai is well-known today. Do you know what they are?
First, Sukhothai was the first independent Thai Kingdom and the largest region in Thai history.
Second, it was home to the first king of Thailand, พ่อขุนรามคำแหง (Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng.)
Third, it was here in which the Thai alphabet, ไตรภูมิพระร่วง (Tri Phum Praruang), was first used to record Thai literature.
Fourth, it was the location of Thailand’s first international political relations.
Fifth, it was the location of a great golden age of Buddhism, or ศาสนาพุทธ, arts, and culture.
Lastly, it was the birthplace of the famed Sangkhalok pottery industry.
Since Sukhothai has had a long, rich history, there are several historical attractions for tourists to enjoy. The most well known attraction is Sukhothai Historical Park, or อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์สุโขทัย, which was the old capital city of Sukhothai Kingdom. The Park is maintained by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand with help from UNESCO, which declared it a World Heritage Site in 1991. There are various sites within the Park, including palaces, buildings, and ruined temples with canals, walls, and gates arranged in rectangular shapes. Outside the city walls, there are several temples and buildings scattered all over. One of the most important sites is called วัดมหาธาตุ (Wat Mahathat), located in the middle of the old town. This is Sukhothai's largest temple, with a customary main pagoda in the shape of a lotus bud.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What would you want to do if you were in Sukhothai?
Leave a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com! Until next time!