Sukhothai

8 May

I recently pinpointed one of the things I most love about living in Thailand; over here, we are in the extremely privileged position of being able to take vacations and little holidays at the drop of a hat. Consequently, I frequently get to experience that fabulous feeling of anticipation and excitement that comes with starting a new journey, the kind of excitement that makes me throw my hands in the air and yell “Adventure!” while Orestes pretends (?) to be embarrassed at my exuberance. We can leave school on a Friday afternoon, and within 3 hours be stepping off a boat onto a tropical island, or alighting from a tiny prop plane in the middle of nowhere.

For my birthday weekend, Mom and I took a journey up to Sukhothai, a small city in northern Thailand. We stepped down from the plane to see a field of cows, a manicured garden along the side of the single runway, and nothing that remotely resembled an airport. An adorable little tram appeared, which fit every passenger from the partially filled plane, and drove us to the cutest little airport I’ve ever seen. It’s designed in the style of a traditional northern Thai house, all wooden with one arrival gate, one departure gate, one baggage claim (which was a dude with a pick-up truck filled with bags) security guards wearing safari outfits, and a koi fish pond with fountain. 

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Sukhothai was the ancient capital of the Thai kingdom, 700 years ago, before Ayutthaya, before Bangkok. The ruins of Sukhothai are currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site (another one for the list!) and a beautiful national park. The park is filled with shady paths, mango and coconut trees, and small ponds. Some of the temples are in excellent condition, and it was very pleasant exploring. On one of the days, we took a bike tour with Cycling Sukhothai. Mem, our wonderful guide, took us on back roads and along the klong (canal) as we cycled from the current town of Sukhothai out to the ruins. Along the way we stopped at a home where bamboo baskets were being made, and a “factory” where gorgeous teak furniture was being built. Once at the park, we cycled around, viewed the temples, and had an amazing lunch at a little roadside stand. Mom got to see a bit of rural Thailand, and enjoyed herself immensely despite the temperature for the day reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). Mem declared Mom a “strong mommy!” 🙂 The day after the bike tour, we visited the Sangkhalok Museum, which has tons of old pottery (vases, Buddha images, statues, etc.) from the old kingdom. I illegally snapped photo of 2 of the pieces I liked – shh! We also returned to the park and took a late afternoon tuk tuk ride around the ruins. As usual, I got a bit too excited/inspired by the ancient ruins scenario, and went overboard with the picture taking. Enjoy!

 

 

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One Response to “Sukhothai”

  1. Colleen May 8, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Awww, I love this post! Love hearing about your adventures with your mom and seeing all the awesome pics. Yay! 🙂

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