Sukhothai: Thailand’s Ancient Capital
// December 17th, 2010 // Thailand
After saying goodbye to our friends in Chiang Mai, we headed south. I was en route to a volunteer project in Sangkhlaburi and Lauren was off to the beaches of southern Thailand. We decided we had time to make one stop and it came down to Ayuthaya or Sukhothai, both former capitals of Thailand. As much as I wanted to see the infamous face in the tree at Ayuthaya, we decided after reading online reviews that Sukhothai would be better. From Chiang Mai we took the bus down to Phitsanulok and stayed at a friendly little guest house there.
In the morning we bused it to Sukhothai, rented a couple of bikes, and set out on a joy ride. The Old City of Sukhothai is 45 square kilometers of ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was established roughly around the 13th century and was considered a golden era in Thailand. Riding bikes through this historical park was a fantastic way to see the temples. First of all, the grounds reminded me of a Florida retirement/golf community- very green, evenly spaced trees, and well-maintained. The day that we visited, there was virtually no one else in the park. It felt like a giant playground made for us to explore. We parked our bikes in front of each temple and set out on foot to explore them. We had an absolutely fantastic day climbing on temples and biking around the park. If a visit to Sukhothai is in your forecast, I definitely recommend seeing it by bicycle.
To view more photos of Sukhothai, check out the gallery here!