Saturday, March 07, 2015

Royal Town - Sukhothai

After a morning of seeing sites in Ayutthaya, we hopped on a 1:00 pm air-con bus north to Sukhothai; to Sukhothai Historical Park according to our bus ticket. Sukhothai, another abandoned Thai royal town is really two towns, the ruins (Old City or Sukhothai Historical Park), and the so-called New City Sukhothai located 15 kms away.

There are tourist facilities in the Old City (SHP) which are just meters from the ruins therefore we decided to stay there. So when after 6 hours on the bus, the driver pulled in to New Sukhothai and motioned everyone to get off the bus I was surprised. I protested and showed him our tickets which said "Destination - Sukhothai Historical Park". Both Sun-Ling and I thought I was pretty much wasting our time as in developing countries the bus driver is king, but to make a short story shorter: I fought the bus driver and I won! And 20 minutes later he dropped us off right in the middle of Sukhothai Historical Park.

Having a room meters from the Historical Park entrance meant we could enjoy the ruins from 7am to 9am with only a few other tourists. Then the tour groups arrive, but still not too bad.

We liked Sukhothai. The ruins were impressive and located in a tranquil setting, unlike Ayutthaya where they are in the the middle of a bustling town. Not to mention the Sukhothai city wall survives.

The bus from Ayutthaya to Sukhothai. That's a Thai kick-boxing match on the screen. Luckily we were towards the rear.
Sukhothai, Thailand

We were pretty hungry when arriving so we had some Pad Thai at the night market.
Sukhothai, Thailand

First stop in the morning: Wat Mahathat with a splendid array of sitting and standing Buddha images. The temple columns are made from stone and assembled the same as columns in Greek temples.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

This chedi has rare Walking Buddha image at right.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

The columns remind us of ruined Greek Temples we saw last year.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Fingernails.
Sukhothai, Thailand

And on to Wat Si Sawai with it's distinctive Hindu style chedis.
Sukhothai, Thailand

And again Wat Mahathat from across the lake.
Sukhothai, Thailand

The grounds crew starts work at 8:00 am. Interesting lawn mower blade.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Replica of Walking Buddha.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Looking back to Wat Sa Si.
Sukhothai, Thailand

We then headed to the Old City North Gate where one can still see the city walls.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Just outside the North Gate are the ruins of Wat Phra Pai Luang, which some experts believe was the original city center as it has three concentric moats. Sun-Ling stands on the bridge over the outer moat (dug by slave labor).
Sukhothai, Thailand

The Wat has a mix of Hindu and Buddhist styles.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Crumbling standing Buddha.
Sukhothai, Thailand

The gem of Sukhothai may be Wat Si Chum with it's 15 meter wide, 10 meter high Buddha image.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Wat Soraska with it's 24 elephants.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai, Thailand

Some shots around the Old City.

Self-service pump.
Sukhothai, Thailand

The ice man.
Sukhothai, Thailand

The ladder man.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Tofu snack lady. Tasty!
Sukhothai, Thailand

Night food market.
Sukhothai, Thailand

Hotel pool.
Sukhothai, Thailand

2 comments:

Kathy said...

"I fought the bus driver and I won!" - yeah! Way to go!


Great photos, as usual.

Liz said...

Congrats on the win!