Our first stop after Bangkok was Sukhothai, a town famous for its historical park filled with ancient temples. We arrived by bus at three in the morning which wasn’t the best idea we’ve had. There were no taxis until 6 am. Rats.
There was an option of using a motorcycle taxi, however there was no way we would be able to stay on wearing our huge backpacks. So we opted for chilling in the bus station for three hours with the company of a million mosquitos. Yay.
When we eventually arrived at the guesthouse we were shown our rooms and settled down to a well deserved power nap. After refuelling with breakfast and green tea we headed into town. Yes you did read right, Zorro had achieved where so many had failed before. I had a mug of green tea and I actually quite enjoyed it! What is Asia doing to me?
The first day was relaxed, we spent some time exploring the town where I tried dragon fruit – it was a bit underwhelming, I was expecting a stronger fruitier taste – before heading back and making the most of the swimming pool at our guest house.
That evening we went to the Saturday night market. We really enjoyed the atmosphere; the pedestrianised street was filled with food stands, drink vendors and smiling locals. For the first hour we were there we didn’t see any other westerners. It was really cool to walk down without being stared at or hassled to spend money. We tried a lot of new things there, my favourite being real and fresh rice crackers drizzled with caramelised sugar. Mm delicious and an excellent snack. There was also live music and people dancing which added to the good vibes.
The next day we set off early in a tuk tuk towards the old town. Here we hired bikes and bought entry into the Sukhothai Historical Park. After a very wobbly start by me we set off to cycle around the park, going straight at every junction (steering on the creaky bikes with no gears was still alluding me).
The ancient temples were very impressive and the different carvings were interesting especially the scary statues designed to keep away evil spirits. At one point it started to drizzle and before we knew it the heavens had opened and it started raining cars and dogs. We took shelter under the nearest pagoda for over an hour waiting for the rain to subside.
I tried the Sukhothai speciality for lunch followed by a long cycle around the perimeter of the park where we discovered our favourite temple. This one had curved rounded edges as opposed to the harsher lines of the more traditional temples.
We caught the bus back to the new town and took another afternoon swim. That evening we tried a rooftop restaurant for dinner, it had been busy the previous night and was also recommended in our guidebook. Unfortunately the live music which had been promised was a TV show of a live concert and it was raining again so we had to eat inside. You can’t have it all I guess.
Overall we enjoyed Sukhothai heaps more than Bangkok. Better atmosphere, food and friendly locals. We’re starting to see how Thailand has been named the ‘Land of Smiles’.