Overnight in Sukhothai

Sukhothai Travel Blog

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Wat Si Chum! Look at those big buddha hands!
October 31, 2009

Finally, after 9 years and 3 attempts, I made it to Sukhothai... and just in time for the start of Loy Krathong! Such perfect timing to be in the place believed to be where the festival originated.

From Chiangmai, the bus took around 5 hours. I arrived in Sukhothai around 2PM. Once checked in at the guesthouse, I wasted no time to go to the Old city. OK, I'm a liar. I wasted a couple of hours walking from the guesthouse to the mini-bus terminal to the Historical Park. I had a couple of stop-overs - late lunch being one of them.

Around 4PM, I was finally at the park. It was such a dream come true. I kept telling myself "I AM HERE. I MADE IT!" hahaha! I rented a bike and went straight to Wat Si Chum outside the city walls.
Wat Si Chum
That buddha is fascinating! it's so big! Unfortunately, It took some time for me to get oriented with the place, hence the slow-biking. I had to return the bike by 6 and just enjoyed strolling inside the historical park.

The mood inside the park was very festive. thai music playing, people in their costumes getting ready for their performances, krathong vendors, streetfood, families on their picnic etc... it's such a surreal experience to see people preparing for the festival. By sunset, the park became even more alive as each temple was lit up with candles and the ponds with floating torches. one word - BEAUTIFUL!

The light and sound show at wat mahatat was spectacular, i had goose bumps when i saw my first khom loy rising up in the air in tune with the beat of the drum from the show.
Wat Sa si and traphang trakuan pond
There were fireworks, people releasing their kratongs in the ponds and musical performances everywhere.


Nov 1, 2009.

On my way to the mini-bus station i saw my very first tamboon - the practice of giving alms to the monks. I've been curious about it everytime I go to thailand, but never really got the chance to see one because i never wake up early. So, the monks go around town, and people would come up to them, kneel... maybe pray and then give them something.

The day before I was one of the last ones to rent a bike, this day - i'm the very first one. It was such a pleasant experience biking in Sukhothai early in the morning when I didn't have to sweat a lot - and there weren't too many people to get in the way of my shots. So yes, waking up early has it's perks. There were just a handful of people at the park when I arrived.
wat chetupon by bike. 2 km outside the city walls
I think I did around 4-5 temples in and out of the old city and I ended my day in Sukhothai with ice cold coffee. I realized by then that I didn't even pay any park entrance fee! TWICE! hahaha! well, not my fault, no one checked.

Anyway, I made a tiny booboo while in Sukhothai. Worried that the buses back to Chiang Mai will be full, I bought a ticket once I got in town. I got the 140PM schedule. When I arrived at the bus station to head back to CM, I chanced upon another bus company leaving 40 minutes before my own schedule. Hence, I exchanged the ticket for the earlier bus. Little did I know that the 1PM bus will come from another town, therefore when i got inside, there weren't any more seats available. Darn! so i had to stay at the platform at the back with a bunch of soldiers. So much for wanting to mingle with the locals huh! I would have been fine with it, had it not been for this electric fan on the back. I can't even rest my back. Good thing, halfway through some passengers alighted in some town and i was finally able to get a better seat.

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Wat Si Chum!
Look at those big bu…
Wat Si Chum! Look at those big b…
Wat Si Chum
Wat Si Chum
Wat Sa si and traphang trakuan pond
Wat Sa si and traphang trakuan pond
wat chetupon by bike. 2 km outside…
wat chetupon by bike. 2 km outsid…
Wat Sa si Sunset
Wat Sa si Sunset
Wat Sa si at night
Wat Sa si at night
dinner
dinner
wat mahatat
wat mahatat
wat chetupon 2 km outside the city…
wat chetupon 2 km outside the cit…
my new friend in sukhothai... nam…
my new friend in sukhothai... "na…
tuk tuk of a different kind
tuk tuk of a different kind
wat mahatat. asked the guy sweepin…
wat mahatat. asked the guy sweepi…
Sukhothai
photo by: DragonFlies