Cycling Old Sukhothai
Sukhothai Travel Blog› entry 113 of 174 › view all entries
January 5th, 2010 – by: domnicella
This morning I was up ridiculously early, partially thanks to the rock hard mattress and even harder pillow (seriously, you could sharpen knives on these things), and partially thanks to the über paper thin walls that meant not only could I hear every word of my neighbors' conversations and have their light flood into my room, but could also hear them doing you know what. And by the sounds of it, dude needed a few pointers.
So up and out at the crack of dawn it was -- I hit the pavement shortly after 7am. I rented a bike, as seems to be the best way to get around Sukhothai, and peddled around the sights all morning. I was expecting far more people than there were; it is high season after all, and Sukhothai makes many people's routes, being smack between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. I suppose the early hour meant I had a head start on everyone. That, and I'm pretty sure everyone is given the same map with the same route highlighted, and not much initiative is taken in the variation department. In any event, there were very few others around, and as I cycled further and further, I had more and more temples to myself.
Old Sukhothai is really great. Unlike Ayutthaya, where the city grew up around the ruins, New Sukhothai developed fourteen kilometers to the east of Old Sukhothai, which means there are lots of trees and green space around the ruins, rather than urban eyesores. I'd like to see what it looks like in the rainy season, I imagine it green and lush and the rivers high. Everything was so brown and dry. Made me think twice about all the deliberate "contained" fires the farmers have in their fields all over the place. One spark...
The ruins in Old Sukhothai would make for a romantic day spent cycling and picnicking with a partner. Seeing as I have no partner and was too busy sweating and marveling at all the dead snakes on the road (if there are THAT many squashed by cars, exactly how many are lurking out there waiting to terrify me??), it wasn't particularly romantic for me. But still, it had that feel to it. Old stuff, sprawled across well kept parks, bicycle rides, picnic in the shade -- it has potential. Next time you're in Thailand with a sweetheart, be sure to check it out. Just stay somewhere with better beds.
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