So after chilling for 2 more days in Chiang Mai I set off for Sukhothai which is the first national capital of Thailand (followed by Ayutthaya, Thonburi then finally Bangkok). My only reason for visiting this former capital was the Historical Park, declared a World Heritage Site, which has some well preserved ruins of the royal palace and around 26 temples some dating back to 800 years.
The 193 ruins are spread over 70sqms are divided into 5 zones – Central, North, South, East and West zones, and it would take a couple of days to see them all. I frankly didn’t have that much energy or interest to see all of it so I decided to do just the Central zone which has the most ruins. Even then, it took a lot of mental debate on “whether I care about seeing some more temples” or “who cares about ruins when it 35C outside!” before I decided to just go for it. I decided to take a bus to the park and then rent a cycle to get around within the park which would save me 26kms of cycling in the heat.
The ruins are well maintained especially the bigger temples, the historical park was extremely peaceful as there were hardly any tourists in the afternoon and riding a bicycle around the ponds, in the ample shade provided by the trees was actually a lot of fun. Even after having been to Angkor, it was easy to appreciate the ruins here.
The night market in new Sukhothai is also worth a visit. It took a lot of willpower to stay away from the meat section and eat only vegetarian food.
I settled for some delicious fried seaweed balls of some sort.
These were super crispy and salty on the outside and hot and creamy on the inside. I also ate some “veggie spring rolls” which definitely had some meat in it which was unexpected as I had clearly told the vendor “no meat”. I still ate it and as a matter of curiosity went back to the vendor to ask if there was meat in the rolls and she said “no no, no meat, only little pork”. Uh huh. Lost in translation. I was a bit miffed to be honest coz if I had to eat meat I would have chosen the delicious Chinese steamed dumplings which nearly made me give up my “no meat” streak. Oh well. . For dessert I ate fried dough balls sprinkled with sesame seeds and filled with sweet rice paste. A lot of fried food but I was content. It was a change from rice and noodles that I am frankly a bit tired of.
So that was Sukhothai. After that it was another 7hrs on the bus back to Bangkok where I treated myself to a hotel room so most of my 2days were spent in my room watching The Hobbit trilogy, working on my blog and heading out only to get some food or to watch the Wimbledon final. I also spent time with Joel again before he flew back to Switzerland and I flew to Motherland.