Sukhothai historical park

Posted on May 9, 2012 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

If I have to choose the most wonderful and sustainable airport in the world, Sukhothai airport would be on the top of my list ( see below)! It is privately owned by Bangkok airways and serves only two arrivals from Bangkok daily. Not only it is beautifully designed in traditional Thai style, it also has an organic farm as well as a small zoo with animals like zebras and horses! I was so distracted by its beauty that I left the airport without my luggage! I had to return to the airport an hour later and an officer just grinned at me as if he had been expecting me... and when I identified my luggage, he insisted on carrying it all the way to the car for me. Would I receive this kind of service at airports elsewhere? I doubt it!

Since I started traveling independently at the age of 19, I have made a few mistakes by picking the wrong travel season i.e. visiting Morocco/ Sahara and Egypt in the summer. And finally, cycling around Sukhothai in their hottest season...

Not only it was boiling, I was also given a 'PINK HELLO KITTY' bicycle by the owner of my guest house who rents bikes to their guests! He spoke little English but insisted that it was right for me... All I could think of was that I wouldn't be seen dead in this if I was in London, yet reluctantly I accepted and tried to see the hilarious side to it...

 

 

I have been warned by my B & B owner, Tong not to cycle around the park before 4pm, but I couldn't resist the temptation... Though not long after cycling in the heat, I had to escape to the Ramkhamhaeng National museum because it was too unbearable! Looking around, I only saw foreigners cycling in the heat, the Thais were nowhere to be seen...

Considered as the 'first national capital' and an Unesco world heritage site, the Buddhist temple sites and statues at Sukhothai are truly spectacular, especially the restored 13th century, Wat Si Chum ( the temple of the bodhi tree - see below). There are secret passages between the outer and inner walls with depictions of Buddha's life, where devotees were able to climb up to get a glimpse of the seated Buddha statue ( this experience has now been recreated at the museum).

 

 

The historical park itself overs an area of 70 square kilometres with just under 200 ruins, but there are many sites outside of the park that are rarely visited by tourists. For safety reasons, Tong warned me to stick within the area shown on the map and not to venture too far out, which I did follow.

Strangely, there are hardly any cafes or rest areas within the park, and when I eventually found one, I was happy to pay the 'tourist' price for an iced lemon tea and downed it within a few minutes!

At around 6pm, cars started to appear at the park and groups of (wise) Thais with fans and cameras in their hands emerged enthusiastically. While I sat there exhausted and dehydrated, I realised I must have looked like an idiot to them with my pink bicycle parked nearby...

However, watching the sunset, I felt incredibly moved... Was it worth the sweat and energy? Yes, but if I ever return again, I would do it the Thai way...

 

 

 


This post was posted in Travel, Buddhism & meditation, Sukhothai, Gardens & parks and was tagged with Buddhism, Sukhothai, cycling, temples, Thailand

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