26 Feb - 01 Mar 2010 Sukhothai

Kingdom of Thailand aka The Land of Conditional Smiles
Clean double room in a garden bungalow for THB 300.- or US$ 9.10 per night. Friendly staff.

Click below for an interactive road map of The Garden House in Sukhothai, which we would recommend, and for directions:


Taking a săwngthăew for THB 20.- per person from the hotel to the Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand’s first capital which flourished from the mid-13th century CE to the late 14th century CE, now a touristy UNESCO World Heritage Site (admission for foreigners: THB 100.- or US$ 3.- per person), and cycling (rent for two bicycles: THB 50.- per day) around Wat Mahathat and the other ruins which are most typified by the classic lotus-bud stupa, featuring a conical spire topping a square-sided structure on a three-tiered base.

Taking the 2nd-class Win Tour bus (c. 50 km, 1 ½ hours, THB 46.- or US$ 1.40 per person) to some less touristy, earlier monuments of Mon, Khmer and later Thai styles at Chaliang's Si Satchanalai Historical Park, joining there the boisterous and friendly Thai Phuan crowds during ongoing country fair around Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat and celebrating together Makha Bucha Day (one of the three major Buddhist holidays in Thailand when devout Buddhists all over Thailand visit temples, observe the five precepts of Buddhism, give offerings to monks, listen to sermons and in the evening take part in a ceremony known as wian tian where they walk around a temple or Buddha image three times carrying a lighted candle), afterwards enjoying the peaceful scenery of the rustic collection of truly impressive 13th- to 15th-century CE temple ruins at the Chaliang Si Satchanalai (admission for foreigners: THB 100.- per person): (i) the 1285 CE Wat Chang Lom with elephants surrounding a bell-shaped stupa, (ii) the Wat Chedi Jet Thaew  with a needle-like spire and (iii) the Wat Nang Phaya with its stucco reliefs from the Ayutthaya period.

Celebrating the Lantern Festival (aka the Little New Year, since it marks the end of the series of celebrations starting from the Chinese New Year) with delicious take-away prawn noodles, a spectacular fireworks/firecrackers display and stunning performances of (i) double lion dance, (ii) double dragon dance (involving two troupes of dancers intertwining the dragons, with each dragon composed of 20 people, and climbing up a pole 15 meters high - balanced and helped up by at least eight people stationed [and clipped on for safety] at intervals up the pole) and (iii) traditional Chinese dance in Sukhothai’s Chinatown.

Taking a motorised săamláw (a three-wheeled vehicle) for THB 20.- per person from the hotel to Sukhothai's bus terminal, thereafter the battered 2nd-class government bus for THB 255.- or US$ 7.75 per person for the 440-km long uneventful trip from Sukhothai to Bangkok’s Northern and Northeastern Bus Terminal aka Mow Chit 2, thereafter the local bus no. 509 to the Mo Chit Sky Train terminal for THB 12.- per person, and subsequently Bangkok’s ever reliable Sky Train for THB 40.- per person to our residence in Khlong San - welcome to Bangkok, a steamy, sexy, sprawling Sino-Thai village of over 10 million busy people encased in a wild and noise-polluted concrete jungle.

Click below for more blog posts about interesting temple ruins in Southeast Asia
06 Nov - 18 Nov 2013 Yogyakarta (Borobudur)
19 Jan - 28 Jan 2012 Nyaung U (Bagan)
13 Jun - 15 Jun 2010 Nha Trang (Po Nagar)
26 May - 02 Jun 2010 Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
01 May - 03 May 2010 Ayuthaya

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

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