Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oct.29 Siamese history in Sukhothai

We took the bus from CM to Sukhothai to start the move back south. (No boat trip down the Mekong River into Laos this time.) We weren't on the bus pad for 2 minutes before a very motherly lady asked us to come stay at her guesthouse. Fortunately for her Sukhothai GH is in our book and we missed getting off the bus at the old city. Lonely Planet did not do a good job describing how Sukhothai is split into "Old" which is a small town built up around the historic park and "New" which is the city 12km away. SGH had mostly older couples staying (parents and uncles/aunts take note!) in the nice bungalows with verandas and a pretty garden. We took the plain (read cheap) room, went to the market, bought a DVD and watched a movie in the common area since there wasn't much to do in this small town.

The next day we rented some scooters and headed up the road to the old city. Images of the ruins are splashed across many advertisements of Thailand, even in restaurants back in Winnipeg and I was keen to see them in person. The historical park is a sprawling site and it's a good thing Julie figured we should rent the motorbikes. Strangely the visitor centre is poorly maintained and few of the sites had much information about them. But they did have 3D drawings of what they suppose the ruin looked like when first built – quite frankly ancient civilizations had a lot of time/money on their hands!

A guidebook said that the park is lit up at night creating a neat effect. We hung around till dark, had supper at small restaurant and drove back in to the park only to find it completely dark. Dammit. So we headed home.

If anyone’s ever rode a bike at dusk then they know how bugs get in your face. We never did find cheap sunglasses to ride the bikes so tonight we used the plastic sleeve that our cutlery came in at the restaurant. Julie’s head’s a bit smaller than mine so the plastic wrapped around perfectly to cover her eyes. Dorky, perhaps. Effective, yes!

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