Thursday, July 2, 2015

Northern Thailand: Sukhothai

In the middle of our trip to Chiang Mai, we also made a quick trip to Sukhothai via a five-hour bus ride. We had planned on staying there for two full days, but because there isn't much to do in the city outside of the ruins, we left a day early and returned to Chiang Mai.

Sukhothai was an early kingdom that existed from the 1200s to the 1400s. Its capital, the ruins that we visited, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Instead of biking through the historical park, as originally planned, we hired a tuk tuk for the day to take us to all the sites of the ruins. It turned out to be a good plan as the ruins were fairly spread out. The ruins were in a number of different zones, and each zone required purchase of tickets. However, the two kids were free, and each of the three zones cost only 100 baht for adults.

The ruins were magnificent. I enjoyed these ruins even more than those in Ayutthaya: Not only was the main site in Sukhothai grander and more majestic than the main one in Ayutthaya, but Sukhothai was also practically free of visitors and tourists, making everywhere we went peaceful, quiet, and meditative. While the adults walked and reflected in silence among the ruins, our boys ran around and explored on their own, using their imagination and creativity to make up games and stories as they used the ruins as forts, hideouts, and whatever their imagination allowed. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely and are so glad we made it to this beautiful place before our departure.

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