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Captain Yeller's Treasure Book.

The fourteenth episode: Sukhothai.

THAILAND | Monday, 30 May 2016 | Views [273]

Before I start this story, after some talks with a german guy he introduced me to the GRAB app. This is some sort of Asian app like uber for taxis, cars and bikes. I did not used it yet but checked it out and it seems a very handy app. In case you travel to Asia in the near future this might be usefull.

Like usual I woke up early, checked out and noticed I had only 35 minutes left before my bus to Sukhothai left. I quickly stopped a red jeep/minivan, these are cheap taxis who drive all over Chiang Mai, and he got me to the bus station in about 20 minutes. You have terminal 1 and terminal 2, ofcourse I had to run in the wrong one. Crossed the street and ended up in the right one, just in time to buy my ticket and jump on the bus. 5 minutes before she left, good or lucky timing! I had no idea how long this busride would be. I picked a seat and just started daydreaming about my past experiences with a smile. Halfway I noticed my seat was loose and just put on a wooden plate which moved all the time. I really start to dislike long bus travels, it didn't take long until my ass started to hurt and this bus didn't seem to take a break. It took 6 hours to arrive to Sukhothai but what an entrance, driving along some of the things I wanted to visit, back to happy modus!

I jumped off the bus at the old city busstop and checked my google maps, a few 100 meters walking to my resort. This was another wonderful place, beautifully decorated, a beautiful pool, great restaurant and only one other guest. I booked a bed in a room for 2 people but I got lucky and got the room to myself. I decided to relax, take a swim and chill out the rest of the day since those long distance bustrips are killing me. Also have a skype moment with the home front. I had a tv and wanted to watch a movie but they only had news channels and I really don't wanna follow the news at all. A great meal in the restaurant and bedtime!

I decided to wake up early, get a great nice shower and breakfast, the resort offered bikes to rent but I decided that walking would be, its only a few kilometers big so should be fine. I walked to the entrance of the Sukhothai Historical Site and paid 100 baht, if you want to get in with a bike you pay 10 baht extra. I visited a small temple with columns, nothing that special but still cute. A little further I noticed another temple (yes this place is full of ruined temples) This one had a big ancient Pagoda, this one was already a bit more impressive but anyway I like all old ruins. I noticed a really big monument for the king but since it was kind of new I decided not to walk there and take the other side.

Its there that I walked towards the most beautiful and my favourite temple until now! This massive old ruined temple had so many different things to offer and was full of ancient Buddha statues and Pagodas. I walked thru the gate and wauw..! This is again one of the very happy moments, what a view! I spend more then an hour in this temple since I really loved every little thing about him, he seemed to offer everything. Its name is "Wat Mahathat" just google image for yourself and you'll get an idea. Just make sure you'll add Sukhothai to the name so you see the right one. Its better then writing down every detail. After enjoying all the beauty this one had to offer I walked out and on around 5 minutes walking I arrived at 3 big white towers, not sure if they are Pagodas, sadly enough they were surrounded by walls and I did not get close to them. I enjoyed the view and walked on, thru the trees to some sort of lake with again a small temple with columns and a Buddha, I walked around the whole park, visited many of temples in about 4 hours.

It was quite a hot day and I decided to take a break and walk back to the resort. Just after leaving the park I looked at the map and noticed a gigantic Buddha figure on a wall without a head, I changed my mind and ask directions, only a few km's of walking but outside the park. I walk thru half the park, cross the city walls and all I had to do was follow one long road for around 2km. It didn't take long until my friends the asian dogs showed up, come running to me and try to scare me away. I just walked on the same as my former confrontations with them and it worked, for now.. 5 minutes later I have another meeting with my local friendly dogs who decided to surround me with 4, show their teeth and their hair straight up on their backs, slowly getting closer. I can't tell you how much I love those moments.. A local noticed what was happening and came to the resque but I decided that was enough dogs for today and gave up on that temple, call it a day. I walked back to the park and when I was crossing the city walls I bumped in my first wild scorpion, around 10cm big and black. This creature seemed to be more scared then me and run away, not even 10 meters further I bumped in to my first meeting with a snake, around 80cm I guess and dark grey or silver looking, she also decided to make way for me. I never expected to feel more relaxed around scorpions and snakes then around local dogs! Anyway that was the last confrontation with animals until my resort.

I went back to my room to relax a but in the airco, had a little swim and then looked at the map again and put some of the interesting spots on google and I noticed another wonderful temple. I had it with all the dog experiences and this one was also a few km's out of town but I decided to go for it anyway, I'm here now so I should enjoy it. I walked back to the park entrance and talked to a Tuktuk driver, he asked me 200 baht for visiting 2 temples and a drive back to my resort. No chance I'm paying that so I walked on and saw a bike rental shop just over the entrance. I decided to rent a bike. Haha, what a great choice! Cycling around Sukhothai, loving this! A lot more temples popped up and I had that happy wonderful feeling again, I also noticed that dogs don't seem to care about people on bikes, they only annoy walking strangers. Another important Thai lesson learned. Since I did a lot of stops it took me about 20 minutes to arrive at my temple, I had to pay again since you seem to need to pay for the central park, the right side and the left side seperate, another 100 baht but anyway I was in front of a magical temple.

What made this temple so special is that its a small building with inside a massive Buddha statue, the building had a big upside down V entrance where you can catch a glimps of the Buddha state inside but only a small glimps, like hes hiding and watching you. The top of his head also peaks outside a gap in the roof. I paid my entrance walked towards it and wauw, another magical wonder to observe. I spend around 15 minutes there, taking pictures, enjoying the view until a local girl comes inside, the started to do some praying rituals, very passionate. When she was done I asked her if I should take some pictures for her, since she was alone and it seemed very special for her. She was very happy and I tried to give her some great pictures. She thanked me with a Buddhist ritual, something with the gold of the hands of the Buddha, touching her forehead first and then put some of those golden things on my forehead. I didn't expect this to happen at all but it felt very special. We said goodbye and both took our own paths.

My bike was waiting and it became late so I slowly drove back to the bike shop but along a different way and I bumped into another big temple, I never made it to the big Buddha image temple at the other side but lucky as I am this temple had the same thing. I parked my bike and I was completly alone here, I walk in the temple to enjoy that big Buddha image and I notice my bike was missing. How could that be, I was completly alone here, not looking forward to walk back! I walk back toward the entrance only to notice I was looking at the wrong bike parking, dumbass! So back to visiting some more of this temple and see some sort of a sunset, drive back to the bike shop, return the bike. On the way back to the resort I stopped at the bus station and bought myself a ticket to Bangkok for the next morning. I end this day with another great meal and enjoy my private room.

I will end this story here and wonder if I'll write the Bangkok part or not since I didn't really enjoy it that much. I might just put the highlights in the extra story combined with the new destination as that one seems to be much more interesting and promising, we shall see. Until then!

 

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