Wat Sorasak , where elephants come out of nowhere from the walls of a huge structure. Sukhothai is indeed a photographer’s paradise, a peaceful place where one can enjoy just being with Buddha. It has left me bewildering more about Buddha’s philosophy and to learn the ways to seek peace within myself.
The ticket is for 100 bhat which is valid for one day, so you may explore the site from early morning to late evening. There are food options in the park, but it gets too hot in the mid-day. So I decided to do a morning and an evening session, skipping the hot day between for a swimming in the resort pool. A well planned one full day is enough, as I don’t think another 350 baht should be spent on day2. Study the map well a day before you start and you might get time to visit your favorite spots twice to take the pictures of dawn and dusk.
Entrance fees into Sukhothai Historical Park
· Entrance to Sukhothai Historic park = 100 baht
· Bicycle surcharge = 10 baht
· Mystery all section ticket = 350 baht (if you can find the right person)
The park is open from 6am-18.00. Keep in mind the bicycle shops closed between 17.30 and 18.00 too.
Sukhothai Old and New City
This little pocket of Thailand is split into two towns: the old and new. Most guest houses are located in the New Sukhothai – a small town full of friendly people and smiling faces. The new town has more options of stay, eateries and bars. The ruins are in old city; so both the places have its advantages and disadvantages. Well, I decided to stay close by the ruins so that I didn’t miss on beautiful sunrise and sunset in the park
There are many budget options to stay in the new town, but I was perfectly happy being in a comfortable resort LeCharme which was so Thai in its ways except the French name. The resort was just 2 kms away from the ruins and it was a perfect option if you want to come back during mid-day by cycling around. I woke up with the pink lotus pond in front of my room. It was like a vivid dream for me, as we don’t see many lotuses often in India despite it being our national flower. The wooden setting of rooms and bridges give it a very Thai and ancient look to match up the mood. The restaurant and pool are good enough to serve the luxury I deserved after the long day. And I couldn’t be happier with the in-house food at restaurant. Thailand is indeed a paradise for food lovers, you don’t have to think twice about the money you spend on food and drink as it’s all very affordable. They do have a Thai massage option as well, just by the pool side. I became a fan of their complimentary breakfast, especially banana fritters.
If you chose to stay in the new city, don’t miss out on the fresh markets and street food. You get almost everything on sticks, different types of sausages, chicken and barbequed eggs. The street desert is crispy crepes made of egg. Visit the local market to see the fresh and raw food and you might find some delicious readymade curries ready to eat. Sukhothai noodles is a must try in dream café.
How to get to Sukhothai
Buses from Bangkok take approximately 6-7 hours departing from Bangkok’s northern bus terminal at Mo Chit. Buses from Chiang Mai’s Arcade bus station take approximately 5.5 hours.
Trains from Bangkok or Chiang Mai go to Phitsanulok (listen for Thai people saying ‘Pee-Lok’ as an abbreviated version of the name) from where you need to transfer to a bus. The bus journey between Phitsanulok and Sukhothai takes an hour and departs at regular half-hourly intervals throughout the day.
Best time to visit Sukhothai
I probably visited Sukhothai when It was not so good time to be there in hot April but I still enjoyed being there with a cap, cotton shirt, sun glasses and a pack of sunscreen. The evenings were pleasant and an air-conditioned room helped me to survive the day heat. Like any other place in Thailand, it is best to visit from October to February. But I can imagine it would be a pretty sight even in the rains. The park was clean and roads were smooth, so it would be fun to ride bi-cycle in the rains.
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