Monday, 24 February 2014
After missing out on the sunrise in Sukhothai yesterday, I did get up on time today and almost managed it on time but the bus over there took a bit longer than I thought.
Still, I got there just after the sunrise and managed to get the photos I wanted in the central section of the park. Since I spent enough time wandering around here yesterday, I knew exactly where I wanted to go for what kind of photos in the morning.
Once I was done with the photos in the central section, I decided to head to the north section of the park and see some of the temples there.
Well, while the temples in the north section are nice it felt a bit like more of the same and the walk there was not really worth it. At least most of them are free, with exception of Wat Si Chum where they want to charge you 100 Baht (the same price as you pay for the whole central section!).
Since I didn't feel like paying that much for just one temple after spending enough time seeing all other temples, I headed back to the bus and to New Sukhothai for lunch.
In hindsight, if I would not have been that lazy to get up yesterday, I could have done everything in Sukhothai in one day.
After having lunch, I walked to the bus station to get my bus back to Phitsanulok. While my train for Chiang Mai was only departing after midnight, the last bus to Phitsanulok would leave at 18:00 and there was nothing more for me to do or see in Sukhothai.
I arrived in Sukhothai half an hour before sunset and after leaving my luggage at the station and getting my train ticket sorted, I had enough time to visit the temples in Phitsanulok.
After my night train, I should arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning and spend a few days there before heading to Chiang Rai and back.
Overall, I would say Sukhothai is a must see destination while in Thailand but do stay in the old part of town and you wont need more than one day there if you go for the sunset when you arrive from Phitsanulok and sunset the morning after before leaving for Phitsanulok again. You should also not need to rent a bike or spend your time with the other areas apart from the central area, this is unless you have to see every single temple.
Sunday, 23 February 2014
At first I planned to get up and head to the park for sunrise but I needed some sleep and decided to bring my blog up to date. This meant I only got to the park at around lunchtime rather than the morning.
The park is split in 4 sections, the main Central section, a South, North and West section and the museum, all cost extra so you need to decided what you want to see.
Since I didn't exactly know what would expect me and how big everything is, I decided to focus only on the Central section given the time but declined the offer to rent a bike and figured I needed some exercise anyway.
Since I only focused on the Central section where all the best parts are anyway and the central part was not huge, it meant I could take my time and try different angles and perspectives for everything.
A lot of people rent bikes but it is small enough to comfortably walk it even in the heat it's not a big problem.
The park itself is quite impressive and reminded me a lot of Angkor Wat and Ayutthaya (but bigger than Ayuthaya), you have quite a lot to see and all the different temples have their own design and different statues.
Since I missed the sunrise, I decided to stay for the sunset instead but overall given the way most temples and statues face, sunrise seems to be the best time for taking photos. This means I will be here for the sunrise tomorrow for some more photography.
A word of warning for everyone wanting to stay for the sunset and decided to stay in new Sukhothai like me, the last bus leaves at 18:00 and afterwards you have to pay 5x the price for a tuk-tuk or walk the 12km.
In hindsight, I would have just stayed in old Sukhothai as there are enough places to stay and eat there and there is nothing to be gained by staying in new Sukhothai.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
I left my hotel early in the morning to get the 8:30 express train to Phitsanulok, I had enough time for some photography in the way to the station though and was happy to come across the street full of parked tuk-tuks.
The train arrived in Phitsanulok around lunchtime and only 20 minutes later than scheduled. Since I had a small meal included in my train ticket, I did not need to stop for lunch and headed straight for the bus station to go to Sukhothai.
Not quite sure why now that I am here but I decided to stay in New Sukhothai so 12 km away from the Historical Park an the Old Sukhothai.
By the time the bus arrived in New Sukhothai, I checked in to my hotel and headed back out it was already after half past 4 so not worth heading to the park anymore.
Instead I decided to walk around New Sukhothai and check out the weekend market and sample some of the different juices and foods there.
The evening was spent taking it easy and wandering around the market some more before people were packing up.
Tomorrow will be all about the Old Historic Sukhothai so be prepared to see (way too many) photos of old temples and statues.