Day 22 : 12th October 2019
Relaxed morning and saw a Sign board with “Incredible Breakfast” written and placed next to the dining area of the resort we are staying. Post my mandatory call to Sonal (in New Zealand and looked excited after finishing her first skydiving), went to the dining area and didn’t see anything incredible. After taking my place, they kept a bowl of honey with the honeycomb (different shape and looked like corn) sitting in the middle and a plate of something whitish in colour. I am not good in trying new things when it comes to food and took lots of fruits for breakfast.
Something made me look at the whitish stuff repeatedly and I thought of taking the risk by adding honey to it. You don’t need honey and the dish was sweet with some coconut pudding in the middle. It tasted like kozhukattai or Modak we make during Ganesh Chaturthi and asked one more from the host. Filled my stomach with some breads by adding honey and completed the breakfast with an excellent coffee (miss my morning tea for sure). It was definitely incredible breakfast for sure. It was hot in the morning and sure about it being hotter by noon.
We proceeded to “Sukhothai Historical Park” which used to be the capital city of Thailand in the past. This city was built in the middle of the 13th century by a king called “Pho Khun Si Inthrathit” who founded the Sukhothai dynasty. Considered to be a heritage site and entry fees of 100 Baht is collected. You have an option to walk around or take a cycle (10 additional baht) or take a buggy or electric car for an hour (430 Baht I believe was the charges for a car which can take 4 people) . We went for the buggy option and waited for the guide to arrive. Apparently he is the best in the town and does accompany important delegations coming from outside and written some books on Sukhothai. Young chap and speaks decent English and he arrived late (believe he would have fought the mosquitos or the drinks the previous night).
Naren drove one and Ganesh sir took charge of the other and we entered the park. You can use th entry ticket for multiple times during the day and it expires at 6 pm. King Inthrathit and his Son “King Ramkhamhaeng” built the city and ruled it for close to a century. Later it collapsed (number of principalities liberated themselves and declared independence) and again unity was brought back by the grandson of King Ramkhamhaeng. Believe Hinduism or Sanathana Dharma was the prevalent practice till King Ramkhamhaeng brought Thervada Buddhism into his kingdom.
The town was a planned city and the king built lots of ponds (water being sourced from a dam through pipes) along the temples or stupas. It would have been magnificent place to live during the 13th century and not sure how and when the city lost its beauty and charm. What we see now is more of reconstructed stupas and pillars by the “Fine arts department” and they have done a great job. The city wall is more of a mud mound surrounding the various temples and the entire city spreads across 70 square kilometer area. The temple or stupas inside the wall are beautiful and so is the case with the temple/Stupas outside the wall as well.
Some of the main attractions are “Wat Mahathat (principle temple of Sukhothai and means Temple of great relic), Wat Si Sawai (used to be Siva temple later converted into Buddhist temple and you can still see the base of a Linga) and Wat Sa Si (largest bell shaped stupa) “. Wonder how they brought the bricks and carved or designed laterite stone from outside (have been told the same story of not finding any such source in the near vicinity). Can find lots relevance or resemblance of Indian temples on the structure and carved images.
It was super hot and our buggy timing got over. The body can take more heat but decided to give it some rest. The car group proceeded to the old Sukhothai city (50 kms from here) and we headed to the resort. Back in the AC room and managed to sleep for couple of hours. Gave my super smelly riding jacket (and it has some dead flies or mosquitos as well) for a wash and spent some time eating popcorn and fruits.Got ready for the evening visit (illuminated) and reached the site at 5:20 pm. Decided to walk instead of any other transportation mode and covered myself with the repellent armour. Saw some ‘Ad” shooting happening and the attractive and beautiful costume made us reach the place.
Spent some time watching them and took selfies and Girls were blushing and eagerly posed for a picture with me(don’t be jealous). Spending time with knowledgeable people is always great and this evening time with a bunch of encyclopedias was great. Took good pictures during sunset and then later when it turned dark and feeling bad for not sharing everything with you all. My armour defended me from the barging mosquitos and I was happy for couple of hours. When the defence was breached, I could feel the pain and irritation.
Unfortunately I succumbed to the next mosquito army attack and got defeated and ran away from the battle area and started to bleed as well (because of the attack and subsequent treatment with my nails). Defeat accepted graciously. A visit to the park in the evening is a must but get yourself protected completely and be ready to defend yourself. One week with a good guide should be enough to see and understand the site and Sukhothai is a must visit place in Thailand. Got to see the new king portraits replacing the old king (who died couple of years back) and I like the old king and the inclusion or replacement can be seen on the currency notes as well.
Saw a sign board about some candle festival (for 10 days) happening in November and do see some relevance to it with our Diwali or Karthik month. Don’t know the exact relevance but definitely see the Indian influence on many places, calendar events and practices. Can keep writing more but not sure how people receive it and restricting it to the main points. My phone says “Not enough memory” and I have already taken 130 GB of pictures and videos. This is more than what I did during the “2018 Incredible India by Road trip ” by 50 GB. Possibly because of the gopro videos and transferred the entire collection to my laptop. Have enough memory to sustain the next 4 days of the onward journey and possibly enough for the return as well. Now the final stretch of 800 kms to be covered to reach the destination and hopefully we cover it as per the plan and schedule.
Note : ° Those who are reading my travelogue using “Incredible India by Road – 2018 Facebook page”, please check out my Instagram account or Facebook personal profile for videos. ° Wi-Fi speed is not great (better than India and Myanmar) and I am not sending lots of videos and pictures. Will start a YouTube channel later and add the unseen ones to it.