We really enjoyed our time in Chiang Mai these past 4 weeks. We did our best to burrow into the day-to-day of living there and also see the local sites. But after almost a month it was time to move on to see more of Thailand.
We hired a van to drive us 4 hours South to the city of Sukhothai, partly to social distance but also because getting to this UNESCO World Heritage site is fairly challenging by train, bus or plane. Sukhothai lies 370 km (230 miles) NNW of Bangkok.
Why here? Sukhothai was the first ancient capital of the Kingdom of Thailand (Siam at the time) from the 13th to 15th centuries. It is where the Thai written language and architecture originated, where Buddhism came into common practice and where the Founding Father of the Thai Nation, King Ramkhamhaeng reigned. There are a number of monuments, sculptures, monasteries and temples still standing from that period which we hope to explore.
We arrived late afternoon, all a little weary from the long van ride. The landscape we passed was frequently national forests and interesting in many places. We passed rice paddies and as we traveled south, the geography changed to include more prominent rock features rather than the rolling mountains of the north.
We are staying in a very charming place which has one room bungalows dotted throughout the landscaped grounds. After we said hello to our herd of towel elephants and settled in, we took a quick (if you call 1km quick) walk into town. We’re looking forward to spending more time there, all we accomplished today was to grab some dinner and check things out in advance of our next couple days of exploration.