We arrived in Sukhothai around 6pm in the evening. The bus journey although long was easy. I was also intrigued by all the birds I saw as we approached our destination. There seemed to be loads of Stalk or Crain like birds flying around. I continued to see lots of these birds for the rest of our stay. In Sukhothai we were staying at a hotel and had two double rooms, the grand total for the 2 nights for two rooms was a massive £27 between the 4 of us. After we had checked into the hotel and dropped off our bags we headed out to get some food. Now the hotel was perfectly located by the bus station but was quite away from anything else. Ollie had found a place to eat in town and said we should walk which we did. The walk took around 25 minutes down several main roads, for some reason we declined a tuk tuk ride almost as soon as the journey started, a decision we later regretted. After the long walk, we arrived in the heart of town and settled down for some dinner. After dinner, we stocked up from the local 7 eleven and then found a tuk tuk to give us a lift back to the hotel. This cost us all of 50 baht, just over £1.
The next day we awoke early with the aim of leaving the hotel around 9am to head to the old city of Sukhothai which was about a 20-minute, 14km journey from the new city. We decided the best way to get around was on mopeds and seeing as the hotel offered them to rent for the day our decision was made. We hired two mopeds for the day which cost 200 baht per ped (£4). Now I’d never ridden a moped or any kind of motorised bike before (rode a quad a few times) so was a little apprehensive. We decided to take a few practise laps around the bus station before moving out onto the main road. Ollie was paired with Fred for the day and I was with Conner. Fred and Ollie had ridden before so were fine. I also took to it like a duck to water and had the hang of it very early on. Conner, on the other hand, struggled a little shall we say. He was alright once going but stopping and starting were his downfall. He therefore decided to let me drive for the day which I must admit I was a little relieved about after seeing his attempts. Once we had tested out the bikes we headed to the old village a short 20-minute ride away down the main road. This was good fun and a nice way to ease us into riding the peds. Just before the old town we stopped at a little temple on route and had a quick wander around. Here while purchasing some fish food to throw into the lake that surrounded the temple Freddie got shit on by some small bird all in his hair. The 3 of us found this hilarious, Fred, on the other hand, wasn’t so amused. After Fred had de-pooed his hair we chucked the food into the water and were astounded by the number of catfish which were present in the lake. There must have been thousands in the whole lake and some of them were large. I reckon you could go fishing there with your bare hands and still catch one every minute. After the brief stop, we finished off the short journey to the old historical park. Once at the old town, we parked up the peds and set off to explore the old ruin temples. The area was big but we covered most of it on foot over the period of a couple of hours exploring all the old ruin temples which were really cool. They were also in the process of setting up for the big Loy Krathong festival that is occurring on the 21st of November in Thailand, we shall be experiencing this in Chiang Mai.
After having explored the temples for a couple of hours it was time for some lunch, so we hopped back on the bikes and headed back to town for a cheap bite to eat. We picked up lunch for around £1 and once again it was lovely. After lunch, we chose to go on a little bike tour but there really wasn’t too much to see here other than the old town. We did quickly take a tour into the new town and stopped very briefly at a few of the new temples in the town, but they weren’t really that exciting. I even let Conner drive us the short way into town but soon regretted that decision when he was flying through the traffic. After establishing that there really wasn’t that much to do here we ended up riding back to the old town and then further on past this a little way. We were then going to cut left into the national park but were stopped and asked to pay entry. We agreed we didn’t fancy doing this so basically just took a long scenic route back to our hotel all down back roads looking out into the countryside which was nice. I even let Conner take over the driving duty halfway through the scenic route back to town seeing as the roads were dead. Here he finally started to get the hang of it and is getting better. Although we have now established that in the future if cheap enough we shall probably be hiring one bike per person as I think everyone enjoys riding the bike more than sitting on the back, plus for me anyway I like having my life in my own hands haha.
After the days exploring we headed back into the town making the short 5-minute drive to get some dinner. Here we had duck noodle soup that Ollie had spotted the day before and it was delicious. For 50 baht, just over £1 we had a big bowl of the soup. The duck was so delicious and succulent. It seems to be that the best food comes from the small little street sellers, we sat eating our dinner on the side of the road in some old plastic chairs after a Chinese man and wife had produced this amazing dish off the back of their little street cart. I’ve been really impressed with the food in Thailand so far, the value for money is exceptional and the flavour is amazing. To add to this for breakfast both days was a little restaurant just outside the hotel we stayed at, it didn’t look much but the Thai lady who ran the place was lovely, she even offered to open back up one night to cook us dinner when we were all a little peckish. Both morning for breakfast we ate there and had either chicken and rice or pork and rice. Again, this sounds so simple, but the sauce and flavour were amazing. So much so that this morning I had two. The portion sizes are on the small side but for the price of 35 baht each around 75p it hardly breaks the bank even if you were to have 4. Sorry for the little sidetrack, but basically after the duck noodle soup we had to re-fill the bikes before returning them so stopped off on our way back to the hotel at the local garage. Here we filled our tanks for £1 each, although I’m not sure how much we used as the fuel gauge seemed broken.
We are now on the bus heading north to Chiang Mia after our short stay in Sukhothai. We knew there wasn’t much to do here but it was nice to break up the journey north and it was good fun on the mopeds. We originally were meant to depart at 5.30 pm this evening from the next village over (around an hour away) as I couldn’t find any buses online. However, this morning we went to the bus station and found a bus leaving for Chiang Mai at 13.40 from right outside the hotel. We decided to just pay the 207 baht (£4) for the bus and leave earlier. It did mean the bus we previously paid about £8 for we no longer needed but it just made life a lot easier and means we would be in Chiang Mai at a much more reasonable time. Also losing £8 isn’t that much of a problem. We will now be staying in Chiang Mai for just over a week to ensure we catch the Loy Krathong festival which should be amazing. Also, we have our own 4-bed dorm and our hostel has a pool (all for £4 a night) so we are very much looking forward to sometime chilling out!
Apologies for the delay internet has been a bit rubbish!