Sukhothai – Old and New

Sukhothai is six hours by bus north of Ayutthaya. It’s a good spot to break the journey to Chiang Mai (which is a further five and half hours) and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our guesthouse in Ayutthaya organised our bus tickets for us as well as the tuk tuk that took us to the bus stop out on the highway.

Waiting for a bus. Today we're off to Sukhothai! 6 hours away...

Waiting for the bus to Sukhothai to arrive from Bangkok.

We booked and paid for four seats, seeing as it was a long trip, but when the bus arrived from Bangkok there were only three seats left (plus two for two others) and they were scattered all over the bus. Lillian refused to sit alone next to a stranger so we ended up with a child on each lap (I got the lighter one) for at least half the journey. Not very happy about that but what can you do? Nobody offered to move so we could at least sit together. By the time we arrived in Sukhothai we had two seats together at the front plus one down the back.

Things improved in Sukhothai. I had booked a family room at Baan Georges Guesthouse and the owner came to pick us up for free from the bus station. The guesthouse turned out to be fabulous. Easily one of the best places we’ve stayed on the trip. It’s all fairly new and our family room had a big queen size four poster bed, a set of bunk beds, a fridge, hot water urn, tea and coffee, tv, air-con, wifi and breakfast included for 1000 baht ($AUD33.50). The bathroom was amazing with an actual shower cubicle and rain shower. And the swimming pool out the front was big and deep and warm. The included breakfast was substantial, with a choice off a menu, and was served on the roof-top terrace. I can’t rave enough about this place. They gave the kids stuffed toys to play with during our stay and books to read. It was really great and I was glad we had planned to stay four nights.

Baan George's Guesthouse Sukhothai

Baan George’s Guesthouse Sukhothai

Sukhothai is divided into Old Sukhothai and New Sukhothai which are about 12 or 13km apart. Old Sukhothai has the UNESCO site and some accommodation and restaurants but New Sukhothai is the main town. Our guesthouse was in New Sukhothai so the next morning we got one of the truck-buses that regularly shuttle between the two towns. It cost 30 baht each ($AUD1) and the kids were free.

From Dave's phone the other day.

The return truck-bus journey.

The truck dropped us at the entry to the Historical park right near some bike hire places. We got two big bikes (one with a little seat for Ed on the front) and a kids bike for Lil for 30 baht each for a day.

The Historical Park is divided into zones which each cost 100 baht to enter. We decided to concentrate on the main central zone that day. Cycling was fun!

cycling in Sukhothai

Dave and Ed cycle by (Lil in background)

happy rider

Happy if riding.

Lillian was not too happy about stopping to look at temples so we saw the main one and a couple of littler ones and the rest were viewed as we cycled by!

Ed and Mad Wat Mahathat

Ed and Mad at Wat Mahathat

one not so cooperative

One not so cooperative poser

On our second day in Sukhothai we had a rest from site-seeing and spent the day mostly around the guesthouse trying to get some things done with travel planning. That night there was a big once a week night market by the river so we had a wander there after dinner. Lil played a pop the balloon dart game but thankfully didn’t win a giant stuffed animal.

On Sunday we were back to site-seeing and decided to see the Northern Zone of the historical park. This time we got there by tuk tuk and visited two temples. The tuk tuks in Sukhothai are unlike any I’ve seen elsewhere. The passengers sit in front of the rider instead of behind or beside.

funny faces in a tuk tuk

Sukhothai Tuk Tuk

walking into Wat Si Chum

Walking into Wat Si Chum

offerings Wat Si Chum

Offerings at Wat Si Chum

carvings Wat Phra Phai Luang

Wat Phra Phai Luang

buddha overlooking Wat Phra Phai Luang

Buddha Overlooking Wat Phra Phai Luang

tired in the tuk tuk

Tired in the tuk tuk

Although we were in Sukhothai for four nights we only ate at two different places. Poo Restaurant used to be owned by our Guesthouse owner and we ate there the first night. The service was very friendly, and they had two cool wooden rocking things for the kids, but the food was just a bit bland. No spice at all. We ate there again for lunch on our rest day and again, it was fine but nothing amazing. The other three dinners were at Pai Restaurant which was really nice. Enough zing in the food and enough food to keep the kids happy. Plain spaghetti (split onto two plates), a chocolate shake (split into two glasses), and yummy spring rolls. All the Thai food we ate here was very good.

And that is about that for our time in Sukhothai. The guesthouse owner bought our bus tickets to Chiang Mai for us, and again drove us to the station for free.

We’re now in Chiang Mai, fighting off a bit of illness but enjoying being here again after visiting in 2005. But more on Chiang Mai another time!


4 Responses to “Sukhothai – Old and New”

  1. 1 Wheres Sharon? (Sharon) October 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Looks and sound great!! I’m wondering what you thought of Sukjothai compared to Ayutthaya?

    • 2 Madeline October 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      I preferred Sukhothai to Ayutthaya. The historical park is really nice and easy to cycle around (at least the central area) because there are not many cars. Ayutthaya was busier and sites were more spread out. New Sukhothai town itself was nothing really special but I loved our guesthouse!

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  1. 1 List 47/52 – Family Accommodation in Thailand | The places we go Trackback on November 24, 2013 at 2:44 am

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