We find ourselves about 7 hours north of Bangkok, in a town called Sukhothai, which was the originally capital of the kingdom in the 12th and 13th centuries. The area is definitely farm country, and from the bus we saw all manner of farms and fields growing mainly rice, but also with a smattering of sugar cane, tobacco and corn (why they grow corn here when we sometimes pay farmers not to grow corn is a bit of a mystery to me, but farm politics is murky the world over I guess).
The town is small-ish (30,000 or so) and home to one of the country’s World Heritage sites, the ruined temples of the old city. Thankfully it’s a bit cooler here, which was key during our all-day bike trip. Our tour was wonderful, providing a lot of very pertinent and interesting information about what we saw and the equipment was brand new Trek bikes.
The ruins, which I had not visited during prior trips to Thailand, were terrific, and the sites well preserved and maintained. They reflect the varied religious history of the area: some Buddhist and Hindu influences, mixed from the periods of various neighboring civilizations’ rule over the centuries.
We are staying in another home-run find of Jenn’s, the Baan Georges guest house. We have a large, nicely decorated family room for a couple of nights, and the place includes a pool, a first for us on this trip. The Belgian proprietor spent a few minutes with us on his third floor balcony, sharing a bit of his story with us. He has a beautiful spot, and has done a very nice job outfitting his hotel.