AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Sukhothai: Si Satchanalai

We had booked two days in Sukhothai, the first for cycling around the historical city of Sukhothai, but the second day wasn’t so easy to fill. We had booked two days because one day in Sukhothai didn’t sound like enough time to properly explore, so we added another day and then played it by ear once there.

Apart from the historical city there is nothing else to see or do in Sukhothai (that we could find). This probably explains the huge drop in tourist numbers. In Bangkok and Chiang Mai it was heaving with Aussies, Americans and many Europeans (plenty of Brits too), but in Sukhothai only the French and a few Germans had made the effort to visit.

The only other interesting attraction in the area was the historical city of Si Satchanalai. This is located about 30 miles north of Sukhothai. Cue another long moped journey. We found a guesthouse (TR Guesthouse) which does moped hire in Sukhothai, for 200 baht (£3.70), even better it was only a 3 minute walk from our guesthouse.

The ride was tougher than others we’d taken on this trip (this is the 5th day we’ve hired a moped out of about 80 days of travelling); the wind was far stronger making it incredibly loud and a bit wobbly at times. So we cruised at about 30mph and after an hour or so we arrived. Mopeds are fine for city riding, they are great for weaving through traffic and speeding away from traffic lights, but on longer journeys they are just annoying. As we rode down the small road into the historical park area we saw a restaurant and stopped for lunch. Two main meals, two Cokes and a bottle of water for £2.

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Si Satchanalai was inhabited at the same time as Sukhothai and followed the same plan as most cities in this region did. Lots and lots of Wats, plenty of Chedi (no idea what the plural is of chedi), which is the Thai word for a Stupa. Also in keeping with other historical cities in Southeast Asia only the temples were built from stone, all the other buildings of this vast city were made of wood and have long since rotted away leaving just the lonely remains of the many temples.

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Andrew on Moped

We rode the moped around the site and then explored the larger ruins on foot, climbing many as possible.

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We then rode back to Sukhothai, taking it even easier this time to conserve fuel. I wanted to do the trip on just one tank of fuel and we had used just over half getting there and riding around, we got to about 10km out of town before I gave in to the needle pointing to empty and pulled over for fuel (£1.80 filled the tank).

I had downloaded an android app which had information about Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai. It had a map of the sites and a brief introduction to each major temple and area, which it could also read that information out loud like an audio guide, so we could listen and wander. This at least give is a very basic idea about how old each building was and its purpose. The app is called Creative Journey and requires a lot more work as it crashed on me very often, but it’s a good direction to be heading.

We had a pretty good day wandering the almost deserted site.

As usual all photos from the day can be viewed here.

Posted from Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai, Thailand.

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