Ancient Empires and Classic Breakdowns

Trip Start Dec 22, 2009
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Trip End Jun 22, 2010


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, March 18, 2010

As you or may not know we've become quite the migrant travelers at this point…but we were having so much fun in Bangkok that we didn't want to think of leaving to see other cities, we were happy with what we'd see seen so far. After kicking around a few ideas we decided we'd still try to cover some ground by making our way north overland and then flying south for some much needed R&R.

Getting to Sukhothai, the ancient capital of the Thai empire was simple. We ordered the taxi driver shuttle us to the bus terminal, purchased two VP bus tickets to Sukhothai and boarded out first double decker bus  destination bound. On the bus we chose to sit in the downstairs quarters were a small Thai lady came by and handed us a bottled water and a bag containing breakfast/snacks for us to eat. In front was a small television showcasing strange music videos that screamed over our heads. We buckled down for our ride and found us ourselves arriving in the Sukhothai bus terminal in record time. Our trusty Tripadvisor recommended hotel, Ruen Thai, noted we could call upon arrival and they would pick us up and shuttle us to the hotel.

Upon offloading the bags we were once more pleased to see this place wasn't a shithole. On the contrary it was beautifully decorated and surrounded by lush green gardens. The room we were issued was very nice and had everything and more than we could ask for.  









 









 
Once we realized it was still quite early in the day we took to ask how we could go about maybe visiting the ruins. The young man in the front desk informed me that the ruins we broken up into three sets, the main ruins being held in the central  area. We concluded that we could actually cover some ground and see something with what remained of the day. Here's how it went: take hotel shuttle to bus stop, here flat bed pick-up truck with a roof and backseat benches  awaits you and drives you across the city to the old ruins on the other side of town.  These communal  taxis are a new concept for us, but are quite common in Thailand, we make our way progressing slowly as the driver watches both sides of the road for other potential riders. After an almost hour long journey we descend the back  and pay 6 Thai baht   to the driver. Next, we are quickly approached by a young girl offering us a bike for rent, yes please, we've been advised to explore the ruins onboard a rented bike.


 
We both board our beach cruisers and set for the ruins. Within minutes of riding we arrive at the front where we are asked to purchase our tickets, 100 baht to see the central ruins and 15baht for bringing in your bike . With our tickets we set towards the nearby ruins which can be seen in the not so far distance. A couple more pedals and we are there! Wow, this place is incredible we are surrounded by ancient red brick walls and enormous Buddha statues. This place is a breath of fresh air in the midst of all of the ruins we'd been seeing for the last 3 weeks. We take to see everything recommended and make a couple of rounds on the bikes. Upon exhausting what there is to see in the central ruins we decide we will see the remaining sights tomorrow before heading to our next destination. We return our bikes and board another truck back to the city, at the end of the route we get dropped off and loose our way back to the hotel. After making way across multiple blocks and asking several people to help direct us we step into a squeaky clean internet café to look it up on google maps. Before we knew it we were offered  a ride by the kind owners who proudly stated we were some of their first customers as they had just opened the café on that very same day. After riding for less than five minutes we realized we were just 2 blocks shy of the hotel…A cool dip in the swimming pool later we headed down for a delcious meal of green curry and before calling it a night.



 


 











 

 
The next morning we lazily rolled out of bed and prepared to check out before breakfast. Fresh fruit, delicious breads and thai noodles, yes please!  With a full belly we head back on the same route to finish up what we had started the day before. After going through all of the motions and making our way to the front gate, we realize we are just 5 Thai Baht short of the entry price and they won't budge…unhappy I sit and wait as Adam jumps on the bike and heads for the nearest ATM. Twenty minutes later he arrives and by this point I had concluded that this was a complete waste of our time and was not in a very pleasant mood. I hand the reception kiosk attendant the money and  specifically state we want to visit the East ruins . We pedal our hearts out and make for the second giant Buddha and adjoining ruins. Upon our arrival I am asked to purchase another ticket, I hand over the ticket purchased just prior and the young lady says that is the not the right ticket!!!Multiple attempts to communicate with the non-English  speaking  reception and one translation later I begrudgingly  handed over 200 baht to see the ruins. By this point I am fuming and not Adam's favorite person we angrily pace around to see what there is to see. As we made our way out onboard our bikes,  I motioned to drive left to finish up the circuit. Since Adam was not pleased with me at this point he turned right…I happily rode to see the final sights on my own and upon concluding turned back on the original path anticipating to be met my Adam  either at the front gate or at the bike shop. As I passed the front of the west ruins I am met by an ogre named Adam " the goat" Maingot who is apparently not pleased with me, I stop the bike to speak to him and he flings his under him and rushes over to grab me and scald me for going off on my own. He reams me for going off on my own with no money, phone etc  and assures me I am not allowed to go on my own anymore. A very quiet ride back and Pad Thai later he apologizes for his bad temper and assures me he realizes this is unnecessary behavior regardless of the circumstances. This was the one and only time I have ever seen Adam blow a fuse. On that note we close the entry on a long and drawn out bus ride up to Chaing Mai!
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Comments

Dixie Hernandez on

I couldn't help but laugh, picturing the two of you tired and disgusted at the ruins and Laura just pedaling off on her bike, as Adam became enraged. One thing I know for sure-Adam is his Fathers son-and this is a typical Maingot trait-we care very much for those we love-but if we become worried -watch out-though I consider this trait as a form of endearment-as he obviously loves you so much-and doesn't want anything to happen to you! I love you both and am glad you were safe this whole trip!

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