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Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Sukhothai Historical Park.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

May 2015.

At the end of May I decided it was time to say goodbye to the south of Thailand. Having re-entered the country for another thirty days following my adventures in Singapore and Malaysia, I had intended on spending a few more weeks island hopping.

But all it took was a disappointing stay on Ko Tao for me to change my mind. A stay informed by ubiquitous construction, a persistent stomach bug and an increasing sense of apathy. In fact, the whole experience left me so cold I haven’t even bothered to write Ko Tao up on these pages of mine. Not enough photos, not enough tales. Just meh.

Visit Ko Tao island in Thailand.

Ko Tao. Gorgeous but…

As beautiful as the south of Thailand is with its gorgeous beaches, stunning rock formations and delicious sea views, I realised that I had much preferred exploring the country’s rich and varied north. Thus I packed myself up and boarded an overnight bus back to Bangkok. After a few days chilling at The Heritage Hotel I set off on what would be the final leg of my Thai exploits.

Thailand travel guide

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

My first stop was the city of Sukhothai, capital of The Siam Empire back in the 13th century. The bus journey should’ve taken around six hours. But, as was so often the case, Thailand had other plans. Three hours into the journey the bus broke down and the driver ordered myself and all the other passengers out onto the side of the highway in the heart of god-knows-where.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Broken down bus in Thailand.

Oh dear.

It was not a fun day. Following an hour hiding from the fierce sun in a patch of shade, we were told to board a passing bus bound for Chiang Mai. On that bus I had to stand for 45 minutes until the driver ejected us in a city called Nakhon Sawan. From there another tedious hour passed. After which, much to my surprise, our original bus showed up with a “fixed engine”. Or so the ticket lady said.

Stranded in Thailand broken down bus.

NOT one of my endearing encounters.

By the time we rolled up in Sukhothai it was early evening and I only just made it to my hotel, Hang Jeng Guesthouse, before nightfall. The digs were ok, nothing to write home about. Perfectly serviceable though for putting my head down at the end of a long day’s exploring for each of my two nights in the town.

Hang Jeng Guesthouse Sukhothai Thailand

Arrival in Sukhothai.

I should probably come clean at this point and admit that I had initially decided to skip Sukhothai. You see, back in April I’d spent several days exploring the breathtaking Ayutthaya Historical Park. Situated five hours south of Sukhothai, the park displays the ruins of Ayutthaya, Siam’s second capital city from 1351 to 1767.

A Tale of Two Siamese Capitals.

Travel guide Ayutthaya Historical Park

Blinded by history (oh and the sun!) in Ayutthaya.

Sukhothai, founded in 1238, had actually been Siam’s first capital. After I’d visited Ayutthaya my thinking had been: Hm, do I really need to see the ruins of ‘both’ ancient capitals? Nah.

However, one month later I found myself doing a complete u-turn. First, I remembered how much I’d loved the Ayutthaya ruins. Moreover, Sukhothai felt like the perfect opportunity to break up what would’ve been an extremely long journey to Chiang Mai.

Map of Sukhothai Historical Park.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

I set off the next morning on foot with a spring in my step, excited by the prospect of the day ahead. Declared a World Heritage site by my old friend UNESCO, the remains of old Sukhothai sit in a walled compound. The park runs for around 2 kilometres, east to west, roughly 1.6 kilometres north to south.

Wat Mahathat Sukhothai Historical Park.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Packed with just under 200 ruinous structures, there is much to see. On my visit to Ayutthaya I’d been intent on crossing off every single site. In contrast, this time I felt much calmer about the whole thing. I was just going to stroll, enjoy the greenery and stop at those specific sites that truly piqued my interest.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

The history of Sukhothai Historical Park.

A peaceful afternoon walk.

The park was absolutely beautiful, with spotless lawns, all manner of exotic trees and scattered lilypad-clad ponds. In front of one such pond I hit a bench and sucked up some Sukhothai history on my phone. Its story was a typically topsy turvy one. According to those in the know, the city was first called Sukhodaya, a sizeable settlement of the Khmer Empire.

Visit Sukhothai Historical Park.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Later, in around 1180, it fell into the hands of The Mons, an ethnic group of Lower Myanmar. Their rule lasted until 1239 when a group of Thai noblemen and generals, including a warrior called Pha Mueang, successfully invaded. This new kingdom, christened Sukhothai, rapidly expanded, sparking what many Thai historians believe was “the birth of the Thai nation”. 

Beautiful pond in Sukhothai Historical Park/

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

With this dramatic imagery in mind, I came across my first ruin of the day. And it just happened to be the park’s dazzling centrepiece, Wat Mahathat. Constructed between 1292 and 1357, this was the Sukhothai Kingdom’s largest and most impressive temple.

Wat Mahathat.

Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai Thailand.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Designed to represent the universe, the compound’s name roughly translates as Temple of the Great Relic. A reference to the fact that one of its stupas once housed a number of Buddha relics. I thought that the name sounded familiar and, after a quick look through my phone, realised that I also visited a Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya Historical Park. Small world and all that.

Explore Sukhothai Historical Park in Thailand

Wat Mahathat.

Apparently there would have been between 300-400 Buddha sculptures in and around the temple back in the day. Today that number hovers around the 170 mark. Many sit with their eyes closed, their hands clasped together in meditation. Others, like this guy pictured below, present a raised hand called Abhaya Mudra. It symbolises benevolence, peace and an absence of fear.

Giant Buddha Wat Mahathat Sukhothai Thailand

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

As a visceral experience this felt like Ayutthaya Historical Park mark II. Or mark I even, as the history goes. But already at that first temple I realised that Sukhothai’s collection of ruins were no less impressive. And how it was astounding that these sculptures had survived the centuries.

Exploring Sukhothai Historical Park.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Next, I came across a monument in tribute to King Ramkhamhaeng The Great. With a reign that lasted nineteen years (1279-1298) this guy wasn’t just any old king. Because it was he who, experts say, created the Thai alphabet and established Theravada Buddhism as the kingdom’s religion. Not a bad shift I’d say.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Monument of King Ramkhamhaeng The Great

He made an alphabet.

Nearby, I stopped for a quick look in another temple ruin, Wat Sa Si. Accessed via a short wooden bridge spanning a lovely lotus pond, it practically begged me to go in and explore.

Wat Sa Si.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

So far I had encountered not a single soul throughout the park. And Wat Sa Si proved no different as I moved quietly between the stupas, Buddhas and sections of crumbly walls. The temple sprang up sometime in the late 14th century.

Wat Sa Si Sukhothai Historical Park.

Wat Sa Si.

Historians reckon King Maha Thammaracha I ordered its creation as his final resting place. His reign played out from 1347 until his death in 1368. As the grandson of King Ramkhamhaeng (alphabet creator), he became the first Buddhist philosopher to write important national texts in the newly laid out Thai language.

Wat Sa Si Thailand.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

One of my favourite enclosures was Wat Si Sawai, a late 12th century temple that stands as one of the park’s oldest ruins. As a result, the remains themselves are a bit sparse. But boy oh boy were there some absolutely stupendous trees to enjoy. Take this lush beauty, for example, pictured below.

Wat Si Sawai.

Amazing tree Sukhothai Historical Park.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Or these mesmerising strangler fig trees with their twisted roots.

Buddha Banyan tree Sukhothai Historical Park Thailand

Wat Si Sawai.

Oozing a fairytale charm, local monks and domestic tourists decorate the roots with little Buddha statuettes. They sit quite delicately, balanced on flat slabs of stone and rock. Their presence channels a sense of positive energy, peace and prosperity.

Buddha statuettes in a Banyan tree Sukhothai Historical Park

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Another distinct ruin was that of Wat Sorasak, a small temple with a chedi guarded by elephants. This one dates back to 1412, with both the chedi and its beasts made of brick and stucco. There are 24 of the trunked protectors around the tower. White elephants were (and indeed are) rare, so any specimens discovered usually ended up as gifts to the king.

Wat Sorasak Sukhothai.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

By mid afternoon I’d stumbled upon what was clearly a modern structure near the park’s northern gate. Its name (and brace yourself here) is Pra Phutta Siwi Manrawichai. Try saying that with a mouthful of noodles. Despite plenty of digging around online, I couldn’t find any info about it at all.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Colourful temple Sukhothai Historical Park

A shiny new (ish) prayer hall.

Inside, I found a shiny new prayer hall with a simple shrine and gorgeous paintings from Buddhist mythology. It was perfectly empty, the sound of my own footsteps echoing around me as sunshine poured in through the open doors and windows.

Inside a temple at Sukhothai Historical Park

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

If the day had ended there I’d have had no complaints. However, little did I know that the most memorable part of my Sukhothai experience was about to begin. You see, as I slowly made my way towards an exit gate, I found myself caught up in a delightful series of endearing encounters.

It started with a giant school group who’d come to the park on a field trip. Suddenly, one of the teachers called me over and asked if I would address the kids. Basically say a few words about why I was in Thailand and what I thought of Sukhothai.

School field trip Sukhothai Historical Park.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Unsure as to what was needed, I reeled off a few complimentary sentences. Happily I received a solid round of applause, embellished by a few whoops. After, around a dozen kids ran over to greet me. Some shook my hands and asked my name. Others pulled on my sleeves and, clearly bewildered by me, even stroked the hairs on my arms!

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A short while later I was back on my merry way, but it wasn’t long before my next endearing encounter. Quite unexpectedly, seemingly from nowhere, a parade of school kids came hurtling towards me on their bicycles.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Schoolchildren cycling Sukhothai Thailand.


A bunch of the boys skidded to a halt to say hi. “You are English teacher, yes?” asked one. “British or American?” enquired another, before adding: “Michael Jordan cool! You play the basketball?” They were all so utterly elated to speak with me that it was impossible not to smile myself in The Land of Smiles.

Kids saying hello Sukhothai Thailand.

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

I was closing in on the exit gate when I spotted a group of older teenagers playing football on a stone 5-a side court. I have never been able to pass a game of football without stopping, and that afternoon was no different.

“Hey! You wanna play?” called one of them, beckoning me over. So over I went to join the team that was losing 1-0. The opposing gang were not happy with this development, crying foul play. However, the wild swing in fortunes that they were clearly predicting never quite materialised. Finally, the game finished 4-4 and everybody shook hands with more signature Thai smiles. And of course we crowned the occasion with a group photo.

A Memorable Afternoon.

Playing football with local teens Sukhothai Thailand

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

The next morning I checked out of the guesthouse and headed out into town for some breakfast. My bus to Chiang Mai was leaving in just a few hours, so it was definitely time to fill my stomach. Searching for a good place for chow and coffee, I stopped in my tracks and had a good laugh when I came across an eatery called Poo Restaurant.

Poo Restaurant Sukhothai Thailand.


Needless to say the name did not inspire much confidence. Nevertheless, I decided to give Poo a go, just because of the amusement factor. Much to my relief, I could have no complaints about my breakfast. Indeed I devoured my banana, bowl of muesli, creamy cappuccino and strawberry cream pancakes. No, nothing tasted like shit.

Strawberry cream pancakes Sukhothai Thailand

Endearing Encounters at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Like this? Check out more of my travel reports from all over Thailand.

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  • Anna

    Poo restaurant…. Nothing tasted like shit. I died laughing! You crack me up Leighton!

    March 5, 2023 - 1:47 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      It was a joke that had to be made ha ha, call it low hanging fruit. Thanks for dropping by Anna!

      March 5, 2023 - 1:58 pm Reply
  • Stan

    such a fascinating place. i had a skim through your old ayuthhaya article as its been a few years. very similar but worth seeing both i would say. especially with these endearing encounters thrown in. excellent piece leighton, both the photography and your way of describing it all.

    March 5, 2023 - 2:02 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Stan, I think I was too dismissive in the beginning, glad I had a change of heart. My encounters with locals made it all worth it, and even more memorable than Ayutthaya in some respects.

      March 5, 2023 - 3:01 pm Reply
  • Lookoom

    A part of Thailand that I would be more interested in visiting, if I can endure the gold and overloaded ornaments of Bangkok one day.

    March 5, 2023 - 2:47 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Well, you know me, I love Bangkok and am an advocater of its many charms (but not at all an advocator of its most obvious “charms”). In my opinion the north far outstrips the south in terms of the authenticity you have spoken of. Incredible scenery in the south for sure but with the wrong kind of general vibe, Meanwhile, the north is full of history, culture and off-the-beaten track locales. Sukhothai is just one piece of the puzzle.

      March 5, 2023 - 3:06 pm Reply
  • anoush

    I’d love to visit this fascinating place. The endearing encounters certainly made this place stand out in your memory. The shot of you with the football team is pure gold. Someone give that guy on the far left a pair of sunglasses, haha. For me personally, the strangler fig tree roots bedecked with Buddha statuettes and elephants protruding from a wall are the two most memorable images from your article. Great piece!

    March 5, 2023 - 3:35 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Anoush for your considered thoughts. Strangler figs are always an Asian highlight, whether it be in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam etc. Yes, the guy on the left in the football photo was way too cool to school.

      March 5, 2023 - 3:55 pm Reply
  • Memo

    So glad you decided to visit this park. I would love to see it in person. A wonderful place to walk and meditate and perhaps stop and read some history and teachings. The first part of the day where you were totally alone had to have seemed almost otherworldly – like how you revisit a place in your dreams. I’m always struck by the extreme attention to detail on the hands in buddhist statues. The face has to remain impassive so long slender fingers with immaculate fingernails exude an inner perfection. Happy to hear you had a series of endearing encounters on your way out. What a way to go!

    March 5, 2023 - 3:59 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Memo, it would’ve been a real shame to have missed out on Sukhothai. Dreamlike is about right for how it felt touring so much of the park in solitude. My kind of travel.

      March 5, 2023 - 4:21 pm Reply
  • kagould17

    Your story proves that Getting there is not always half the fun….or in your case, not even 1/8th. The bus breakdown seems quite odd, given the engine problem was fixed on the road. The temple complex all to yourself must have been divine. So much beauty in Thai temple design. And the three encounters at the end are priceless. Children can be so guileless and excited to see anyone different than them. They are all eager to meet and greet. Glad it all worked out for you Leighton and thanks for taking us to the North. Allan

    March 5, 2023 - 4:02 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Allan, the north is definitely where my heart lies regarding Thailand. Not sure the same could be sad of many other countries across the world. Thanks for reading about my time in Sukhothai!

      March 5, 2023 - 4:23 pm Reply
  • Laura

    These photos are amazing and effectively portray both the peace and the awe of this place. The Wat Mahathat statue is incredible- it is truly amazing how much time and energy was spent crafting these temples so many hundreds of years ago. The north of Thailand calls to me and I am so excited to read about your time in Chiang Mai!

    March 5, 2023 - 5:31 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Laura! The north of Thailand is where it’s at in my humble opinion, despite the staggering beauty of the south. It does blow your mind to think about how these relics have survived the centuries against the odds. Seeing them in the flesh, so to speak, is such a privilege.

      March 5, 2023 - 5:51 pm Reply
  • bronlima

    Hey Leighton, another enjoyable read. I had never heard about this jewel of a place before. I like the way you combine the travelling experience with interesting factual content, and above all, how you interact with the great people you meet on the way. For me, that is what travelling is all about!!! As always look forward to future posts. Got any posts from Naxos on the go?

    March 5, 2023 - 5:33 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Geoff for your kind words. No plans for Naxos at the moment I’m afraid. I am so many years behind with everything it’s hard to know where to begin!??! Still plenty of the ‘old’ adventures to post and then there’s the “new” stuff from the past three years. If I were to approach this task in chronological order it goes: Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, England, Scotland, Georgia, Greece. Oh lord, I feel sleepy just thinking about it ha ha. Hang in there.

      March 5, 2023 - 5:59 pm Reply
      • bronlima

        Georgia, Greece, Peru hahaha

        March 5, 2023 - 6:19 pm
      • Leighton

        I realised that I forgot about Armenia, which came after Georgia. Actually, we are thinking of returning to Armenia after Greece because we feel in desperate needs of some stability and a rest period from exploring and moving. We really loved Yerevan and we can stay there visa free for almost six months. We are thinking of applying for residency but let’s see. It would be good to have a base from which to embark on more travels but have a home of sorts to return to. If we can achieve that, I’m sure South America would be very high on our list of potential adventures.

        March 8, 2023 - 11:32 am
  • Monkey's Tale

    Everytime you came to a new temple it brought back great memories. Sukhothai is one of my favourite parks in Thailand. Did you make it to Si Satchanalai a little further north? The bus ride unfortunately also sounds all too familiar. Thankfully I don’t remember eating at Poo!! Maggie

    March 5, 2023 - 5:40 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Maggie. I considered Si Satchanalai but ultimately chose to linger a little longer in Chiang Mai, Pai and Chiang Rai with my remaining days. I’m guessing it was amazing?

      March 5, 2023 - 6:01 pm Reply
      • Monkey's Tale

        It was a less busy, more rural Sukhothai.

        March 5, 2023 - 6:07 pm
  • travelling_han

    Those trees with the roots are just incredible. Another beautiful part of the world and Poo restaurant had me laughing 🙂

    March 5, 2023 - 5:45 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for checking in, Han.

      March 5, 2023 - 6:01 pm Reply

    Not by any means the first time I’ve read that Sukhotai is well worth a visit. Our time in northern Thailand didn’t include it, simply due to time constraints, but it’s definitely on our list for the future. Anyway, when it comes to Poo Restaurant, did you settle for just two courses or did you go for a t’ird…..eughhh.

    March 5, 2023 - 6:30 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Boooooom boom, that was a good one. Yup, if you’re ever back in northern Thailand, Sukhothai is definitely worth at least a few days.

      March 5, 2023 - 6:58 pm Reply
  • Mallee Stanley

    Thanks for this wonderful trip down memory lane. Somewhere in Penang I had broken my camera and didn’t replace it until Singapore. So my journey through the same ancient sites to Chang Mai is photoless and without those pictures, my visions of these amazing sites has faded. I do remember though, while walking through the ruins, there was no one else in sight. Thanks for jogging my memory!

    March 5, 2023 - 6:40 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah that’s great Mallee, thanks for sharing. It’s funny you should mention a broken camera, as a similar disaster befell me in my next article, which happens to be about Chiang Mai. Thanks for reading!

      March 5, 2023 - 7:02 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    Sukhothai looks reminiscent of Angkor Wat, but on a smaller scale…”Poo” might not sound appetizing to the foreigner’s palate, but it looks really good! Glad you had a good time after a terrible stomach bug– you bounced back!

    March 5, 2023 - 11:13 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Rebecca, Thailand’s north rarely fails to deliver and definitely has my heart over the commercial excesses of the south. Thanks for checking in!

      March 6, 2023 - 9:09 am Reply
  • Mike and Kellye Hefner

    After such a rocky start to your trip, I would say the rest of it was indeed endearing. The historical park looks very interesting, and I’m sure you learned a lot there. Interacting with the kids would have been the highlight of my trip had I been in your shoes. You look incredibly happy in the photo with the football players. Were you actually teaching English at the time of your visit? Oh, and Michael Jordan is cool.

    March 6, 2023 - 12:46 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha ha, Michael Jordan will no doubt be pleased to learn that his legacy lives on in Sukhothai, Thailand. My visit came after I’d just finished a year teaching in Beijing. So I was footloose and fancy free, just wandering around the country spending some of my heard-earned Chinese Yuan.

      March 6, 2023 - 9:20 am Reply
  • Lyssy In The City

    What a beautiful place to visit. It is nice to go in with an open mind of seeing what you see and not just crossing sights off a list. Easier said than done! I loved all the smiling kids and their pure joy to see you.

    March 6, 2023 - 1:14 am Reply
    • Leighton

      There is a certain freedom to adopting a “let’s see what I see” approach, though it definitely helped that I’d already done a forensic day at a very similar park. Thanks for reading about my time in Sukhothai Lyssy.

      March 6, 2023 - 9:11 am Reply
  • Travels Through My Lens

    Very enjoyable post, Leighton. The sign at the hotel, to the delightful meetings, to Poo restaurant, all had me smiling. And those trees; wow! I love the little Buddhas placed around the roots. Thanks for sharing!

    March 6, 2023 - 5:39 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Tricia, such an incredibly quiet and peaceful place capped off with some memorable meetings with locals. Appreciate you dropping by, as always.

      March 6, 2023 - 9:15 am Reply
  • Terry Christopherson

    It is quite amazing.

    March 6, 2023 - 6:02 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for your comment Terry!

      March 6, 2023 - 8:01 am Reply
  • WanderingCanadians

    That’s rough how your bus broke down by the side of the highway. I’m glad to hear that you ended up returning to Sukhothai to see the other set of ruins as they look pretty extensive and spectacular. The school kids are so endearing. I couldn’t help but laugh at the name of the restaurant and how you couldn’t resist trying the food.

    March 6, 2023 - 1:54 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I guess one way of looking at the restaurant name is that it suggests just how confident they were in their dishes ha ha. Thanks for looking through my Sukhothai memories!

      March 6, 2023 - 3:06 pm Reply
  • qprgary

    Great sounding places but I hope you’ve now passed the point of travelling with the goat herders which is not cool as you get older. To come from 1-0 down to 4-4 should get you starting place against Watford on Saturday and I promise not to join in with the abuse 🙈😂

    March 6, 2023 - 2:14 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I feel at this point I have earned my place in the lineup. What a terrible time to be a QPR fan in a lifetime full of terrible times. All he has to do is get say 3 wins from the last 13 and we’ll probably stay up. Right now, I wouldn’t bet on that happening. Perhaps we can get a few emergency loans in from F.C. Sukhothai.

      March 6, 2023 - 3:10 pm Reply
  • ourcrossings

    Sukhothai Historical Park looks like an excellent destination for history and culture fans offering a glimpse into the ancient kingdom of Sukhothai. I love the beautiful ruins and Buddha statues in various poses. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    March 6, 2023 - 5:18 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Aiva, thanks for dropping by, I’m glad you enjoyed this look at Sukhothai Historical Park!

      March 6, 2023 - 6:35 pm Reply
  • Little Miss Traveller

    I adore those strangled fig trees with their gnarled exposed roots. The Buddha sculptures are also very impressive.

    March 6, 2023 - 11:20 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      It’s a fascinating park, with the nature on offer every bit as impressive as the ancient ruins. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Marion.

      March 6, 2023 - 11:23 pm Reply
  • grandmisadventures

    Oh wow, what an incredible park to explore with you today! I love the Buddha’s in the roots of the tree and the elephants that look like they are standing guard. It’s amazing how much of the detail remains on the statues after so long. Fantastic read on this stunning park 🙂

    March 7, 2023 - 12:39 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Meg for looking through these Sukhothai memories. Such a wonderfully pretty, historic and peaceful place!

      March 8, 2023 - 11:28 am Reply
  • NattyTravels

    After a rocky start to your trip, I’m glad it turned out to be a great experience. Wat Mahathat looks incredible, and how beautiful to have met all those lovely children. You look so happy in the pictures.

    March 7, 2023 - 10:23 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Natty, it’s great to hear from you! I’m glad you enjoyed this look at Sukhothai and yes, I think I was loving the whole vibe of the day. It’s not often I’m caught grinning in photos.

      March 7, 2023 - 10:27 am Reply
  • NortheastAllie

    What a beautiful area, and so many historical places too! The fig tree with the Buddhas is magnificent!

    March 7, 2023 - 7:56 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Allie! You’re right, Sukhothai has it all really. Beauty, history and some incredible quirks like that crazy tree. Thanks for stopping by.

      March 7, 2023 - 8:42 pm Reply
  • wetanddustyroads

    It seems to me that a lot of patience is needed when it comes to bus rides in Thailand (at least you are “welcomed with open arms” 🙃). How beautiful and green the Historic Park is and I’m with you … the fact that these sculptures have survived over the centuries is remarkable! And I loved how your day ended … these are exactly the moments you will always remember until you take your last breath here on earth! And hooray for a good breakfast at a place with a crappy name!

    March 8, 2023 - 5:14 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Corna, your comments always make this writing lark worthwhile. Yes, these memories will stay with me forever. It makes think back and smile for a much less complicated time in my life and indeed the world at large. To be treasured for sure. Hope Berto is continuing his comeback and that you are both doing well!

      March 8, 2023 - 5:28 pm Reply
      • wetanddustyroads

        Thanks Leighton, he is doing well. We just came back from a walk on the beach and he “won” the race on the sand … I think he’s almost back to his old self!

        March 8, 2023 - 7:08 pm
  • ThingsHelenLoves

    I love that despite being a fully fledged mature adult, you still found the giggle in Poo Cafe. Made me smile! Sukhothai looks jaw droppingly beautiful, I enjoyed a virtual visit with you.

    March 10, 2023 - 1:57 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Helen, thanks for checking in. Sukhothai is a fascinating and somewhat underrated spot in Northern Thailand. A for Poo, I guess that little kid is still in me somewhere.

      March 10, 2023 - 3:20 pm Reply
  • Brijesh Verma

    amazing writing amazing photos amazing place

    March 12, 2023 - 8:22 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for your comment!

      March 12, 2023 - 8:33 am Reply
  • Dani

    Beautiful photos!

    March 12, 2023 - 4:42 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for your comment!

      March 12, 2023 - 4:50 pm Reply
  • rkrontheroad

    The up-and-coming generations of Thai children will remember you fondly! Most endearing to me were the little buddhas on the tree roots.

    March 15, 2023 - 6:12 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha, it was lovely to see their reactions. You don’t get that back in London, I can tell you. Thanks for checking out my piece on Sukhothai, Ruth.

      March 15, 2023 - 6:32 pm Reply
  • gederedita

    wow interesting trips and good pictures

    March 17, 2023 - 4:41 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for your comment!

      March 17, 2023 - 9:14 am Reply
  • Toonsarah

    What a beautiful place and so tranquil on the whole. I love the tiny Buddha statues among the tree roots and of course Wat Sorasak with its elephant sculptures. Your encounters with the kids remind me of similar ones we’ve experienced – with school boys at Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, who ALL wanted to pose with us, and various school classes in the Peace Park in Hiroshima, all conducting mini interviews with foreign tourists to get our views on the park and on world peace 🙂

    March 27, 2023 - 12:43 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Sarah, it’s great to hear from you. I’m glad you enjoyed Sukhothai and that the encounters reminded you of similar experiences around the world. These are truly some of the most treasured moments of travel I feel.

      March 27, 2023 - 1:28 pm Reply

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