Friday, February 25, 2011


We took the 7:00 a.m. Bangkok Airways flight from Bangkok to Sukhothai.  Sukhothai has a very small airport that has two arrival flights and two departure flights each day.  The airport couldn't be more different than Bangkok's Suvarnabbhumi Airport.  The terminal consists of an open air building that looks more like a nice hotel lobby than a typical airport terminal.

This was Tim's first trip to Sukhothai and my second.  When I visited in 2009 to take photos, I stayed in town in a pretty cheap hotel.  There had been two electrical plugs in the entire room; one for the refrigerator and one for a lamp.  I had unplugged both to charge my camera and phone.  The ruins were about 12 kilometers from the town, so I rented a motorcycle that time.

This time, however, we stayed in the very nice Tharaburi Resort, just outside the UNESCO World Heritage site.  We rented bikes from the hotel and spent the first two days riding around the park.  Sukhothai was the capital of Siam (now Thailand) in the 13th and 14th centuries, and many of the buildings still remain.  The bikes were cheap in both price and quality.  We paid less than two dollars per day each to rent the bikes and it showed.  The bikes were lined up in front of the hotel.  We did learn on the second day that the hotel had a deal with a few bike shops that allowed us to exchange a bike we rode from the hotel with another bike.

It was very nice and relaxing riding around leisurely and seeing the ruins. While it was hot if you sat in the sun, riding the bikes, particularly in the shade with a light breeze, was quite pleasant.

On the third day we rented a car and driver to see some ruins about fifty kilometers from our hotel.  Once we arrived there, we rented bikes to explore.  These bikes were even cheaper at less than one dollar per person.  The problem was that these bikes were in even worse shape than the ones from the previous days.  The brakes didn't function, and after riding one for about fifteen minutes, I managed to bend the "metal" shaft that supports the seat.  This made riding a bit less comfortable, so we returned the bikes and finished the tour via car.

The flight back was largely uneventful.  On both our flight to and from Sukhothai, we were on the plane with the Deputy Director of Sales for Bangkok Airways and a large group that she was traveling with.  One of the people in her party didn't want to move a little so that Tim could sit on the shuttle.  The man who sat with her on the return flight didn't understand the basic principle of plane deboarding whereby you wait your turn by letting the people closer to the exit deplane before you.  I helped his understanding by putting my arm in front of him and making him wait.

I brought my camera with me, but left my tripod and all my lenses save one at home.  While I was going to take some photos on the trip, my goal was just to relax and enjoy spending time with my wife.







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