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A weekend getaway to Sukothai. The ancient ruins of old Thailand.

Living in Chiang Mai is relatively peaceful, expect during Christmas and New Years where all of Thailand is packed with tourists that only have a week or two vacation and try to pack as much into it as possible.  L and I had the great idea to get away for a few days and spend New Years Even somewhere a bit quieter and more relaxing.

How to get from Chiang Mai to Sukothai - 

Immediately after the legendary UFC fight with Silva vs. Weidman 2 which I just couldn't miss and I'm glad I didn't...we hopped on my scooter and drove to the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station.  I parked my bike overnight for 10 baht a day (33cents) and we bought a ticket on the spot for the next bus leaving to Sukothai.

Tips for the Chiang Mai to Sukothai bus - EAT and BRING FOOD and WATER.  The bus stops for about a minute to pick up/drop off passengers but it's not enough time to really get off the bus unless you run out and ask them to wait for you.  The total trip time was around 5-6 hours even though it was advertised as 4, but it varies depending on traffic.  Bus tickets were around 300 baht.  ($10)



Where to stay in Sukothai:

We spent the first night in the new town thinking there would be more things to do and more restaurants, but we were wrong.  We ended up moving closer to the ancient city for the rest of the trip and stayed at Pailyn Sukhothai Hotel because it was the only place not fully booked.  It was decently good with a nice buffet breakfast included, but it was just a bit far if you didn't rent a scooter.  If available I would have stayed at the Wake Up at Muang Kao Boutique Hotel to be in the best area, or I would have splurged and stayed at one of the nice resorts also in the Historical Park.


What to do in Sukothai:

Rent a bicycle for an amazing low price of 20 baht which is 67cents per day and explore the temple on your own.  There are three actual parts of the temple each which requires a 120 baht ($4) entrance ticket.  Don't cheap out and decide you don't want to pay for each separate entrance once you get there. Just think of it as a $12 pass to see everything.  

You can also spend a day at the sukhothai organic farm near the airport, just don't get lost trying to get there as we did.  



Sukothai vs. Angkor Wat

Having been to both Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Sukothai in Thailand recently I can see why some people aren't as impressed with Sukothai even though they were both built by the Khmer Empire around the same time.  

Angkor Wat is much bigger and more impressive, but it's also a lot more crowded.  My favorite thing about Sukothai was how even during New Years, one of the busiest times of the year it was still relatively empty and the only tourists were almost all local thais.

The other big difference was the amount of statues of buddha in Sukothai, many of which were gigantic and really cool to see.


Overall:

It was a really nice place to get away for a few days.  It's halfway between Chiang Mai and Bangkok so it's a also a good place to stop for a day if you are taking a bus in between the two.  As a young single backpacker you'll be extremely bored there, but for families and couples it's a fantastic place to spend a few days.  

Enjoy it!

Johnny





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  1. hi, i would like to know the bus schedule from chiang mai to sutkhothai. do you have any idea? thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Found this: http://www.travelhubchiangmaitours.com/bus-timetables.html

    ReplyDelete

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