Monday, June 27, 2011

Oh My Buddha!

We had thought that the crumbling ruins of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya were really cool.  But even cooler?  The way older, way more intact ruins of Sukhothai, a six hour bus ride to the north.

The day started off great.  We had our newest scooter, the Green Machine.  We had our delicious bowl of the famous Sukhothai pork noodle soup.  (This is Asia, soup for breakfast is perfectly acceptable, and delicious.)  We were interviewed by a giggly group of tourism students.
Dave and the Green Machine outside a
famous Sukhothai noodle shop
The Meshkovs, two tourism students,
and the park ticket taker
And then things got even better.  It was HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's birthday, so the normally $20 park fee was waived!
Because I'm feeling lazy, here's an excerpt from Encyclopedia Brittanica about the Kingdom of Sukhothai:
Sukhothai kingdom, former kingdom, north-central Thailand. It was founded in the mid-13th century when a local Tai ruler led a revolt against Khmer rule. It remained only a small local power until its third ruler, Ramkhamhaeng, inherited the kingdom c. 1279. He extended its power to the south onto the Malay Peninsula, to the west into what is now Myanmar (Burma), and to the northeast into present-day Laos. On his death in 1298 the kingdom began to lose its power, and in 1438 it was absorbed into the kingdom of Ayutthaya.
The ruins are just spectacular, so I'll let the photos speak for themselves.  The whole Sukhothai photo album is available here.

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