A year ago we bobbled up to Ayutthia for a couple days on our way up to Chang Mai. This used to be the capital of Thailand until it got sacked by those naughty Cambodians. Now, don't get me wrong, Ayutthai is great but Sukhothai is really amazing.
In Thai, Sukhothai means 'dawn of happiness' and the whole thing is a UNESCO world heritage site. . The ruins are spread across 70 sq KM and there are more than 190 separate ruins. This makes a bike an excellent way to see many of the ruins. All the hotels hire them out for about 50 baht (a quid) per day. The main site is the walled area that used to be the Royal palace.
Somewhat bizarrely, but obviously correctly, Wikipedia starts its introduction to the History of Sukhotahi as being before Ice Cream! I'm not making this up!. Historians now believe that this important trading town started its secession form the Khymer empire about 900 years ago. Traditional Thai historians considered the founding of the Sukhothai Kingdom as the beginning of the Thai nation because little was known about the kingdoms prior to Sukhothai. Modern historical studies demonstrate that Thai history began before Sukhothai. Yet the foundation of Sukhothai is still a celebrated event.
There is a small admission charge but its valid all day so you can have a cycle round, nip off for a refreshing coffee und kuchin and then todal back, wander, go home for a swim, and come back again. System works well.
Whilst the ruins are spectacular... particularly at night when, if you go at the right time they are floodlight (see next post), it is the quality of the carving that I really liked. For example, please see exhibit 1, below:
I had a great time with the camera capturing the details of the carving and statues.
Below, at every turn there are 'discoveries'. In its prime, this would have been rendered and painted and would have looked stunning. It still looks amazing but in a different way.
I really like these side on black and white views of the Buddha at the centre of Wat Chane SongKran
However, it is not until you see it front on that you get an idea of what it would have looked like in its pomp. The pillars, all highly painted, supporting an ornate roof with the big (I would say giant, but you ain't seen nothin' yet!), again, painted.
Big, did I say? You ain't seen notin' yet. So you get an idea of scale, this was taken stood at his feet looking straight up. It was big.
We'll finish this with a couple more of my favourite close ups.
Not all the temples look like this. We stumbled across one that had distinct Hindu overtones but more of that in the future.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.