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Phitsanulok, Thailand
OCTOBER 16-18, 2009

We flew to Phitsanulok from Bangkok to see the ruins of Sukhothai, the first capital of Siam. I was not too into seeing the ruins as we have been to so many already. However, it was already planned, and of course it's very special to Thai culture, so off we went. Unfortunately, the private guide that we arranged for did not speak English very well (he was also our driver), and although he was very nice and friendly, our experience was somewhat limited due to the language barrier.

It took about 1.30 hours from Phitsanulok to the ruins. Once we arrived, our guide/driver informed us that he in turn would hire another guide, one whose English skills were much better than his own. Well, guess what? We think you can imagine that this wasn't the case. The language gap made communication very difficult and it was hard for us to get a feel for the place and its significance. After many Buddha images and a very hot day, we were ready for something to eat, which by the way was a lunch that was super tasty, with traditional Thai dishes such as red curry, stir fried beef with basil, and morning glory. Yum! That certainly made the heart grow fonder for the place... 

Overall, interesting ruins to see, however could have been much better presented to us and therefore our appreciation may have had a different outcome. The city of Phitsanulok didn't have a great impression on me, pretty boring and quite shady, though Johann keeps claiming he liked it. So that being said, "we" were happy to be off to our next city after our 3-day stay.


Checking out what was the most important temple during the Sukhothai area, Wat Mahathat.

One of hundreds of well-preserved Buddha images at Sukhothai historical ruins.

Quite amazing to see these ruins in person. Especially when you go back to the fourteenth century.

Wat Sim Chum - also known as the Talking Buddha, as the powers that be used to walk in hollow passageways behind the Buddha and give orders, and their voice would seem like it was coming from the Buddha.  They would use this as a tool to keep the villagers in line.  Truly majestic!

Out  & About

Johann just ate a very small, tiny, red/orange pepper. See those eyes? These were jumping out from his eye sockets just moments later..."Water, water, please give me more water". Damn, that is hot! Won't make that mistake again...

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