One good thing about Phitsanulok: there are almost no tourists. In a café on the riverside, I meet Nils from Sweden, a travel veteran in his seventies. In the evening I have a delicious meal at the night bazaar and a foot massage in the park at the riverside.
Here are some impressions of Phitsanulok…
Today morning I take a bus to Sukhothai. One hour drive, maybe two, dont check, dont care. I am cruising along outside of time and space. I listen to my bus neighbour he tells me to stay on cuz this bus from Phitsanulok, it goes straight to the old city – Ban Mueang Kao.
I stay on the bus and get off after I have spotted the wall encircling the old city. Try to find a place to stay. Two unfriendly/angry Thai hosts and one very helpful hotel lady later I find myself without backpack (but also, alas, without a place to sleep) on a solo bicycle tour around the ruins. I figure it’s afternoon, so whatmeworry now about a place to stay when I am here at the old city on a bike equipped with a pair of eyes to enjoy the sight of the wats at Sukhothai? A place to stay will come. No diggity.
At Wat Chedi Ngam I meet Regis, a French man living in Brazil. He is a professional photographer and shaman guiding ayahuasca sessions. We ride bikes and breathe in the wonderful nature. Take pictures of the amazing man-made structures. Enjoy the sun rays shining through the treetops and making the green of the grass fields around us appear so much brighter. Luminous green. Fluorescent even. Can’t photo that!
And we talk. Among other things, he tells me there are three points to pay entrance fee. Somehow, I don’t know how, I had dodged them… and went to all the uninteresting ruins and statues?! We split again, checking out different sights and meet again at the main entrance (a place I see for the first time when leaving)…
We take one of the last busses back to Sukhothai and I check in at Garden House. It is a far better place to be than those in the old city, with homely ambience, a smiling receptionist, as well as a vegetarian joint and motorcycle rental 100m away. What more do I need, right?!
If you are interested in how the ancient capital with buildings and sculptures from the 13th century looks like today, check out the photos I have taken. You find them here. It’s worth it. Here are 3 of them:
More photos on hakimomatata.imgur.com