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Sukhothai Historical Park

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

We stayed in the Ban Thai Guesthouse in New Sukhothai on an old road full of backpacker guesthouses bordering the Yoh River that runs through “new town.” Unfortunately during the floods of 2011 the city was inundated with water and you can still see sand bags lying around in front of the buildings. Subsequently they built up the concrete barrier to the river at such a height you can’t see over it. So the river is hidden from the guesthouses. However it didn’t stop the sound of Zumba coming from the other side! 😉

In north central Thailand, the Kingdom existed from 1238 until 1438. The old capital, now 12 km outside of New Sukhothai in Tambon Mueang Kao, is in ruins and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage historical park.

The history of Sukhothai is the history of the oldest known beginning of Thailand.

Prior to the 13th century, Tai kingdoms had existed on the northern highlands including the Ngoenyang (centered on Chiang Saen; predecessor of Lanna) kingdom and the Heokam (centered on Chiang Hung, modern Jinghong in China) kingdom of Tai Lue people. Sukhothai had been a trade center and part of Lavo, which was under the domination of the Khmer Empire. The migration of Tai people into upper Chao Phraya valley was somewhat gradual.

Modern historians stated that the secession of Sukhothai from the Khmer empire began as early as 1180 during the reign of Po Khun Sri Naw Namthom who was the ruler of Sukhothai and the peripheral city of Sri Satchanalai (now a part of Sukhothai Province as Amphoe). Sukhothai had enjoyed a substantial autonomy until it was re-conquered around 1180 by the Mons of Lavo under Khomsabad Khlonlampong.

Traditional Thai historians considered the foundation of the Sukhothai kingdom as the beginning of their 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.

With regard to culture, the monks from Sri Thamnakorn propagated the Theravada religion in Sukhothai. In 1283, the Thai script was invented by Ramkamhaeng, formulating into the controversial Ramkamhaeng Stele discovered by Mongkut 600 years later.

The Sukhothai domination was, however, short. Meanwhile, Ayutthaya rose in strength, and finally in 1378 King Thammaracha II had to submit to this new power. (Wikipedia)

Ao Nang Beach Krabi Thailand

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005


Bob and I have been here in Krabi Province of Thailand with Doug and Luk for three weeks now…a welcome respite after a month in smoggy noisy Bangkok where I had some dental work done and a 6 month routine check-up at Bumrungrad Hospital.

Bob left a couple days ago to do some hiking in Khao Sok National Park up north. I stayed here in my little 2nd story bungalow on lazy Ao Nang Beach watching the dark wiry young boat guys guide their long tailed boats to various karst islands and isolated beaches out in the deceivingly placid blue and green ocean and return again. Bob and I will either meet up in Bangkok or he will return here first…who knows what he will do. The breeze cools down at night until about noon…then air conditioning goes back on again.

Doug and Luk come over every morning (my place is 10 minutes up the road from their house) and we breakfast together. Then we all pile on the motorbike for a ride through the karsts and banana tree forests looking for a little fantasy house for me to rent…can get a house with tile floors, bathroom, hot water, kitchen facilities and bedroom and main room for about $200 a month if you are not on the water. A bottom floor bungalow on the water like Doug had before the tsunami is about $450 a month.

Weird to see inaugural celebrations on Fox News and then to drive by the Krabi Wat with hundreds of pictures of victims and piles of burial boxes.

An internet friend of mine who just married a Thai girl is staying on Patang Beach on Phuket Island where most of the damage was done. He said the beaches have been cleaned up…chairs and umbrellas are back up and the local businesses are begging for tourists. Reconstruction has already begun on some of the lost and damaged hotels. The second worst place in Thailand to get hit was Khoa Lak…just up north from here. They are still finding bodies in the Mangrove Forests and the village water well ended up with a car and 92 bodies in it. Several thousand bodies have not been found yet, many of them illegal immigrants from Burma. We hear they will not even try to rebuild at Khao Lak.

Reflections on the Steppe

Tuesday, October 12th, 2004
GyTjn0QZP9l6Qu21TubskM-2006198062551304.gif We are lucky...days are brisk but sunny...the sun glints off bare hills covered in golden fall grass. This feels like fall in southeast Oregon where I grew up. I soak it all in ... [Continue reading this entry]

Life in a Mongolian Ger

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
GyTjn0QZP9l6Qu21TubskM-2006198062551304.gif Video Terelgj National Park, an hour by car outside of Ulaan Baatar, is a spectacular valley surrounded by high eroded rock formations, pine covered mountains and steppes carpeted with sheep, Mongolian horses and ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, January 8th, 2003
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Bob and I said goodbye to Jana who would leave later in the day on a train to Shanghai and then home from Hong Kong. The next day we took a train to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chobe National Park

Saturday, May 25th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif The border crossing from Zambia into Botswana is at the border post of Kazungula. The truck ride on the Kazungula Ferry across the Zambezi River is not much of a hassle. Rod ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ngorongora Crater

Friday, May 10th, 2002
Firstviewofcrater.JPG The Ngorongora Crater is a conservation area and National Heritage Site. After breaking camp in the Sarangeti, we drive another two hours up to the Crater rim where we set up camp so ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sarangeti Safari

Wednesday, May 8th, 2002
There are about 5 people to a car besides the driver. The tops of the vehicles pop up so you can stand up and view the animals and take pictures. DSC00077.JPG Our driver ... [Continue reading this entry]