Historical Park Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and back.

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by bigal, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. I had yet to visit the Historical park at Sukhothai (Muang Kao) to I decided to take a couple of days to enjoy a ride.
    The plan? Very simple really.
    Day 1, take a leisurely ride as is fitting for my bike down, check into the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day.
    Day 2, go to the Historical park and take in the history then ride over to Phitsanulok enjoying the ride to the second hotel relaxing.
    Day 3, breakfast followed by a nice ride home via highway 11.
    If you are thinking of doing this ride I used the Pailyn hotel for the Sukhothai night and the Amarin Lagoon Resort in Phitsanulok both easy to book on the BigAl website. Here is the link to the Google map; https://maps.google.co.th/maps/ms?msid=212646794397075373373.0004c6556555a9aefc6ce&msa=0

    One of the nice things about this ride is that no day is particularly tough, it is a nice lazy ride as I like to refer to them. At about 350km for the 1st days ride there is no need to be off at the crack of dawn and so it was with me, enjoying a good breakfast and my customary caffeine fix before setting off.
    My bike is a Harley Softail, low and heavy and I do tend to take routes that are compatible with that format (together with my relaxed older riding style!).
    Starting about 10.30 meant that a large chunk of the busy traffic that uses H11 at Lamphun had been and gone, even so I am always glad when I have passed the Junction and the Golden Monk.
    From there H11 gently winds up and down the hills that divide Lamphun from Lampang on the route passing the Elephant sanctuary on the way (which I didn't stop at). As always the vehicles on this stretch of road, especially the trucks on the decent, simply cut right across the road at curves rather than go round the bend.
    The H11 road from Lampang to Den Chai is one of the most enjoyable highways to me with some wonderful scenery. One option is to turn off H11 onto the 1023 to cut the corner to the 101 but I elected not to do that. I also elected not to fill my tank which resulted in a 2X7km ride past the junction with the 101 to gas up, oh well.
    The 101 is another nice easy road to ride on with some interesting scenery I think. On this ride, as happens at this time of year (August), I had done some 30km down the road when it started to rain. This necessitated a stop to put away the camera and phone and answer the call of nature. Amazing how rain makes you want to pee.
    I turned right onto road 1201 at Si Satchanalai although I am not sure if I went the wrong way down a section of the 101 before doing so. The 1201 forks and I took the right hand fork, the 1305 down towards the Historical park which is signposted. The 1305 becomes the 1113. This is rice plain country flat but interesting and also, when I did this trip, subject to some gusty wind which could be felt even on a bike as heavy as mine.
    At the junction with H12 I was only a few km from my chosen hotel turning left on the bypass then right to link up with what I assume is the original H12. Left and down 1km and there was the hotel.
    2012-07-30-754. 2012-07-30-741.
    2012-07-30-749. 2012-07-30-754.
    In the evening I wandered across the road, having seen the "Lovely Bar" cheap beer but only myself, 2 girls (I think) and 1 lady-boy non of whom were very chatty.
    2012-07-30-761. 2012-07-30-763.
    Once the hunger pangs set in I moved to the Artitaya restaurant which I have to say was very good. Very friendly people and excellent food.
    2012-07-30-766. 2012-07-30-767.
    Day 2 was, supposedly, the purpose of the trip although to be honest going for the bike ride was just as much if not more of a purpose its just nice to have an objective I guess.
    As I looked out of the window of the hotel room I saw it was raining. No point in hurrying then so I elected for a leisurely start. Breakfast was not included in the room rate I had chosen but you could pay when you took it, 150 baht. This option was cheaper than getting the room with breakfast included, I guess they are assuming 2 breakfasts in that case. It was buffet style and to be honest I have had better but I do tend to stick to the western style for breakfast.
    The historical park was about 4km away so when the rain had cleared I packed and was off. The nice lady relieved me of 100 baht for the ticket and 20 baht for the bike and following a chat about her sister in ChiangMai, in I went.
    It is a very interesting place with huge number of things to see so here are just a few.
    DSC02375. DSC02380c.
    DSC02395. DSC02438.
    Then there were the Myna birds who did not take kindly to their reflection in the chrome...
    Once the cultural lobes had been crammed with images and history I took to the road again H12 to Phitsanulok. Its a very easy 70ish km and quite enjoyable. Phitsanulok has some temples worth seeing as well.

    The hotel I chose to stay at was the Amarin Lagoon Resort, I had seen it before but not stayed there so I took this opportunity to try it out. The staff were good and the room comfortable. The resort have a lot of good facilities which I imagine in high season would be very good, Chinese al a carte restaurant, pool side bar and swim up bar but in the low season many facilities were not open.
    DSC02460. 2012-07-31-772.
    The place was geared to coach trips with dinner being a buy a ticket, buffet system. Not bad though. The coffee shop did good snacks. There was live music in the evening but very few people with most of the coach parties retiring after dinner (for an early start?). They did have a sneaky way to keep you in the bar listening to the band though.
    I have the bad habit of regarding the last day of a multi day ride as simply a get home trip and it isn't, it is there to be enjoyed just as much as any other.
    Breakfast was buffer style, not too bad but not great and following that it was just pack up and go.
    I decided to fill the fuel tank before H11 and simply made my way north. As I have said before, I like H11 even the the fruit at the junction outside of Uttaradit are interesting. Then of course there is the large reclining Buddha at Den Chai.
    DSC02147. DSC02150.
    It is just an enjoyable road to ride with very few areas of poor road surface and or roadworks. I added fuel just past Lampang and that was that. Before I new it I had padded the golden monk again and was close to home.
    Sure 3 days is very easy and I could have added more into the trip but it was good in case the weather turned foul and very enjoyable.
    Links to hotels etc are on my website listed below.
  2. Great Stuff Al,
    Looks like You enjoyed Yourself. good on You for going out during Rain season, to many people miss out! I often Ride those Roads but don't bother stopping, Maybe a more Leisurely Pace is what I need?
  3. Cheers Ian appreciated! Bet your leisurely is much faster than mine...
  4. Great report bigal,

    I recently rode through Sukhothai, but didnt have time to stop.
    I like the photos of the historical park, next time I go there Ill take my time and check those ruins out.

    Thanks for the write up.

  5. A nice report, Al. One can see that you truly enjoyed your ride regardless of weather or destination, which is as it should be. Good to hear.

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