After five days in Bangkok, I needed to get away from the chaos and couldn’t decide what to do. I had the overwhelming urge to go to the ocean and camp out for a while as I got myself settled into Southeast Asia, but I also really wanted to be with a buddy instead of getting in my own head too much (an unfortunate tendency I have).
I made a great friend in Portugal named Michelle, a Kiwi with spunk and a big heart. Michelle was also traveling in Southeast Asia, but she started a month before I did. The idea of seeing a person who, at this point, felt like an old friend as well as a seasoned SE Asia traveler was a comfort. So we decided to meet up in Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand.
In my hostel in Bangkok I met two solo travelers, Rob and Margarette, who wanted to head the same direction. We joined forces and decided to break up the 12+ hour bus trip with a stop in Sukhothai. After a seven hour bus ride, we were dropped at our destination, whose name translates to “the dawn of happiness,” and dropped at our cute little guest house, At Home Sukhothai.
The next afternoon we hired a tuk-tuk as our personal driver for the day, bringing us around Sukhothai’s famous ruins. In the 13th century, they commemorated the city while it was the capital of Siam, but they are now a UNESCO world heritage site. The ruins sprawl throughout a huge area requiring a bicycle or driver to get you around it and they are absolutely worth a stop to explore.
As we watched the sun set over the ruins, I finally got that warm fuzzy feeling that I hadn’t gotten in Bangkok. Wow, I’m really in Thailand, I thought to myself. And it felt really good.