Up late-ish as were so late to bed last night, usual breakfast while we decided what to do. We asked our host the best way to Si Satchanalai which also has an historic park with ancient temples etc. He suggested hiring a motorbike, it is about 55km away. Why not? and he took us into New Sukhothai to pick up a hire bike.
We were given a shiny red automatic Yamaha, picked up our helmets, paid and we were off. The last time I rode a motorbike was in Bermuda five years ago so I took it for a quick spin along the road. Dead simple these automatics! Anyway, loaded Ruth onto the back and we cruised on up the road. It took well over an hour, by which time we were both suffering a little from stiff backs but the ride was pleasant enough. Driving past fields of sugar cane, bananas and.......rice paddies.
The roads were quiet and in good shape. There is an extra lane to the left (Thais drive on the left) for bikes, agricultural vehicles and general slow moving traffic. Did make it much easier in that we were not being buffeted by faster moving traffic, not that anyone drove particularly fast.
We grabbed some lunch in the 'restaurant' in the park, the food was ok, it was freshly cooked and pretty cheap then entered the park proper. The historic park was lovely, quite unlike the Sukhothai park, (which admittedly had just hosted the Loi Kratong festival) the temples and monuments were surrounded by trees and grass, there were very few tourists, indeed very few people. A welcome relief. Some of the temples had been partly restored but mostly they were ruins, a really peaceful atmosphere.
After a very pleasant wander around the park, looking at the best of the monuments, we moved on to try and find the Gold Cloth Museum and Village. It proved to be about 12km away; the museum contained many historic examples of handwoven cloth that included gold thread, including many garments for the Thai royal family. The village buildings had displays of farming tools and machinery, including sugar cane presses and old carts. An interesting interlude, cut short as it was fast approaching 5 o'clock when the museum closed!
Back on the bike for the 60km journey back to the B&B. All went very well, a glorious sunset, a few more kilometers, then, about 10 km from Sukhothai the heavens opened and before we could find shelter we were soaked through - including bits that normally only get wet in the shower! We did find a car port to the side of the road but once under it we discovered it leaked like a strainer ! So, back on the road and after a few km we passed from under the rain loud and it was warm again. We returned the B&B, changed clothes then took the bike back - all clean now!
Sukhothai night market is food heaven; all sorts of food, all freshly prepared, the servers had plastic gloves, so we felt brave enough to sample their wares. Huge barbecued prawns, a salt encrusted fish and some deep fried fish 'goujons' made a delicious meal. I then had what looked like thick French toast while Ruth had a fruit whose name I have forgotten, sweet and slightly tart, like nothing else we've tasted.
After all this Ruth decided she needed a beer, so on the walk back to our room we dropped in at the Poo Restaurant for a large and a small, ice cold Singha. Heaven!