An Intimate Encounter with Ancient Sukhothai – Photo Gallery

I’ve seen my fair share of ancient cities and weathered ruins, massive European castles and cities organically emerging from the walls of a large Roman palace. Sites that allow the traveler to walk the stones of ghosts and others that keep the curious at a distance from daring to touch the lives of centuries ago. There is a balance to this equation, between the human desire to literally know their ancient forbears by climbing and touching the physical remnants of their lives, and the desire to protect and preserve these monuments from further wear and tear for the generations that follow. Every ancient heritage site seems to face this challenge differently, along a spectrum from total engagement to complete human exclusion.

I wasn’t sure what to expect at Sukhothai, the remains of the ancient Thai capital surviving since the 13th century. Once a thriving capital of trade, religious pilgrimage, and political maneuverings, today the ruin of its temples spreads across a massive archeological park a few kilometers from the modern city. Due to the religious taboo of destroying religious sites and a centuries-old tradition of building new temples upon the crumbling foundations of older sacred sites, ancient Sukhothai remains.

I’ll admit, Sukhothai surprised me. Less visited than Ayutthaya to the south, the large expanses of manicured park and swampy lotus ponds between the dozens of ruins spread the tourist crowds thin. A pleasant bike ride to each complex, the shade of trees, and the numerous Buddhas resting ages under the stars, their shelters long ago heaving away their roofs, lent a startling intimacy to my explorations. Often I found myself completely alone, sitting on the bricks and contemplating the serenity that once bustled with city life.

To view my photos from the 13th century ruins of Sukhothai, click on the link below.

Sukhothai photo gallery

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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