With our new group in tow we travelled by train to Sukhothai. Here we stayed in a guest house and spent the afternoon bonding in the pool with our new friends. We also spent a few hours that night around a large dinner table chatting about our lives at home. Mandy and I had a little friend to keep us company that night...a small white frog who slept on our window sill which i nearly squashed when trying to close the shutter! We left him there until he felt ready to move on.
The following day after leaving the guest house we waited for Chris who was never on time, and travelled by songtaew to Sukhothai historical park. Here we spent the next few hours cycling around the ancient ruins.
Mandy of course was first in line to choose her bike and managed to find a bright pink one called fairy! She was slightly concerned that she had forgotten how to ride a bike but after nearly crashing into a car crossing the first road it quickly came back to her! During our cycle ride we visited the temples of the old capital city, including Wat Mahathat. The temple grounds are 206m long, 200m wide and surrounded by a moat which represents the edge of the universe and encloses 198 chedis. We also had the pleasure of seeing Wat Si Sawai which is named the sacred pond temple and Wat Si Chum which is famous for its 15m sitting Buddha. These were amazing sights set in beautiful surroundings and very different to the temples we had visited in Malaysia or southern Thailand.
During our bike ride we had a funny experience when Chris (who we soon realised was quite a joker) accidently fell off his bike, which of course he did in great style making the most noise he possibly could. This in turn almost made everyone else fall off their bikes and we ended up laughing for a very long time. Chris was ok but the bike was not so lucky and the frame needed alot of bending back into place from our guide. Funnily enough she did not seem to find it as amusing as we all did. This incident still did not deter Chris from acting like a clown, at one point standing up on his seat. Every American must think they are Evel Knievel! Needless to say he fell off again when he collided with Coco trying to take his photograph!
On our last stop before lunch we found a group of cute puppies sunning themselves. Evan and I struggled to pull Courtney and Mandy away with the girls trying to convince us they had enough room in their bags to take them home! This was not the only animal incident of the day.
Whilst in Thailand we soon realised that if children have the opportunity to make money rather than go to school they will. They try to sell you pretty much anything using their childish charm and innocence to their advantage. Mandy and I came across one such boy who have a very large turtle slung over his shoulder in a plastic bag. At first we were unsure whether it was real or not, but as we approached it soon retracted its head from a hole in the bag back into its shell. The boy had seen we took an interest in the animals welfare and after speaking to Kate in Thai asked us if we would buy it from him for 200 baht, which is around three pounds fifty pence. He soon followed us around everywhere which upset Mandy. Especially as by now he had it in three plastic bags with no air hole. Mandy really wanted to set the turtle free but knew the boy would only catch it and sell it on again.
Mandy witnessed her first snake in the wild which was slithering across the road as she cycled past, only for one of the group cycling behind her to run over it!
After leaving the Sukhothai historical park we travelled to the bus station in order to get to our next destination Lampang.