The weather has been strange so far this cool season - the season seems to have lasted longer than normal but without the striking blue skies we normally associate with late winter in Thailand. Today the wind swung around and is now coming directly from the south. Bringing hotter weather no doubt but hopefully also the blue skies so beloved by photographers at this time of year.
What importance does this have I hear you say, well its the unofficial Thailand travel photography season. Its that time of year when we all clamor to take those picture book shots with the neon blue skies with wispy white clouds skipping by. Its a very short season, whilst we do get blue skies randomly throughout the year we suffer cloud on the whole, whether that be
the monotonous grey skies of the rainy season or the ghostly white smudge of the "burning season" of this December and January.
To kick off this "seasons" collection I have added pictures taken of nesting Asian openbill storks in Chachoengsao and Suphanburi, Irrawaddy dolphins in the Bang Prakong river and photographs of a winter visit to Sukhothai historical park and Si Satchanalai - all taken in January. Sukhothai was a capital of the first kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th Century. A number of notable monuments, which represent masterpieces of the first Thai architectural style, can be seen in the historical parks of Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai both in Sukhothai province.
The Sukhothai Historical Park is located on the Sukhothai-Tak Highway, 12 kms from Sukhothai city and takes about 6 hours by road from Bangkok. The area includes a multitude ruins of the royal palaces, Buddhist temples, stupas, statues, city gates, walls, moats, dykes and ponds. It is very well organized and the unobtrusivness of officialdom means you really can explore and enjoy the area at your leisure either on foot or by bicycle or car. Much better than Ayuthaya in my opinion.
For those, like me, who like to sit and around and nap in the peace of the parks (age I suppose!) a trip 30 minutes north to Si Satchanalai is a must. An historical park in a true parkland setting - bliss. The weather at this time of year makes the naps even more enjoyable!
I would also recommend the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum, this museum contains a collection of artifacts collected from the sites of Sukhothai and is a good place to begin or end your vist to Sukhothai. I am the first to admit I am not a fan of museums in Thailand in general but this one really impressed me with its beautiful artifacts and interesting displays. Of note is are copies of the Wat Si Chum jatakas. Inside the wat lining the ceiling of a dark and narrow staircase that leads to an open roof, are 86 inscribed stone reliefs depicting Jatakas, the Past Lives of the Bhudda. Their unique character and unusual arrangement have puzzled generations of scholars. They are now not on regular display to the public but the museum is a good place to view the copies.It is located right next to the main entrance to the Sukhothai Historical Park.
So if you are considering a trip to Sukhothai, then go now - the weather is great, there are not many tourists and its a great relaxing break.
To see the photographs of Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai - sans the blue skies we are still waiting for Click Here