Our main focus today was to explore the 13th century Sukhothai which is Thailand’s largest collection of ruins. On the way we stopped to walk in a rice field. Then we went to a rice factory to see the process of production but also a rice museum to see how rice was processed 70 years ago.
When we arrived at Suklothai I was amazed at the extent of the ruins. This was the place, as the guide said, where old Siam was born. We also visited the monument to King Ramkamhaeng who created the Thai alphabet and achieved much for his people. He promoted the spread of Theravada Buddhism.
Boundary markers that mark out an ordination temple
Roadside factory that produces skewers from bamboo for kabobs
Indigo home factory
This morning we left our campsite and began our trip to Phitsanulok. It was a long bus trip however on the way we encountered some unexpected surprises. As we were driving down the road we encountered a colorful procession of a young man all dressed in white on a horse surrounded by happy people singing and dancing. We got out of the bus to join the procession. The young man was being taken to the temple to be ordained a monk.
We continued along our way and stopped to see a roadside stand selling cooked rats which the local people eat.
We continued our journey to the temple where the bats are protected and trees are ordained.
Bats in the trees
Then we went to the river that runs through the temple precincts to feed the fish that are also protected.
The final event was a boat ride on the Uthaithani river. This was on a large traditional wooden rice barge. We had lunch and were surprised that the rats that were purchased that morning were prepared so if we wanted we could taste that delicacy.
After we arrived in Phitsanulok we went to dinner and then to the night markets. Our guide took us to a vendor that sold all sorts of roasted bugs. For example roasted silk worm cocoons and even roasted tarantulas. She ordered a small platter of assorted bugs and invited us to taste a few. This was quite an unexpected experience! Asian cuisine is certainly creative.