One of the main reasons to actually stay in Sukhothai beyond a day’s visit to its historical park was the raving review in the Lonely Planet about a hostel in town. Said to be the ultra-friendly place to stay as close as you’d get to staying with a family, this place nowhere near lived up to it. Not being superfriendly is one thing, but if any tiny request (“Can I order a coffee, please?”) turns out to be too much to ask, then that’s quite disappointing. More so, the service was unenthusiastic to say the least. I never felt welcome at any point. It actually made me quite angry; I suppose one issue of the guide book without certain raving adjectives and the “our pick” author’s choice tag, and the place is done. At the minute, they dwell on what appears to be the merit of the former owner.

Anyway, a ride on a sawngthaew to the historial city of Sukhothai later, I realise that you can get prime service by the superfriendly local people. The coffee in the little cafe is rather dear but a blast (Thais certainly know how to make seriously good coffee), and the advice on the area is priceless. I rent a bike to venture out to explore the area.

The Sukhothai Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the sheer size of it is amazing. I’ve seen a fair few temple ruins in the last few days, so sometimes it feels a bit too much of it, but cycling around is just the way to appreciate it. Little ruins, more or less well preserved, spring up every 300, 400 metres or so. Some of them are up to a thousand years old, truly amazing.

A day later I head further north to Lampang. Most travellers just stop over here for a few hours (more wats to see). However, I decide to stay at least a couple of days in a little river side guest house. It’s a pristine little place, wooden teak houses quietly tucked away. The welcome is warm and hearty. They show me two rooms, one comes with a balcony and river views – that’s certainly worth eight euros a night. The rest of the day I spend relaxing in a deck chair, with an occational visit to the fridge downstairs. It feels like home – if you feel like it, go to the fridge and serve yourself, leave a note at reception and enjoy!

I’m thinking of staying here for three nights, it’s a little more pricey than my budget allows, but it’s really cool. Tomorrow, I’ll be heading down to what is said to be the nicest wooden temple in Northern Thailand. And I’ll be heading out there on a motorcycle.

That’s Thai lifestyle.

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