Photo of the week 2014 – Week 15

This weeks ‘Photo of the Week‘ has the potential to be one of my favourite photos, but it will always be one I will have regrets over. Not in terms of bad experiences – it was another great day travelling in Thailand – but in terms of quality.

I absolutely love the composition – it follows the rule of thirds, it has subject matter in the foreground and the background, and it is a photo that tells a story – however, I hate how noisy it is.

Noise is one of those things that can either make a photo or break it; in this case it’s the latter.indexAnyway, after all the hedonism of the southern islands, most people head north to Chiang Mai and Pai to relax in the mountains. However, on your way north I implore you to stop off at Sukhothai; it won’t be a decision you regret.

Just four hours south of Chiang Mai, Sukhothai is a former capital of Thailand, a city which flourished from the mid-13th century to the late 14th century. Much like Ayutthaya, another former capital, Sukhothai is a historic site with hundreds of temples, and as such it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage site status in 1991.

Largely ignored by foreign tourists, cycling around Sukhothai is up there as one of my favourite things to do in Thailand.

Sukhothai, which literally means “Dawn of Happiness”, can give you exactly that.

If you wake up as the sun rises, get on your bike and cycle from temple to temple, you will find out for yourself just how Sukhothai got its name.

With 193 temples to choose from, cycling around each one can take you all day, but trust me, it’s worth it.

The most popular temples are within the old city wall, and they are far enough away from the main road to have a sense of peace and calm around them. Set out in a square, it is easy to follow your own route without getting lost.

One of the things that makes cycling around Sukhothai so much easier than Ayutthaya is its size; it is so much smaller, and as it’s less well known there are fewer crowds too.

Wandering among ancient ruins, immersing yourself in a time forgotten, is what travelling is all about, and Sukhothai is one of those places that you can do that with consummate ease…