Hitchhike from Bangkok to Sukhothai
Hitchhike from Bangkok to Sukhothai
OK, so we must first admit that we didn’t actually do the whole hitchhike from Bangkok to Sukhothai and for those that have been to Bangkok the reason is pretty evident. Bangkok is huge, and I mean vastly so, and getting to the edge seemed to us like an impossible mission.
So, we took an extremely cheap train from Thailand’s capital to Ayutthaya, spent a day and night visiting the stunning ancient ruins and from there headed north.
Hitchhiking out of Ayutthaya was easy, like in all of Thailand, and our ride to Sukhothai was extremely hassle free.
Number of lifts: 6
Estimated journey time: 6hr
Estimated waiting time: 20 minutes
Alternative transport costs: Bus: 155-195 THB Train: 610-1450 THB
Sprawling Bangkok is a haze of traffic, tourists and noise, and a city that divides opinion like no other. To some it is the spiritual centre of Thai culture, a city rich in temples and culture with fantastic food at cheap prices. For others, it is a hell hole of noise and the very living embodiment of sex tourism. Both sides, have a point but if you can escape the tourist ghetto that is the ‘Khao San Road’, where extremely cheap alcohol consumed in bucket form is the norm, then Bangkok does have a lot to offer. Wat Phra Kaew is the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, and it sits within the grounds of the Grand Palace. There are hundreds of examples of wonderful temples in the city but perhaps Wat Pho and Wat Arun are the most beautiful and do explore the different neighbourhoods of this unique city, because from Chinatown to Siam Square there is a wealth of different atmospheres and cultures.
Most come to Sukothai to see the Sukhothai Historical Park, which are the remains of the once-powerful Sukhothai Kingdom of the 13th & 14th centuries. The ruins, which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cover an area of almost 45km2 (although you don’t have to see them all) and are best covered on bikes (which can be rented outside for 10-50 THB). The fee to enter is 100 THB for foreigners and 20 THB for Thais. The town of New Sukhothai, located 12km to the east of the park and where you will be staying, is welcoming, if not beautiful but serves as a good base.
What to visit on the way?
The remains of the ancient capital of Ayutthaya are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and their close proximity to Bangkok makes it a great day trip from the capital. The city was founded in 14th century but reached its zenith as an important trading hub with over a million inhabitants by the beginning of the 18th century and was known around the world for its splendour. Things came to a shuddering halt though, when in 1767 the city was razed to the ground by invading Burmese forces. Today, the remains are characterised by soaring prangs (reliquary towers) and vast monasteries mainly situated on a 4km island at the confluence of the Lopburi, Pasak and Chao Phraya rivers, which was once guarded by a 12km-long wall. The modern town is busy, if a little provincial, but is a functional base with bountiful cheap accommodation and food options.
① The train from Bangkok’s Hualamphong Train Station takes between 2–2½ hours and costs just 20 THB for the cheapest ticket (245 THB if you want to reserve a seat).
② The best place to hitchhike north from in Ayutthaya is located on the north running 309, which is located behind Wat Phra Si Sanphet and north of the river. This road then joins the 347 which eventually leads onto the main northbound motorway AH1.
Written by: Jon