During our trip to Thailand, I was determined to visit the two most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites because they were accessible by different modes of transportation. Having already explored Ayutthaya with my siblings and husband, only Sukhothai remains on my to-check out list. After a week exploring Bangkok, on a Saturday morning, my husband and I ate our last breakfast at the Station Cafe, checked out, and took the earliest special express train to Phitsanulok.
We spent our whole morning sitting inside the airconditioned special express train that left from the Hua Lamphong station a little past 8AM. There was no delay at all, contrary to many blogs and reviews I read about Thailand’s railway. We bought our tickets three days before and it was just right because seats in the airconditioned special express train are limited. We paid 475 baht one way to Phitsanulok per person. At 10AM, I was feeling hungry and asked my husband to buy me something from the “food lady.” The food lady indeed gave us food, but it was for free! Our tickets came with free snacks of 1 piece of bread (with pandan filling) and a cup of cold orange juice.
The sound of the train lulled me to sleep until the food lady woke me up for lunch, free lunch! She gave us a packet of 2 boiled eggs seasoned with five-spice, a bowl of rice, and bowl of red curry, and a glass of cold water. The red curry was hot, but was actually delicious.
Afternoon – Arrival in Phitsanulok
At past 1PM, we arrived at the Phitsanulok train station. It was not very busy but we immediately found a woman driver who said she will take us to the bus station for Sukhothai at 60baht per person for the driver to take us to the bus station. The bus station was far from the train station, about 2 kilometers.
It was easy to find the ticket booth for Sukhothai because there are English marks. We paid 50baht for the next bus trip, at 2:30 PM. The 2:30 bus was an old bus manned by husband-and-wife, and was probably the only mode of transportation I took in Thailand that was running on lower than 80kph speed. The bus was cramped for Western tourists and one female Western tourist almost destroyed the bus’s ceiling fan because her backpack, which was almost as big as herself, got stuck. The bus’s overhead compartment was also small, we could not even fit our smaller backpacks. The bus ride was smooth, because the road was smooth and well maintained.
Afternoon – Arrival in Sukhothai
We arrived at the Sukhothai bus station in an hour, despite the many stops to drop off and pick up passengers, and, unfortunately, our journey did not end there. We still need to ride a songthaew or tuktuk to take us to old Sukhothai where our guesthouse was located. Another woman approached us and said she and her husband will take us to our guesthouse for 150baht for two people. We shared the songthaew with the female Western tourist with the huge bag and her boyfriend, and they turned out to be Argentinians. They complained that the journey to Sukhothai was expensive (and I agree!), but we diverted and talked about, of course, Che Guevarra and Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries)!
Afternoon – Arrival in Old Sukhothai
The Argentinian couple was dropped off at a cute hostel and we were driven to our guesthouse. I was already very tired of the journey, but, to be honest, when I saw the guesthouse and the cute attendants, and, after having drank the cold tea they offered, my tiredness went away and I was ready to explore the new place once again. The dora in me. I have a mole in my sole.
Total expense from Bangkok to Sukhothai was 660baht, and consisted of the following:
— 475baht special express train Bangkok to Phitsanulok
— 60baht songthaew Phitsanulok train station to bus station
— 50baht bus to Sukhothai
— 75baht songthaew Sukhothai bus station to guesthouse
Total travel time from Bangkok to Sukhothai was about 8 hours, with 20 minutes waiting time at the Phitsanulok bus station.