My time here in Thailand is winding down. I’m in Sukhothai now, one of the ‘Colosseum’-like archaeological sites of Buddhism in Asia. The kingdom that gave rise to the site arose and fell in just about two hundred years, from the mid 13th century to the mid 15th, in central Thailand. After it fell, the capital was moved to Ayutthaya, and then to Bangkok where it is today.
The trip has been amazing thus far; due in great part to the people in charge of the International Association of Buddhist Universities, which hosted the conference that brought me here (a perk of academia), and the opportunity to meet some new and old friends while here. That and Thailand is a pretty great place in it’s own right.
The only real downside of the trip thus far has been needing to do work (some for my degree, some for a teaching job) while I’ve been here. A high academic point of the trip was getting to spend some time with a long-time hero, Donald Swearer, in Ayutthaya; as well as meeting (only briefly) another great scholar, Abraham Velez de Cea.
I was thinking my next stop might be Phetchaburi or Ko Samet, both just south of Bangkok, but then I heard from old friends from India, the co-owners of the Happy Cafe in Bodh Gaya, that they are in Ko Mak, so that’s where I’ll head instead for my last three days (plus one for travel and one more in Bangkok before flying out).
Ahead of me are about 12-14 hours on a bus (oh the joys of travelling cheap). Then a boat. Then a van. Then a beach.
Speaking of travelling cheap, avoid the tuk tuks of Bangkok, they’re quite a ride, but often involve time consuming scams… Here’s a video I shot a couple days ago out and about in one (just riding around here):