Haunting Temple Tunes at Si Satchanalai
A few days ago Khiri Travel Thailand Director of Products inspected Si Satchanalai Historical Park. It is close to the better-known Sukhothai Historical Park in the lower north of Thailand.
Compared to Sukhothai Historical Park (which is very well maintained with a lot of restoration work neatly done beside well kept lawns), we immediately noticed the much more ‘authentic’ appearance of Si Satchanalai Historical Park. The ruins look more weather and time beaten and therefore quite different from ‘pretty’ Sukhothai Historical Park.
A number of the ruins at Si Satchanalai have more walls and even a roof has been preserved. It seems the Tourism Authority Thailand in the past had big plans for the park. But somewhere along the way gave up. We saw a lot of disused spotlights, burnt out guard cabins, ruined toilets for tourists and more. Perhaps sad, but it also contributed to the feeling that we were in a very special place not often visited by tourists.
Incidentally, the number of visitors on that day was considerably less compared to that of the previous day in Sukhothai. Bicycles for rent are available near the restaurants, similar to Sukhothai. Cycling is really the best way to go around the park.
Besides Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Chet Thaew and Wat Nang Phaya we also had a look at Wat Phra Si Rattanamahatath Chaliang (on the other side of the park), which clearly showed some Khmer influences. Remarkable as well was the flute-playing musician at this temple ruin. After donating a few baht, his playing seemed remarkably appropriate for the surroundings.
All in all, Si Satchanalai is definitely a highly recommended place to visit for anyone interested in temples.
Si Satchanalai Historical Park is located on the bank of the Yom River only 55 km from Sukhothai town. The 91-hectare (288-acre) area within the old laterite ramparts and the city moat is the focus of sightseeing in the historical park. Among the remains of the 19 monuments inside the city wall, highlights are the first three monuments from the entrance: Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Chet Thaew and Wat Nang Phaya.
Besides these monuments within the city wall, there are other Khmer style sites that are worth visiting. Si Satchanalai’s riverside site was crucial to the development of its famous ceramics industry. More than 1,000 kilns operated along the river, producing highly prized pots that carried a greenish-gray glaze known as celadon. These were eventually exported throughout Asia.
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