Wednesday January 25. Sukhothai to Chiang Mai.
We were tired and slept longer than we should have this morning! We want to see the old city and then take a bus to Chiang Mai.
Jon went out to the desk and asked and they said they could get us on a 11:50 bus, so we needed to hurry and get ready to go to the old city. Then she said we could get a 1 pm bus, so we thought we'd have time for breakfast and worship. We went out in a little salah (like a gazebo) in the yard and had worship together there. We prayed for the Lord's guidance whether we should take the earlier bus or the later one, and while we were praying, she came running to say that we had to take the earlier one because there wasn't a later one, the police had stopped all the later ones. So we quickly got ourselves around, grabbed our snacks, and jumped in two tuk tuks for our trip around the old city.
Sukothai was the capital of the LanaThai kingdom and was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is really an old city. There are 193 ruin sites in an area of about 70 square kilometers; 26 of these are temples, 1 is a palace. They took us to three sites, all temples.
James flew the mavic again. A guy came over talked to our tuk tuk driver and said he shouldn't be flying it for commercial purposes without registering and paying. The tuk tuk driver said he was flying it for our family memories, so he said it was ok.
The second site was very large and apparently used to be a Hindu temple. It looked so much like India! If you're interested in a virtual tour until we can share some pictures, please check out Sukothai Historical Park and Wat Mahathat.
They did some shooting for MissionTrek there. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I think they did a segment which might end up in the open!
The girls are doing so well with figuring out what to say! I'm supposed to be script writing but many times I am with Chris and Sarah and Luke when they are shooting, so I don't get to help them. We have been praying a lot and God is blessing them!
Thank you for praying too! We know you are because we're seeing the results!
We left there reluctantly. It was beautiful and amazing, but we had to keep going!
Mary Ann dragged Sarah to the tuk tuk with the production team, leaving Luke, Chris, and I in the other one. Which was fine with us, but about halfway to the guest house our driver realized he only had three passengers. He said something about five and pulled over to let the other one pass. Then we realized what he had said. We said yes, five! And once he saw five in the other tuk tuk he was fine. He thought he had left one of us behind!! They are a such nice people. I wonder sometimes, if they came to America, would we be as helpful to them as they are to us here? Something tells me we wouldn't.
We arrived back at the guest house 45 minutes before our bus, so checked out and headed to the bus stop in the same two tuk tuks. Amazing to see all the luggage and people piled in! One driver drove very carefully and didn't even change lanes because his tuk tuk was so overloaded.
The same driver that worried about Sarah and drove so carefully to the bus station took us to the right bus lane to make sure we would get the right bus. Then another man came and put tags on all our bags.
Jon and a few of the kids ran to get some snacks for breakfast because we'd been eating trail mix but wanted more. They found some soy milk and yogurt drinks as well as some rice crackers and chips. Not very healthy, but at least there was still some trail mix.
We loaded the luggage into the back of the bus and it was full enough that we ended up sitting in the back too. Our bus left just about on time.
This bus also stopped many times, a couple of which we could get off at. One place had snacks and, since everyone was hungry again, we got some more. Yesterday we had bread to fill in our first snack meal, but we didn't find any today.
Right now we have been on the road for about six hours total. And we still have a ways to go. We are all looking forward to seeing Jonathan in Chiang Mai. And eating a real meal!
Chris and the kids will be staying with Jonathan and our family will be staying in a guest house somewhere. We all have lots of laundry to do! Looking forward to clean clothes too!
We arrived in Chiang Mai just after 6 and piled off the bus. Before we had even begun collecting our bags, we were surrounded by drivers offering us a car. They were all very willing to take us anywhere we wanted to go, for a price of course. We told them we were waiting for our friend.
Finally they all left and we went out front to wait for Jonathan. It was rush hour so his songthaew took longer than expected. (A songthaew is a pickup with a covered bed and benches on both sides. Here they serve as miniature buses.) Once he arrived, he arranged for a taxi to take them to his apartment.
Jon and I and the kids went and found a "car" songthaew to take us to a guest house. Jonathan had recommended one so we went there first. On the way, Jon called and she said they had room. Once we arrived, the driver dropped us off and left. We found out that she had actually that. Room. One room. One bed. James and Mary Ann are a bit big for sharing with.
So we wandered down the road asking. Several didn't have rooms. One had a room which we all could have shared but it wasn't ready for use. So we said we'd come back if we didn't find anything soon.
We found an apartment building type place where we could get fan rooms for 350 each. Thankfully it is cool here now so we don't need ac. We have bathtubs with hot water and refrigerators in our rooms! That's unusual for Thailand.
We were quite happy to head out looking for supper! Our first real meal of the day and we really needed it! We found a nice restaurant down the street called Peppermint and got some yummy Thai food!
Then we had worship and went to bed. Hard to go to sleep with the noisy neighbors outside. They have a cooking school across the street and the people are laughing and clapping.