Sukhothai was the country's first capital in 1240 AD.
After a week in Bangkok I visited Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and crossed the friendship bridge back into Thailand at Nong Khai to visit the North. My first stop was in the ancient city of Sukhothai on my way to Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai.
This Wat Khuha Suwan not far from the ruins of the old city is a school for monks.
Wat Mahathat near the ruins of the royal palace.
Another view of Wat Mahathat.
Wat Son Kao.
From Sukhothai, I went directly to Chiang Rai close to the so-called Golden Triangle where opium is grown near the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
I had a comfortable room in the Boom Bun Dan hotel for only 3.20$US.
Chiang Rai has several beautiful temples. This is Wat Jet Yod.
And here is Wat Phra Singh.
One of the reasons I like Thailand is the open mind of the Therevada monks with whom it is easy to exchange views without confrontation. Some of these young monks in Wat Phra Singh spoke English.
Wat Phra Kaew.
After Chiang Rai I moved south to the larger Chiang Mai which was a capital from 1292 to 1558.
Here is the moat around Old Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai's numerous temples are well maintained and regularly used by the population.
Here is Wat Sun Pow.
This is Wat Boan Ping.
Wat Oo Mong.
Below left, Wat Dong Eung, on the right, Wat Pun Ohn.
Wat Chai Pragiet.
Wat Toong Yao.
Wat Phra Singh, the most important temple complex one in town.
Another temple in the Wat Phra Singh complex.
Another view of Wat Phra Singh.
Left, Wat Kuan Kaamah - right, Wat Bupparam
And finally, Wat Loi Kroh.
After Chiang Mai I took an overnight bus to Bangkok and flew to Taipei on the following day.