Kamphaeng Phet, UNESCO World Heritage
Once you are in Sukhothai, you have left north Thailand. To me it seemed Kamphaeng Phet (Diamond Wall) was a logical next stop on the way to Bangkok. Of course I could have cycled to new Sukhothai and from there to Phitsanulok and from there on highways going south.
It was my original idea to cycle that way to find a way to Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) and visit Phimai but I had to skip that as I wouldn't have time to reach Satun in 30 days.
So I decided to do that later (after all, I had been to Phimai anyway years ago) and go to Kamphaeng Phet, another historical city.
The city is less popular as Sukhothai and Ayutthaya but according to what I had read, just as interesting.
I took the direction out of old Sukhothai to new Sukhothai. Just outside the old city walls I found what I was looking for: the junction with the 1272, and a sign already for Kamphaeng Phet, 85 km further south west of old Sukhothai.
In the beginning I saw some stupas on the complete flat lands. I had definitely left north Thailand and entered the central Thai lowlands. There was virtually no traffic on this road. It was a pleasant ride through the agricultural countryside.
Kamphaeng Phet, UNESCO World Heritage City
The city is far less well known or popular as Sukhothai or Ayutthaya but it deserves more recognition as some of the artwork is of astounding quality. There are more ruins in the area than around Sukhothai although they are usually less preserved. But what there is to see is no less than spectacular.
The city walls are partly in tact but it might start for you when you enter the city. The first pass the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park.
The ancient ruins in the park are for the most just foundations and little more but in the exposition rooms of the UNESCO World Heritage Office you can get an idea of the size and beauty of the whole site.
The city itself is not too much of interest. There's a few hotels around the very busy market area and at the riverside you will find plenty the night market with plenty of great food. You may want to book in advance although I doubt it is really necessary:
I stayed in the Navarat Hotel close to the central market in town. Nothing fancy build big and clean rooms. If you come without a booking, you should be able to bargain.
Most travelers give the city a miss for obvious reasons: "I've seen already plenty of ruins, enough is enough", and I can understand it. Still Kamphaeng Phet is one of the largest archaeological sites in Thailand and has a rich history. The road to the city from the north is pleasant, so stick your nose a little in the history of the city and you will some real treasures here.
Further worth mentioning are two good bicycle shops in town on Ratchadamnoen 1 (in the clock tower area). They have a good selection of proper bicycler materials and a knowledgeable staff.
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