As usual the travel section on the blog has been neglected for a while. The reason is simple. I changed to digital photo quite late and the vast majority of my trips are still on slides and I simply do not have the time to go through these slides and scan them. Anyway, here are some photos from my trip to Thailand in 2006.
Roughly 55 km outside Old Sukhothai, the first Thai capital, there is an impressive site called Si Satchanalai along the bank of the Yom River at Tambon Muang Kao, Si Satchanalai county. There is not much data available of this 13th to 15th century site but it is built in the same style as its much larger neighbor. Stone inscriptions, local legends and historical chronicles suggest that the site was governed by the crown prince of Sukhothai. It was originally called Muang Chaliang during the Sukhothai era. During the Ayutthaya era the name changed to Sawankhalok and at that time it became a secondary outpost.
The Sri Lankan style chedi Wat Chang Lom has 39 laterite elephant buttresses.
Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat Chaliang is the largest temple in the area (it is actually located in another town called Chaliang, three km southeast of Si Satchanalai). The decorative stucco found at the main entrance of the temple is remiscent of the Khmerian Bayon art style. This suggests that this part of the site was founded before the Sukhothai period, probably as an outpost of the Khmer empire. The current architectural characteristic of the Prang dates back to the Ayutthaya period but it is believed to be built over an earlier structure.
The Celadon Kiln Site is located a few km north of the historical park. Si Satchanalai/ Sawankhalok produced glazed ceramics called Sangkhalok wares. Over 500 oval kilns with curved roof have been excavated and these are 7-8 m wide. Ceramics produced here were shipped to China, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.