less than an hour into our ride though, the bus broke down on the side of the road (at least the AC was still working). 30 minutes later all the passengers were forced to get out of the bus and hitch a ride with an oncoming bus heading to the next station. if there was an explanation i didn't understand because it was in thai. the bus was crowded and many people were forced to stand the next 30 minutes before we got to lampang. i was the only foreigner there, and kind of stood around at the station having no idea what's going on. i finally managed to talk with a boy who told me the next sukhothai bus would arrive in 10 minutes.
true to his word, the bus did arrive, but with the influx of more passengers, the bus was overfilled and i along with a half dozen other passengers were forced to stand, for long how i didn't know, but the worse case scenario would be the 5-6 more hours before we arrived at sukhothai. i stood in the way back, so after 30 minutes of standing (with my arms in the air holding on to the luggage shelves, bracing myself on the rocky bus), i finally sat down on an elevated step, knees bent, head folded into my arms, my ass on fire because apparently i was sitting on top of the engine.
30 more minutes we arrived at a rest stop, everyone got off to stretch their legs and to eat. i was in no mood for food and stood out in the sun, trying to imagine how much more suffering i'd have to endure. when i got back on the bus though, apparently some people had gotten off, so there was an empty seat waiting for me. salvation! i went to sleep immediately, hoping that by the time i woke up i'd be in sukhothai.
after what seemed like many hours later, we stopped at a bus station. i asked the thai man if this was sukhothai, he said yes, and i got off. i asked a woman at the bus station if this was sukhothai. "no, 2 more hours," she said. i got back on the bus. went to sleep.
when i finally woke up again, it was 4:30pm and i was in sukhothai (i saw the sign as we pulled into the bus station). i was in no mood to haggle, so i grabbed the first tuk tuk driver i saw and had him take me to where all the guesthouses were. i saw 3 places before finally deciding on MG House, 350 baht/night for a teak bungalow with AC + TV + hot water bathroom. i took a hot shower and relaxed.
a few hours later i went out to get some dinner. up to that point i hadn't eaten anything (not breakfast, not lunch), only a box of melted chocolate pocky that i had in my bag and some leftover peanuts i got from a chiang mai market. i went with some street food from the night market, some chicken on a stick, a coconut shake, and a bowl of thai style pan fried noodles with pork. i even had time to check the price of another hotel; i thought it'd be more expensive but it was actually the same price as what i was paying (AC + TV as well), and downstairs there was a lounge bar (behind a room with tinted windows) where every night a selection of ladies would entertain the customers with singing. as tempting as that might be, i didn't think i needed that in my hotel. i checked my e-mail quickly at an internet cafe before going back to my guesthouse.
new sukhothai sunset