There is a distinct freedom that is ever present when site seeing by bike. Maybe it is because having my own transportation allowed me to briefly escape the constant hammering of touts by the locals.
During my latest bicycle trip, I explored the 800 year old UNESCO World Heritage site of Sukhothai, Thailand. Besides its other worldly temples that sat upon mirror-like lotus ponds, the main highlight was the megalithic Buddha of Wat Si Chum.
Upon entering, I found several unlit incense sticks and a lighter that were on the main altar. I looked to my left and gazed at the gold leaf plastered finger tips. I was about the same size as the Buddha’s hand. After lighting the incense, I realized that my girlfriend and I were the only ones in the shrine.
I took advantage of this precious opportunity and prostrated before the Buddha. I found a corner and gazed upwards at his ever compassionate eyes. The incense smoke swirled into the heavens as I rapidly recited the mantra “OM Mani Padme Hum" over and over again.
Written by Ian Moore
Photos by: Ian Moore