Sukothai


We made it to Sukothai without any problems, but when we came out the next day we found an even larger puddle of gas under bike #2 than the day before. The leak seemed to be coming from around the fuel pump, but if the fuel shutoff valve on the tank was working properly it shouldn't have been leaking. We figured we would have to spend two nights here, so we decide to do an early run the twelve kilometers out of town to Sukothai's old city.

The Sukothai Historical Park is massive in comparison to Kamphaeng Phet with five different zones each with their own entrance fee. It is one of Thailand's largest historical sites, and the grounds are meticulously groomed. We unfortunately shot much of what we saw here with the camera set on the wrong setting.




The park houses some distinctive features like this elegant bronze walking Buddha, and the lotus pond top right. The photo at bottom right shows some of the delicate detail preserved here.

The reflecting pool above is photographed from a tiny island reached by a causeway. The chedi below also faces a meditative lotus pond.


       When we returned to town we asked at a the hotel if there was a shop around that worked on bigger bikes, and we were directed to a biker bar where they said someone would know of a place. From there we were directed to a shop with a helpful guy (above) who spoke excellent English. It was getting near closing time, so he said he would meet me at seven am and try to get us on the road quickly. We had a spare fuel pump that Yut had supplied so we decided to put that one in and see if it leaked. When we put it in though the bike wouldn't start at all, so we removed it to bench test it. We determined the pump was no good. Taking it in and out was also a hassle because without being able to shut the gas valve gas began to pour everywhere as soon as you removed the supply hose.
      At that point, the owner of the shop contacted Yut who suggested an alternative. The body of the fuel pump bore the Mitsubishi logo, so the shop owner sent his man to an auto parts store and found a pump with the same specs and body size. Unfortunately, it had two metal tabs or "ears" on it for mounting, and it also had 1/4 inch stems for mounting the hoses. The original pump had 3/8th inch stems. The original pump was mounted horizontally, and the only way this could possibly have fit is if it was mounted vertically. Still, the shop owner said he thought it could be made to fit with a little creative routing of the hoses, and by putting a small piece of 1/4 inch hose on each stem before putting the 3/8th hose over it with a heavy hose clamp. I thought that it would be a little precarious and decided that since it was a slow leak I would take the new one with and run with the old one until we got to Pai where Yut was sending the other parts. I figured since it only seemed to leak after it sat for a while we could just be careful about where we parked it at night. We had already lost more time than we liked, and the visa clock was ticking.

Well, I guess we could have banked on this. We made it just as far as the park we had visited the day before, about twelve kilometers, and the old pump quit altogether. Our friend at the shop sent two of his guys out and we did the gerryrigged replacement that we had discussed right on the side of the road. As frustrating as this was becoming, these guys were super accommodating and worked cheap.