I continue to follow route 101 south, it's flat and easy going, there is a bit of traffic though so when I get the chance I turn off onto a minor road. It is nice and quiet, I ride through plantations of rubber trees, each with a strip of bark cut away and a bowl attached to catch the sap. Back to the highway, I climb up to reach a high point, the border between Naan and Prae provinces. Checking my GPS, it reckons the nearest hotel is in Prae the city, that would be a very long day, I am glad to find one thirty kilometres earlier, it even has a nice bar attached.
I make it a lazy day to Prae, why not, this gives me time to visit the Miuang Pii forest park on the way, an interesting place where the various types of volcanic rock have eroded to form tall columns - the name means, 'city of ghosts'. I have plenty of time for sightseeing in Prae too, it's another nice, unspoilt place with a pleasant walking trail along the city wall, many old teak houses, and a lot of museums too. One next to my hotel is dedicated to the Free Thai movement, the resistance to the Japanese occupation during World War Two. Pretty dead in the evening here mind you, though after some wandering I find a restaurant, by the bus station.
I keep on south, route 101 has got pretty busy, but I find some minor roads leading up into the hills, I seem to be stronger now and manage to keep pedalling. I leave Prae province, into Uttaradit, if it sounds Indian that is because like many names here it is derived from Sanskrit. Once again the provincial capital has the same name, and seems a good place to stop - it's a bit of a letdown after Naan and Prae though, straight streets lined with modern(ish) buildings, many shops at ground level, all shut at night of course. Nonetheless I find a bar, and eat some tasty Tom Yam Gung.
I seem to have left the mountains behind, the way ahead looks flat, so I can do a long day, over a hundred kilometres to Sukhothai. I find a route away from the main road, this makes for nice cycling between the paddy fields, with various bird species fishing in them. I make good time to Sukhothai, the first capital of Thailand, they say - to be honest a somewhat dubious claim, it was just one of many city states in the region, and the story of legendary king Ramkhamhaeng inventing Thai script can be taken with a pinch of salt. The old city is twelve kilometres away, it sounds very impressive, so I decide to take two days off to explore, and find a slightly down at heel hotel - but no matter, there is food and beer nearby.