Published: January 22nd 2007January 22nd 2007
Charlie TRYING to be artistic
Well he's only good at sleeping
After leaving Bangkok we had an extremely busy 6 days going to three different places. Traveling between each place we took the train as it turned out to be a lot cheaper then the bus. You have a similar choice of quality of travel as in the UK but they do have 3rd class which we choose (it was dead cheap less than 2 quid for 670kms). Imagine a school changing room in a carriage you would just about be spot on. The best way to describe train travel in Thailand in bum numbing. But as you go further north of Bangkok the scenery changes drastically and becomes almost rainforresty.
The first place we went to was Ayuthaya with Matt in tow. The town use to be the capital of Siam which is now known as modern day Thailand and then Bangkok was made the capital. There are two parts of the city there is the modern area with shops and western restaurants and then there is the old side of the city which contains a lot of ruins and archeological sites. The sites contained Wats which are basically Buddha temple.
In Ayuthaya a lot of the Buddha temples
This is a typical sight in the ruins where the heads are missing
are ruins with Buddha statues in the middle many of the Buddha’s were in poor condition and were missing parts of the statue mainly either the head or an arm due to the many wars and conflicts that have happened in Thailand over the years. Many of the temples here dated back to the 1400’s and really explained some of the damage. During this time the King of Siam lived here within the palace walls. We were impressed by a lot of the Wats as we were amazed at how they could construct these types of buildings as they were really complex and detailed back in the 1400’s.
When we were on the way to one of the Wats we decided to go to Ayutaya’s museum which admirably was quite small but was rich in information and dioramas. This gave us a good insight to the area we were staying in. We decided to go to the night market and have a cheap evening meal. These are funny places as many things can happen at any time. We were wandering up the middle isle when all of a sudden a baby elephant came up to us with his owner
this is not something you expect to see when walking down a crowded market street especially when you can hardly move from people getting in your way. About a minute or so after this Matt bought something on a stick and started to sweat profoundly and wheezing it turns out he had eaten a red hot chilly pepper. Then Owen came staggering past with a fly in his eye trying to get the thing out, Charlie almost fell over from laughing so much and could not decide who to laugh at most Owen stumbling around like a blind man who has lost his stick or Matt who’s mouth was quickly turning into the heat of a volcano.
The only disappointment was the palace as all that was left was a few walls and rubble. However we did learn that the palace had been attacked many times of the previous centenaries. We only stayed in Ayutaya for 2 days before moving on. There was not much of a night life there so we had a really chilled out couple of nights and managed to save some money.
Next up was Lop buri which is famous for its monkey population.
The sitting Buddha
This was at the Ayuthaya ruins
Originally the locals fed the monkeys and looked after them believing they would give them good luck however over the years they have learnt to tolerate them as they bring in so much money from the tourists. The area was very similar to Ayuataya however the Wats were in closer proximity to the centre of the town. We dumped our bags of at the hotel after a relaxing two hour train ride and decided to venture out to see the first ruin of Lop buri. They were in a lot better condition then the Ayutaya but even through they were still not as impressive. The day we walked around was the hottest we have ever had and had to give up at about 2pm and seek some shelter.
If you are going to Lop Buri one piece of advice the monkeys want your food. We had just bought ourselves some meat on a stick (great cheap food from street venders at rock bottom prices) and the three of us walked down the street. Matt was walking in the middle when a monkey spotted him the monkey scrambled from his electric wire onto a nearby pole and slowly made his
move…. he grabbed Matt’s food and ran off staring at us Matt performed some interesting acrobatics (he said he was attacked by the monkey which did not even touch him). But it was very funny listening to him screaming like a little girl.(sorry Matt we had to put that as it was so funny) The monkeys also took Owen’s food as well but was not that skilled just a big monkey swiping for food. Owen was not that bothered and found it quite funny as the food in there he had spat out as it was revolting but at least the monkey enjoyed it.
In this area it is near the monkey temple and there are hundreds of monkeys everywhere performing such delightful acts as bum picking, monkey boxing, monkey sex and the always popular monkey attacking a dumb westerner. Believe us we saw a lot of this. We went into the ruin by the monkey temple and it was quite an amazing sight the ruin was in very good condition but had a lot of rats and monkeys being fed by westerners. When we were at the gate paying they all gave us sticks to fend the monkeys
off as we made a point of saying how much they have already bothered us. Now when you are going into a temple and something brushes against your ankles you do tend to look around Owen felt something bush his ankles and turned around and could not see anything thinking it could be those rats again. About five minutes later Matt felt the same we both looked at each other Matt looking a bit more worried then Owen just wondering what it was and then we learned the truth Owen turned around just in time to see Charlie running the stick across the back of Matt’s ankles. Bastard. Charlie found this very funny but Owen and Matt not so much as this went on for about 5-10 minutes before they realized what it was.
With an early start tomorrow we decided to call it a night and get ready for the next day. We traveled to Sukhothai by train and got there earlyish at the train was a 5 hour journey. We found it really easy to get a guest house and it was the first place we found with a hot shower in two months. Now I don’t
The night market
Imagine walking down here minding your own buisness and meeting an elephant head on. Well we did.
know how many people reading this will know how nice it is jumping in a hot shower. Sukhothai was the same as the previous two places but was confined within one area with a very spectacular Wat in the very centre. The biggest difference there was a lot of beautiful lakes and gardens. It was yet another nice day but was getting very hot. Now after 6 days of continuous seeing of Wats, temples and Buddha’s we were a little templed out. We got ready and moved on to Chang Mai but that can wait until the next time.
There are more photos below