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February 22nd 2009
Published: February 26th 2009
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Sunday 22nd
At the bus station early having got there by elderly tuk-tuk man, I left Jen and headed off for snacks. As I returned the loudspeakers burst into life with what I assumed to be the Thai national anthem. Everyone around me stopped and stood to attention - I then realised I was stood right by the man raising the flag - so I thought I'd best stand to attention too.. I got bak to Jen and asked her whether she had - she said by the time she realised what was going on it had finished - and some locals near her hadn't stood up anyway. We were heading fo a place called Lopburi. It does have a temple which some westerners visit because it is famous for its troupe of marauding monkeys but our reason for going there is to overnight before heading on to Kanchanaburi without having to head into Bangkok. The bus journey was long and along busy roads - mostly duel carriageway. The most unusual thing was the royalist flags along almost the whole length of the road. Don't know if it was a special occasion or whether it's always like this. Lopburi is a military town. Therefore there were lots of soldiers on board - Jen pointed out to me that they wear particularly tight fitting uniforms. The buses air-conditioning was very inefficient - we were all cooking - including a young baby whose mother fanned it and held it up to the nozzle but to little effect. It appeared in some distress. On entering Lopburi we passed the monkey infested temple - certainly not somewhere I would want to visit. We were dropped off at the bus station in the newer part of town. I left Jen with the rucksacks and went in search of a guesthouse but I hadn't anticipated how hard that is if you can't read Thai script and nothing is in Roman script. I couldn't tell what buildings were. Only after returned to the bus station 30 sweaty minutes later and found a rudimentary map did I eventually (about and hour after we arrived) track down a strangely empty hotel tucked down a back street. I think it is mainly used for conventions and weddings and seemingly none were on, so it was ghostly quiet. The rooms were very scruffy and the corridor was like a jailblock but as there seemed little alternative and it was only for the night, and the bus station was close, we took it. We later strolled out in search of food but Jen felt under the weather so I headed out alone - but again couldn't read any restaurant menus and so gave up - returning with an impromptu picnic of bread and tuna plus a couple of beers to wash it down.


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