They say it's a mini Angkor Wat

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May 7th 2006
Published: May 25th 2006
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Sorry no pics as yet, I just want to get some entries up in but I will have to wait to post pics until I get access to my bro's laptop.

The last places I visited before leaving Thailand were Khorat and Phimai about and hour outside of Khorat. Phimai was the main reason I went east in Thailand, as it is some of the oldest ruins in good shape from when the Khmer from Cambodia reigned. It was also suppose to look like Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a place I really want to visit but needed a visa I wasn't able to arrange while in Thailand. Ah next time. My trip to Phimai was on a packed bus, but really, from my few experiences, I don't think there is nothing but packed buses in Thailand. When I got there had my first ride in a real tuk tuk, the ones attached to bicycles with no engines. I don't know why I agreed to it, between my backpack and me we were pretty heavy and the guy pedaling was old. I felt so guilty as the guy started off, I want to get out and walk next to him (I probably would've passed him) or offer to help. Luckily it was only a block and half (yes, I could've walked it but I didn't know the hotel was so close from the map). I got a room and learned I would have my first experience sleeping under mosquito netting that night. I walked out to the ruins and paid the admission fee (which I swear not a single Thai ever pays). The place wasn't very big, and after Sukhothai, no terrible impressive. It made me wonder if I really want to go to Angor Wat (the answer is still yes though)

After the ruins, I walked around town in about twenty minutes and realized that the authors of the entry on Phimai in the guidebook I had never actually went to Phimai. I spent the rest of the evening reading a book and actually enjoying my room. I spent the rest of the evening reading a book and actually enjoying my room. Although it looked pretty worn out, it was an old wooden building with lots of huge windows (no glass just wooden shutters.) I thought it was going to be hot without A/C but so much air circulated through room is was pleasant.

The next morning I happily left Phimai and spent the rest of the time in Khorat. There isn't much to see in Khorat but it I guess it is a typical (small) Thai city that hasn't been inundated with tourism. The main attraction is a large mall. The night market also was one of the better ones I've seen, lots of food as the main attraction with stalls for everything else under the sun as well. The tuk-tuk (motorized ones this time) were the worst. On two occasions they upped the price when I got out. At least I am pretty sure they did, unless I understood fifty for sixty. I know I agreed to fifty. Because there is so little tourism in Khorat, there were not a ton of sleeping options. The hotel/guesthouse I chose was cheap but when tuk-tuk driver dropped me off I sincerely thought he had made a mistake. The hotel looked too nice for my standards. I went in anyway and asked the clerk what the prices were and surprisingly fell right into my budget. The room was nice and even had cable. I tried to watch Walk the Line in Thai but it didn't quite work. I watched Peter Jackson's King Kong and that didn't work either although it was in English. The final remark I have on Khorat is on the elephant I literally almost ran into on my last night. The guy riding the elephant had the elephant wave his trunk at me and the guy on the ground wanted me to buy one of the bananas he carried to feed it. I turned him down and kept walking. When I looked back though, I saw one of the funniest things I saw my entire time in Thailand. A small, flashing traffic reflector was attached to the elephant's tail. I guess it would be disastrous for everyone if someone rear-ended an elephant. I tried to get a pic but it was too dark to turn out well.


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