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July 21st 2008
Published: July 21st 2008
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Another one for you....
We left the peninsular of Raleigh due to thinning wallets. It wasnt entirely a shame to go because it was absolutely pissing it down and so all there was to do was essentially eat and converse with other travellers (not a bad thing at all but fairly mundane and repetitive). We left to go back up further north and so got a coach back up to Bangkok. Nothing exceptional really happened as it was a 14 hour cramped coach journey (I could hear moans of anguish fom behind me at times, but the bastard deserved it). When we got to Bangkok we immediately headed out again to catch another bus - one that would take us to Petchaburi. The normal custom is for the bus conductor to alert farang to their impeding stop. In this instance they forgot (all 3 of them!!) 3 hours further on we realised we had gone a miss (it is bloody hard understanding Thai road signs). We eventually got a bus to our destination but the extended detour is one that we are in no mood to repeat. Especially as we hadnt eaten for nigh on 20 hours.
Petchaburi is not really on the tourist map. It's highlighted in Lonely Planet and for some reason there is a Parisian feel to the place, but it is predominantly local Thailand (which suited us fine). This did however present its problems. I have no idea how to order food. The best hope is to say chicken, but after 3 helpings of egg fried rice a day this policy is not always the best. The markets though are a wonder to a foreigner, with vivid colours and vast arrays of (odd) food that do not always tantalise the taste buds. I would say that the smells cause your mouth tosaliavte with anticipation of food, but this would be a lie. Just avoid the entrails.
The reason Petchaburi is in any guidebok is because of its temple and palace. Both proved to be average - the palace fairly new (by European standards, built in 1859, It did command an incredible view though - like glastonbury tor but with no wizard shops) and the temple fairly shit (sorry budhists). What was more amusing however was the monkeys. They were everywhere; hanging on telephone wires, shops and shutters of buildings. At first they were amusing. You could watch them lounging and hollaring at nearby people. This however was a short lived view. I have now learnt that they are in fact gits. Imagine a safari park. They come and take off your window screen wiper and its hilarious. Now picture a road in Thailand. You are the car. They ruined many a photo oppurtunity due to their menacing presence, leering at you with clenched fists and malice filled in their eyes. I can't wait to eat some bush meat now.
Also in Petchaburi are caves. When we got there a Thai lad came up to me asking if I needed a guide. We couldnt get rid of him so we said yes for the hilarity factor. The kid was 10 and sang as he took us round, pointing at pictures of animals and stating their name (his English was better than this). He did prove bloody useful though when pointing out some bats, of which I couldnt actually see. He wanted about 30p the cheaky bastard. I gave him a slap and told him to be thankful.

We only spent one night there and quickly moved on. The journey was an absolute bugger, revealed in my next installment (I've run out of internet time).


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