DAY ONE: Trip from Chaing Rai to Lamphun. After spending a not inconsequential amount of time on the hunt for the Chiang Rai Post office. It's not my fault it looks like a bank... In Chiang Mai decide to get a bus to Lampang instead, as buses to Lamphun are not sign posted and veryone seems to think I am asking for Lampang anyway... Hey ! THIS bus stops in Lamphun. Oh well, paid almost one pound for this ticket, I'm going to get my moneys worth! That Australian on the bus who said it would be easy to find a guest house wasn't telling the truth... Fried Rice! Bedtime.
DAY TWO: Lampang (not Lamphun). Wandering round town... Stop beeping at me tuk tuk, I'm not going any where in particular. Ooh, thats an nice Burmese influenced temple. Thats an enormous Burmese influencd temple... Hello monk, oh you are from Burma, really? Is it your plan to take over Lampang. That is a rude question to ask a monk, I shall move on. Now that I am looking for a ceramics market where have all the tuk tuk drivers gone? Thats a strong smell of incense... Shrine to three pillers of the city. It is pretty. I suspect this ceramics market never really existed. Still seen most of Lampang in my hunt for it, so not so bothered that I have missed the last pony ride sight seeing tour of the day. I shall go for a walk round a park instead. Wait a minute... This park is a gym! There pathways are all marked up with running training distances and they have treadmills that are frames with cylinders as the base for you to run on. Amazing. Oh rain. Damn you monsoon season. Noodles! Bedtime.
DAY THREE: Trip from Lampang to Phitsanulok. After being impressed that the minute I got out of the tuk tuk I was asked where I was going, and ushered onto the right bus strsight away, surely this is not right! What if I am on a bus Sanhulok? My pronunciation is not amazing. Oh, I am on the right bus. And the lady next to me is getting off at Phitsanulok too, she will kep me right. Thank you kind Thai people and non verbal communication. Driving through Sukothai, it looks nice. Phitsanulok is not so nice, though wikipedia says "It is probably best known as the birthplace of King Naresuan, who freed the country from Burmese domination in the late 16th century." He should go to Lampang. But everyone says hello, and helps me find things. I can get a train to Ayutthaya tomorrow at nine, hurrah! Red Curry. Talking to Andy on the internet.. At half three the place fills with people in school uniform playing internet games. This is a theme through the rest of the trip... Take a wander along the Nan river to Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat, it is a temple believd to have curative properties. There are a lot of people praying and monks chants bing pumped out through speakers outside. On the way back to the hostel I see another one of the gym parks, this one has a Rosmary Connelly- esque figure on a stage by the river bank leading an exercise class for anyone that wants to join in. Dammit Monsoon season, I wanted to go to the night market. Oh well, Bed time. Bloody hell, those are some big spider webs on the ceiling... Do not sleep well...
DAY FOUR: Trip to Ayutthaya. Was told to go to platform two. But platform two is over there, where is the bridge? Oh I see, we just cross the train tracks in Thailand. Ok. Hello nice Dutch Lady, you dont particuarly enjoy Phitsanulok either? Fair enough. You are in 2nd class? I am in third. Thak you for helping me get on th right train, safe home! Sitting next to an open window on a fast train for, four and a half hours. So windswept and interesting right now. It is a nice way to see the counryside though. Lots of temples, and buddhas and farming and palm trees. That power line has fallen down into a submerged paddy field... Is that safe..? Thank you kind lady, but I do not really want a meat ball on a stick. They are yours. Sort of wish I was making a stop at Lopburi. There are monkeys in the streets and everyone made a Wai at one of the temples as the train went by. Thank you again kind lady for helping me to get off at the right stop. Having a wonder before bed and a man on a bike stops for a chat as he is cycling to work. Further wandering, man on bike appears at the gate of the university building (where he works) and gives me a much more comprehensive map than the one at th hostel. Thank you kind bike man! Bedtime in my non cobwebby dwelling.
DAY FIVE: Ayutthaya. I don't agree with the non believers, I suspect they are people who do not enjoy wandering around ruins. I, on the other hand, LOVE wandering around ruins. Spent a good few hours just on 2 temples. Be glad my camera has broken, people at home or you would be subject to many photos of crumbling bricks and half built buddhas. 39 exposure disposible cameras are limiting. Went to see this first. Then nipped across the road to a temple where two princes once duelled to both their deaths on elephant back. Spent the afternoon at the Ancient palace complex and wandered over to the Historic Studies centre. Historically Ayutthaya was powerful. Lots of trade with the whole world, and a strong base for the capital, as it is surrounded by a river on all four sides. Then the Burmese sacked it and the ruins have been left as they are ver since apart from th odd excavation here and there to remove precious artifacts and relics of Lord Buddha. It's a really interesting place.
DAY SIX. Going home today, but not untill the wee small hours or the morning so a temple out of town is on the cards. And probably buying an insane amount of incense. Then last bus to Bangkok. I haven't even spent one night there. There goes that blog entry title...
It's been aces. But I am looking forward to coming home. Cause there is aces too.