Thailand - extreme tempeling in Ayutthaya
On this trip I, Markus, will write the blog instead of Nina (she is usually the boss of blogging). Unfortunately, due to her operations in 2012 we cannot go together on the trip through Northern Thailand. It still would be to dangerous for her to get an infection in the tropics - she is not fit enough. But anyway, she insisted that I will go and enjoy the trip. And so I did.
It was a strange feeling to be on the road on your own for the very first time. Normally, we always share the "duties" while travelling - this time, it is all just me. There is no-one to share some thoughts, no-one to treat you when you are sick and no-one to keep an eye on the luggage while going on a loo or looking for a place to stay. Well, but somehow I will manage - somehow you always survive.
The 4th of january, Nina drove me to the train station in Bern/Switzerland - and here I was, back on the road again! A long ride to Frankfurt in Germany, a flight to Manama (Bahrein) and another flight to Bangkok and here I was: back in Thailand again! Yepeeeeee! As I wanted to keep the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for the end of my trip I decided to start in Ayutthaya. Therefore, at Suvarnabhumi I went to level 2 - gate 2 for the free shuttle to Don Muang Airport. It took me about 1 hour to get there. It was a bit chaotic to find the train station, but after walking back and forth and asking several people I bought the right ticket and managed to jump on the right train. I just got some money from the ATM at the airport and wanted to pay the train with 1000 Baht (THB). But it costs only 11 THB. I was glad I had some 20 THB left from our last trip. It is really annoying that you can only get 1000 THB at the ATMS. Everything costs less: a meal is about 30 - 40 THB, a beer 38 THB, a big bottle of water 15 THB. Even accomodation is not more than 600 THB (well, you can have for more, but hey, we are backpacker!). 31 Baht is 1 Swiss Franc or 39 Baht is 1 Euro, by th way. Anyway, I arrived savely in Ayutthaya 1 hour later and took a tuk-tuk to the Somjaj Guesthouse. The staff was very friendly - but they were fully booked. They asked me to sit down and wait for a minute - and suddenly they had a double room for 600 THB. I told them not to pay more than 500 THB as I was alone and they were fine. It is a lot for my budget but I was terribly tired and just wanted a place to crash down. The room was perfect with a hot shower and a comfy bed. Perfect! I put my bag down and hurried up on the nightmarket for a bite to eat. The staff told me to come back early because in the streets at night the dogs are very aggressive and the infusion against rabis is 4000 THB. And it happens quite often that tourists are attacked. So I just grabbed some food and went back for a wonderful snooze.
The next day I hired a bicycle and cycled around the old town. That was extremley relaxing - a great way to discover the area and all the wats. I visited Wat Phu Kao Thong at the outskirts of town where you can also find the Naresuan monument. That was really worth the extra k's! Quite impressive these buildings! I had lunch in a nice chinese restaurant along the road - finally fried rice - and how I love those fruit shakes, YUMMY! After a short pit stop at the guesthouse I continued my trip in the new town. Wow, that was kind of adventurous: crossing a 8 lane highway with an old thai bicycle. I made it, but I have to admit I was quite nervous! But again the 2 Wats Wat Yai Chai Monkhol and Wat Phanan Choeng were amazing. I ended the great day with a hilarious massage. The thai lady tortured me for 1,5 hours. Afterwards it felt like heaven and happily I went back to the hostel. At the nightmarket I enjoyed a nice dinner of ? (I think or better, hope, it was chicken) - I do not know what they put in the wok, but it was mouthwatering! The rest of the evening I spent with Alex, a canadian guy who was working in South Korea as teacher for quite a while. It was great talking to him and we shared quite a couple of beers. That's why I left a bit later than planned the next day. It was a great start: bye bye Ayutthaya or: "laa gon Phra Nakon".