Here's a little of what we've been getting up to this past week....
Sunday we got a 6hr train ride to Phitsanulok (we didnt know it would be 6 hours and it was bloody hot!). Other backpackers on the same route as us wizzed past on the 3 hour 2nd class train grrrr. Being on the train that long did mean however that we were forced to sample the food sellers produce, which was actually really yummy!
We got there at 6.30pm and found the cheapest ever accomodation @ 150baht a night! (2 pound 50). There were shared bathrooms and was just a room with a fan but was very ok for the price. The problem was i had a headache from the train journey and there were only leather 'pads' for pillows so we moved the next day, after very little sleep.
Monday we moved into the Lithai Hotel (the Ritz!) with air con and the comfiest bed in the world. We crashed here for 3 days coz we needed a rest. plus it was our 4 year anniversary :)
We walked around the local market, as Phitsanulok is meant to be the cross-roads of Northern Thailand and therefore gets all the best fruit, so i sampled some. We also tried the areas famous honey covered banana chips and peanut brittle cakes. Still havent found custard apples but dragon fruit is amazing (see picture). We also saw live fish in buckets to buy and frogs that had been skinned and were still alive! yuk. In one stall there was an entire pig for sale in its different parts, including the face.
In the evening there was aerobics in the street and tai chi and a park that had exercise bikes in it. Everyone was joining in, it looked great fun. there was also tables and chairs set out where people could buy a canvas with a outline picture on it and sit and paint in the sunshine. We couldnt believe the anormous sense of community spirit in these social gatherings. Guess thats a positive side to Buddhism. We had tea by the river and some beers in the Bazaar by the night market and felt truly relaxed. We decided not to get our own keg of beer but the guy next to us did (see pictures!) and only for around 4 pound. Nice.
Today we got a tuk tuk to the bus station and got a bus to Sukothai. We are now staying in J & J Guest House which is very nice, with lots of plants, wooden cottage style apartments, a swimming pool which we didnt get round to trying, and a nice restaurant with fresh baguettes. The pancake i had for breakfast this morning was bigger than my head! (and thicker too if thats possible...) and the fruit shakes are amazing with a choice from mango,watermelon, papaya, banana, lemon, orange, etc. We are definitly getting our 5 a day and it cures a hangover well too...
today (saturday) we are moving to a guest house down the road with a softer mattress and cheaper rates..enough said. Hopefully we will get to see Old Sukothai today with all the ruins, and in the next few days we will be going to the surrounding National Parks to see tribal villages and waterfalls and caves and such, so stay tuned!
Bye for now,
H and D xxxxxxx