When we got to Ayuthaya we checked in to a beautiful guesthouse (after wandering and getting lost, maps and map reading skills could be blamed!). The guesthouse was a traditional Thai teak building, and was exactly what we were hoping for! Our room had a huge double bed, massive bathroom, A/C and a TV. All luxuries that were very much appreciated as Nina wasn't feeling too great at all!
We ended up spending a fair amount of time in the guesthouse, watching alot of the world cup coverage.. which at times meant watching with Chinese commentary (the satelitte TV here is a bit dodgy, and channels seem to freeze very frequently, 2mins before end of the game at one point..Grrr!). It was nice to relax and wind down for a bit after spending time in Bangkok, which is incredibly hectic 24/7!
Once Nina was feeling better we went and had a wander around the ruins of old temples (Thai = wats), Pagodas (Shrine temples), Chedi (Funerary monuments... some can be massive considering they are our equivalent to gravestones!), and Phallic ones (which we forget the name of). Unfortunately the one we actually wanted to get in to (with a face carved in a tree!) was super expensive, seeing as we only wanted to see the tree we decided against it but did see another huge golden buddha which had been restored along with the temple that housed it, from the ruined state that it was in! The ruins were pretty cool and all very phallus shaped! We also saw loads of elephants, with people riding them. It was quite sad as they were just walking down the road. Couldn't help but think they should be in a park or jungle somewhere, not wandering down main roads with traffic beeping at them! Really wish that there was something that we could do to help them, and maybe we will one day, but I suppose it is difficult as it is these peoples livelihoods, and we doubt that they know any better.... it seems in Thai culture, only children from wealthy backgrounds get the opportunity to be educated, and therefore these 'Mahouts' (Elephant keepers) have little other way to make money. Its all a real shame, breaks your heart!
Ate pretty well while we were there, it great as you can afford to buy like 3-4 dishes and a couple of drinks here for like 4 or 5 squid! We ate one night in a floating restaurant that was very pretty, but our chicken came uncooked which was a shame. We also went out for a pizza with all the trimmings to treat ourselves, we have been craving some western food as rice and noodles can get a tad monotonous! It was soo good and nice to eat something unhealthy and fatty hehe.
The next day we left for Phitsanulok, on a 7-8 hour train journey, it was displayed as a 6 hour journey lol! We paid for 3rd class as it was sooo cheap and it wasn't too bad really, although very very hot and quite cramped at first, but emptied out as the journey went on. Nice to be doing it the locals way though and met a very funny Italian guy. He was a bit odd, talking to himself and making the locals laugh but really nice guy to chat to. Eventually got to Phitsanulok and booked into a proper hotel that was really cheap, and quite posh. Even had house keeping services and such hehe. We only stayed the one night as it was just a stop-over and wasn't much to see there, still, it was pleasant enough.. and we got a reaaaly good night sleep as the bed was extremely comfortable!!
The next day, we woke up, made the most of the free breakfast included in the room, and headed off on what ended up being a rather long walk to the bus station in the midday sun.... turns out the map we had wasn't to scale lol! Eventually we got there, after walking a good few K's, and caught a rather cramped bus to our next destination, Sukhothai =)
We are here now, and will tell you all about it as soon as we get another chance.......... until then, bon nuit and we will speak to you all soon (didn't know the french for that, lol).
Love to you all
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