we got a lift to the train station for the next part of our journey to ayutthaya. we travelled third class, our tickets costing about 50p for a two and a half hour journey! this meant the train was pretty full with locals, so we just had to place our bags where we could and stand in a corner somewhere. after a while i decided to do what the locals do and sit in the doorway of the train with my feet dangling out the door! was much more fun, even if it was dirty! found it facinating watching people carrying heavy baskets up and down the passage way with hot food and drinks to sell. the locals on the train were really friendly and they told us which was our stop to get off, with the little boy sat opposite giving us a wave out the window! very sweet.
once we were off the train we had to catch a little ferry to cross the river and reach the island part of ayutthaya. a leaflet was being waved in our face for a guesthouse which looked nice so we decided to take a look at the rooms and stay there. we did end up changing rooms as our first one had ants everywhere! paying about 4.50p each for a double room with air con and en suite with hot water again, yay! though sarah isnt too happy here as one of the girls who works here is rude. having a good laugh at the ladyboy who serves our breakfast though hehe
we had a quick look around town before heading to a bar for a cheeseburger!! god, it was good! sooo sick of noodles and rice already! they scimped on the fries though.
the next morning we rang lorraine and marianka to let them know where we are staying as they are heading this way today. will be good to see them again.
we walked around some of the historical ruins which were impressive. really enjoyed looking around, even in the baking heat. felt like indiana jones hehe! lots of leaning towers and headless buddhas (the burmanese trashed it all in a war) we climbed the steps of one tower and you could climb down deep inside. was really steep and i chickened out! apparently this is where the treasure was hidden before it was robbed!
we walked over to some more ruins where we saw the much photographed buddhas head entombed in a tree (see photo) after walking around these ruins we headed back to the guesthouse as it was too hot. we found marianka and lorraine at the guesthouse and had a catch up. all 4 of us headed out for an evening boat ride to visit some more temples, saw people worshipping at a giant buddha and also watched the sun going down over one of the temples. was beautiful. we stopped off at a night market for food, with lorraine translating everything as she speaks thai!
HAPPY THAI NEW YEAR!!! today (13th april) is the start of songkran (new year) all the thai's head out onto the streets armed with water guns, large containers of water and clay. there are water sprinklers going off and hose pipes everywhere. its crazy and i love it!! the water represents washing away everything and starting a fresh. we braved the streets and within a minute i had a bucket of water poured over me! everyone is soaked through, water is being thrown at cars and motorcycles - no one is safe!! we watch a parade go through the streets which is amazing, lots of colourful floats, music blaring, people dancing, monks sprinkling water over people, and massive painted elephants roaming the streets! they join in also by filling their trunks up with water from nearby containers and spray everyone! i liked it when they went up to the hotel and sprayed all the tourists watching from their so called safe haven.
i get completely soaked through and clay smeared all over my face by people passing me. i even got kisses from 5 thai guys! haha, dont think thats part of the celebration! so cheeky.
time to head back and wash all the clay from my face, hair and clothes.. im glad i got to see this celebration, was a great experience (still another 3 days of it to go!)