Today's train to Ayutthaya was nicer than the train I took to Chumporn last week
. There was a lot of leg room in between the seats, enough that I put my big pack right there and still had room for my legs. It didn't have a/c, only fan but with the windows open it was a nice breeze. My first stop was Ayuthaya, the former royal capital. It was invaded by Burma in 1767 and most of the wats (temples) were destroyed. I couldn't make up my wind whether or not to rent a bike, a motorcycle or try a tuk-tuk again to see the wats once I arrived. When I stepped off the train I met Mr. Po who asked if I would like a tuk-tuk. He spoke very good english so I asked him if he would take me to all the ways and NO gem shops or clothing shops. He chuckled a little and said "You've been to Bangkok! Yes, only wats!". We neogitated a price ($25 USD for 4 hours anywhere I wanted to go) and off I went. He was very pleasant and his ability to speak english really helped. Although I still practiced my thai on him!
The ruins were just that, ruins.But the temples were very nice as always. I was glad I had taken the tuk-tuk because it meant I was covered from the sun while going from place to place. See, I have a small case of sun poisioning. It's pretty painful. The minute I get in the sun, it feels like someone has light my arms on fire! My arms are starting to blister now and so I'm just going to keep and eye on them and see if I need to go to a clinic. I put sunscreen on religiously except from that ONE time
. I had taken a showed in the middle of the day and forgot to reapply. I was only outside about 2 hours but that was enough. From my fingers to my elbows are bright red. I'm rather pissed off about it because if it's not my feet its my arms, this is getting old!
I had planned to get back on the train around 2pm and go to Lop Buri but at the last minute I changed my mind. Now I have an 8 hours wait here in Ayuthaya before I catch my overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai. I'm excited to get to Chiang Mai and do the mediation retreat for 2-3 days, afterall, that was one of my main reasons for coming to Thailand.
As a side note, the MATERIAL item I miss the most since leaving home is..... a western flush toliet! I've had one in every guesthouse I've stayed in but trains stations, bus stops and even restaurants have no more than a bowl for you to squat over. No toliet paper either, just water to rinse off! I've been using the travel size roll of bounty paper towel that Terra smartly provided me with!
Our bus arrived early in Bangkok which made it easy for me be on time for my 6:45am departure from the Hua Lampong train station. All the taxi's waiting when we got off the bus must have signed a secret pack to refuse to use the meters because everyone I asked said "no, 300 baht" which was a HUGE rip off but after getting that from 6 cabbies, I gave in and forked it over. I was so tired that I decided to lay down across the seats in the train station waiting area, other people were already doing it. I hadn't been asleep long with I felt something hitting my leg. At first I thought somone was trying to steal my bag because I had it wrapped around my leg but when I opened my eyes it was the thai security guard telling me to get the hell up. Apparantely you're not allowed to sleep in the train station. I watched as he went around and did the same to everyone else, mostly thais so it wasn't just the farang!