The Northern Territories

Trip Start Oct 05, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
RCN Court & Inn

Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, February 20, 2011

After 24 hours travelling, we arrived to Bangkok. Since we were in Ayutthaya (little north of Bangkok) when we had to end our trip, we took a train there right away (tickets
still cost 3 nkr per person :O). We were pretty tired when we came to the hotel, and decided to go straight to sleep. Next morning we visited the sights that we didn't get to see last time. Took about half a day. After that we took a train to Lopburi, a small charming town where a troop of monkeys rule. The monkeys were everywhere, in the streets and temple ruins. We had to hide anything that could be mistaken for food, if not the monkeys would try to steel it. When we were walking inside the ruins, we saw one monkey that tried to attack one tourist who came too close when taking a picture. The locals try to prevent the monkeys from taking over the city, chasing them with 2 m poles and catapults. Crazy!

We arrived to a small city called Sukhothai in the afternoon next day. The Sukhothai Kingdom flourished from the mid- 13th century to the late 14th century. This period is often viewed as the "golden age" of Thai civilization. The religious art and architecture of the area are considered to be the most classic of Thai styles. The remains of the kingdom, feature around 45 sq km of partially rebuilt ruins which are one of the most visited in Thailand, called “Old City Historical Park”. Since we didn’t have so much time, we decided to rent some bikes to get around inside the park. It turned out to be a great idea to go in the evening, because we got to see the park and it’s ruins at sunset. Got some really nice photosJ

Next stop was Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is among Thailand’s largest cities, though it retains the charm of a small town, and it functions as the norths principal centre for tourism,  transport, education and crossborder commerce. We decided to first visit the main sights in the centre of Chiang Mai. We saw many temples, and in one temple a masse was being held. Many monks were sitting on the floor praying. We arrived in Chiang Mai on Sunday, and saw in the guide book that there was supposed to be a market called “Sunday Walking Street” worth visiting. They closed the streets from traffic, and all kinds of vendors were there. They sold things from clothes to souverniers and metal work. There was also all kinds of food stalls, with delicious cakes, fruit shakes, fresh fruits and traditional Thai food. The streets were crowded! Even had difficulties getting past all the people when we headed back to the hotel.

Chiang Mai had many tourist attractions to choose from, and after some discussion, we ended up going for the bungee jump (surprisingly enough:P). Since we have tried single jumps before, we wanted to do a tandem jump this time. The height was 50 meters. Renate was extremely nervous, but Kaupo kept his cool! (not..) The jump itself wasn’t so scary as we thought, still Kaupo roared like a bear and Renate screamed like a little girl when we jumped :D All in all it was a huge adrenaline rush. After the jump we had some time and we had a chance to try a thing called Zorbing. It is basically going downhill inside a huge blown up ball. Though that didn’t last very long either, it was extremely fun.

Before leaving Chiang Mai we wanted to get really relaxed. For that we looked for a massage salon. We found one, which was cheap (35 nkr for 1 hour) It looked very nice, and we stepped in. We ordered our massages and while waiting for our turn, we looked trough some brochures. There we discovered that this facility was created by the director of Chiang Mai’s women's prison! And all the workers were ex- cons!! By that time it was too late to back down and we had no other choice than to go through with it. And, well, it turned out to be our best massaging experience here. Our feet were washed, before the massage, we were offered tea and also the massage was top- class. Turns out that they had same time to practice while they were behind bars… :o This place was meant to help women to help to get their lives back on track after serving their punishment.

Now it is back to Bangkok and the a week off at Pattaya’s beaches :D
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