Wednesday, 10 April 2013

15 hour sleeper train to Ayutthaya

So ...... left Chiang Mai on April 4 as both Amy and Andy now on school holidays until mid May.

At 5.30 pm, we were on the train looking forward to a 14 hour ride to Ayutthaya which is the old capital of Thailand.   It was sacked by the Burmese in 1700 and something but the old ruins are maintained.    The train ride was interesting!!    We paid around 16 pounds each for 2nd class, sleeping with air con.   The seats made up into beds and another was pulled off the wall to make bunks.   We had a bottom sheet, top sheet and pillow .... and a curtain.   Comfortable enough but i had to brace myself as the train line was so klackerty   so that (a) I didn't fall out and (b) didn't keep crashing my head into the side wall !!!   Some napping must have taken place but it was a long night!    This was also, I think, the first time I had come up against Asian toilets ..... squatting contraption.   On Amy's advice, I took off my shorts and all I can say is that it was sound advice!!!

inside the sleeper train

So we got to our destination about an hour late and took a tuku/red truck combination vehicle to Grandparents House for 2 nights there.  Spent our time there looking around the ruins - one day on hired bicycles which was a bit hair raising, but the roads no where near as busy as Chiang Mai
the rest of the Buddha is missing - under the ground or just taken?
Grandparents House at Ayutthaya
On our second day there we went on a boat ride on the river.    This boat would never ever have got a Safety Licence or Sea Worthiness Certificate!!!   It was an old traditional wooden Thai long boat with a massive truck engine.    We were out about 2 hours in all, stopping off at several temples.   It was a bit hairy getting on and off but, hey, in the end I managed it with the help of the Thai boatmen - not very pretty but i'm sure they've had to deal with worse!!
our trusty Thai longboat
huge, huge golden Buddha.   Unfortunately its
difficult to capture the actual size in a photo

rustic riverside residence

sorting the laundry relatively simple
when they're all the same orange
monk robes - just need to fold them

the simple life
fishing in the river
with a polystyrene boat

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