Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ayutthaya

On the second or third day in Bangkok by myself (I can't remember which actually) I got an offer to visit the very historical neighboring town of Ayutthaya a 2 hour bus ride out of Bangkok. The offer came from Phung a girl who worked in a shop next to the hostel who I had gotten to know just from being around there so much. It was her day off and she offered to show me a bit more of Thailand for the day.

I had never heard of this place and had know real idea what was there but the opportunity to have a Thai speaking tour guide for the day was too good a offer to miss and I didn't have anything planned anyway. So off we headed to Ayutthaya in a small minibus which cost about 50p for the 2 hour journey. I was the only westerner on the little bus and got some very odd looks when I rocked up with Phung as most westerners would normally go there on an organized tour I guess. I had to sit up front with the driver which was awkward but cool as I had a great view of the countryside as we drove there.

When we got there the place was actually pretty cool and was really surprised at the amount of history there was just a short drive out of the capital. The place even turned out to be a UNENSCO world heritage sight which was also quite surprising. There we lots of temples and shrines and other buildings which to be honest I had hoped to never see again after Angkor Watt but it was a bit different this time have my own personal guide. We stopped for a brief bit of lunch, no idea what I had as Phung ordered it but it was mega spicy. Fed some fishes in a small moat that surrounded one of the temples. Phung picked up some weird Thai style candy floss that you eat in a pancake type things and then we jumped on the bus back to Bangkok for around 6pm.

Found a terrible example of the old "white man tax" as its called in Ayutthaya. This is basically when the price gets doubled or even tippled in some cases for us tourists just because we are tourists. I brought my ticket to get into one temple for the reasonable price of 50 baht (a quid). Phung then buys her ticket for exactly the same place for the measly fee of 10 baht (20p!). The ticket was in Thai while mine was in English but both clearly stating a difference in price. To be honest I wasn't that fussed as it still very cheap but that was my first experience of such blatant white man taxation.

It was a cool little excursion out of Bangkok for the day and was great spending some more time with another Thai resident. The only shit things was that I bothered to take my big heavy SLR camera with me to get some snaps but lets the bloody compact flash memory card back at the hostel. Idiot. So no pictures to show unfortunately. Well I got some on my phone but can't get them off that piece of shit, still missing the iPhone haha

13/05/09

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