"" Thailand Favorite Tip by sa-mi
Thailand General: 597 reviews and 418 photos
Fondest memory: June 28th, 2001 -
Thanks to a lot of positive feedback we have received from our worldwide audience we decided to continue to write articles for our website. Although, Charlotte from Denmark thinks we are totally not funny. So here comes a little historic tour through Thailand. First stop on our way towards Chiang Mai was Thailands second capital in the history from 1350 to 1767, Ayuthaya! In order to see and experience most of the country and people we decided to travel north 3rd class on the train with the locals. We arrived Ayuthaya early in the morning and booked into a hotel recommended by Lonely Planet, but unfortunately almost falling apart. The rooms were falling towards the river, we had to hold on to the bed, otherwise you would have been rolling on/in the river. Much worse, the fan (you cannot survive in Thailand withouth one) sounded like Schumachers racecar on a bad day. You just have to suck it up, put your earplugs in and move on. Next day we visited the historical sites of Ayuthaya which are spreaded around the city and are surrounded by 3 rivers. As to be expected from a former capital, the sites were impressive, well maintained ruins. The smart tourist decides to visit the sites in one day with a Tuk Tuk, we decided to walk - big mistake! It was very hot, just to mention a few highlights: very impressive was Wat Ratburana, Wat Phra Mahatat, What Tamikarat, Wat Mongkhon Buphit and of course Wat Phra Samphit (ohhh... too bad now you have to look it up). After we smoked in the sun for a few hours during our tour we had a nice late lunch at the Pasak river side. We learned again, don't listen to the local Tuk Tuk drivers, because they like to catch you for a long expensive ride (take you to the cleaners), but fortunately we insisted to go to the temple we wanted to see, although the driver argued that the famous Buddah statue we wanted to see, was somewhere else. So we visited Wat Yai Chai Monkhong Temple. A large reclining Buddah, a beautiful Temple showing wall paintings of the Kings Elephant fight against the Burmese, a great garden full of bronce Buddah statues and a large Cheddi, that you could climbe, offering you a great view over the city. And love-making dogs on the stairs. And then we were on the train again towards Phitsanulok, called Phi'Loc by the locals. 3rd class tickets with reserved seats that were not honoured by the locals, they gave us a stare of disbelieve when we showed them the seat reservation. So we bullied our way to a seat and squeezed in for the next 6 hours. Its fun - great views and local entertainement. However, after sitting on 1 cheek of our rear ends for almost 6 hours you have that strong desire to get out of that f... train! We arrived very late, spent the night again in a s... Lonely Planet recommended Hotel and moved on the next morning to probably the nicest Youth Hostel in Thailand. Lush gardens, great dining area and nice little rooms with an outside bathroom. All with Thaistyle woodcarvings (with a mosquito net you are the king in any town). In the afternoon we visited a Buddah casting factory and an amazing historic museum preserving the ancient and traditional culture of Thailand. And of course we met the historic danish Charlotte on her eternal quest to meet the men of her life and find herself (we still love you and just trying to be funny). After having a beautiful dinner on a river boat, we made friends with a local historic car and motorbike dealer. Quite an experience, even though the guy couldn't speak any english nor german, at 3 o'clock in the morning and 20 bottle of Mekong Whisky (local) - the discussions between Bear and Michi went on fluently! On a side note: the planned sightseeing trip for the next day had to be cancelled, it was time to discover that Europeans can't handle the local booze. However 'we templed' for another afternoon and noticed that danish people cannot play 'Phase (face) 10'. Next morning we took the bus with our funny friend Charlotte to Sukothai - the first capital of Thailand about 600 houndred years ago. Like Ayuthaya, Sukhothai is a large historic site, spreaded Temples (Wat's all over the place) and this time we were smart and learned our lesson and rented bikes to explore the place. Again, fabulous ruins, great Wat's, Cheddi's, Buddah's, Pond's, and the pictures will prove us right. It took us a whole day of biking to see everything but it was well worth it. Please keep it a secret, but since there were no tourists around, we climbed some Buddah's to take great pictures. After the biking we had a little appetite and stopped at the lady-men restaurant (transvestite) for some disgusting Thai food (the first time it wasn't good). Sandra broke her bicycle because she hadn't enough strength anymore to hold it. Dinner we spent with the local Avis guy (sorry we forgot your name, write us if you have time), when we got flashbacks from Nepal - it was cockroach attack time! With gained experience and swift, hand and foot movements we managed the attack and killed most of the family. Taking the train through the now changing countryside, from flat green fields to mountain landscape we arrived after 7 hours - second class reserved seats yeah - in Chiang Mai, the capital of north Thailand. One more time a Lonely Planet recommendation proved to be a construction site. It was 9.30 pm and we decided to make this a f...-this-night - we checked into the Gap hotel (aircon for the first time), big rooms, large and soft towels (not stinky) and on top of it we pigged out in a first class italian restaurant. Next day we had to cut back on our expenses to meet our budget and moved into a cheap but nice little guesthouse (no aircon). Chiang Mai is a great city offering a multicultural society with a very laidback attitude and a european touch, which made us feel at home right of the bat. Because of the atmosphere we immediately knew that we will stay for a while. It is fairly easy to mingle with the locals and get a feel for their way of life. Of course we had to visit the famous Night Bazar and a few Temples plus the first traditional Thai Massage school. How are we gonna survive the real world withouth a Thai massage every second day? Just by hanging out in the local bars, we got invited by Mr. Yoshit (ex-marine) to his birthday party. What a blast. Local Thaiband playing Rock from the 60's and 70's and of course drinking and singing along. We met a local guesthouse owner, called Cowboy, who named his daughter Guitar and his son Banjo, a drinking Japanse Samurai, and two great Australians who live their life by following the sun. Bizarre and very entertaining. But you should know us by now, after 4 days of relaxation it was time to get active again.
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