Monday, March 2, 2009

So, I am getting the travel post out of the way. Apologies for a billion pictures and RIDICULOUS length, I figured I'd just do it all in one hit and then it's done, and I can go back to blogging about the smelly person on my bus and that one time that somebody laughed at one of my jokes.

This is Buddha. Buddha is everywhere. He is normally gold and shiny.

This is Buddha's head, which was cut off its body a long time ago, was kicked under a tree, and then the tree grew around it. I expect I could find a story about this place that is much more impressive than this. Either way, it is very famous indeed.

Also in Ayutthaya (which is where Buddha's head is) you can find lots and lots of ruined buildings, as the place was trashed by the Burmese 250 years ago. They have semi-restored some, and light them up at night, and they look lovely.

Here is a large market, where you can buy amulets and jumpers and dried fruit and live eels. This market was small compared to some of the ridiculously large markets we lost ourselves in along the way.

Obligatory baby elephant photo!

Here is a man being stomped by an elephant in a wild rampage! Actually, no, it was all part of a show where elephants kicked footballs and threw darts (but not at the crowd) and the like.

Phi Phi Don, with the limestone cliffs and the tourists and the prettiness and all that.

And randomly:

There are BNE stickers alllll over Thailand. It was very puzzling.

Thailand has some incredibly colourful buses!

So in short (yeah, right), Bangkok is incredibly dense, thick with pollution and scantily-clad tourists, and touts who will try and scam your money at every opportunity. We indulged in standard tourist behaviour, and ate a great deal, drank quite a bit, and bought t-shirts/jewellery/rubbish for ridiculously low prices.

Kanchanaburi, and the Bridge over the River Kwai were fascinating, and incredibly sad. We visited the Death Railway museum and were amazed at the things we didn't know and the stories we had never heard. If we visit Thailand again, we will visit Kanchanaburi again for much longer.

Ayutthaya was beautiful and full of history. I was interviewed by Thai students as part of their English studies. I am not sure that a red-faced, sweaty girl, giggling like a git, is the best tutor in the English language. But the ladyboy student said I was pretty.

Chiang Mai was by far the best place we visited, with elephants, and white water rafting, and an incredible temple on top of a mountain at Doi Suthep (very, very tall stairs in new profile photo to the right), and a really great vibe.

Phuket was where we gave in to our Western indulgences and scoffed McDonald's, KFC, pizza and donuts. Beardie was trying to recover from his gut trouble by eating at the places he recognised, and I joined him because, well, because I guess I was just feeling like a gigantic lardarse. In fact, on top of my Christmas gut expansion I am now sporting a major Thailand gut, which means I am packing one hell of an expansion pack right now. My loose work pants were considerably tighter this morning. I am expecting to make some major life changes and start some type of diet/exercise regime. Soon.

Oh, and following on from that little tangent, we went to Maya Bay, home of The Beach, and there were so many tourist boats there that I couldn't actually see The Beach, unfortunately. Alas!

And....... breathe.

Back to the usual boring shit.

4 comments: said...

Just BNE.
Or the I heart BNE ones?

I think that would be weirder.

Damn tourists. How dare they block your view of the beach from The Beach.

Mark said...

lol, 'expansion pack.' Sounds like you had a great holiday. I'm especially impressed by the head-in-a-tree, no matter how badly you explained it. It's quite creepy.

lucy said...

Awesome (except for Beardie's tummy issues and the tight work pants - I hear you on that one by the way)

RAT said...

i.h.m.n, they were mostly just BNE stickers, but Beardie remembers one or two I [heart] BNE stickers, and I remember seeing a "BNE was here" sticker, which confused me. And yes, those tourists were incredibly rude, how dare they spoil my tranquility?

Mark, my story is actually the true one, would you believe, but there's all sorts of tales about how the head mysteriously ended up in the tree. I was really looking forward to seeing it, but after looking at it for a minute you realise it's just a head in a tree. And it had a protective barrier, so I couldn't poke it or anything.

Lucy, it sucks, doesn't it? And I am so stubborn that I refuse to buy anything in a larger size, so I am just going to walk around looking incredibly uncomfortable until I either go back to normal, or my pants split. And then I'll walk around flashing my underpants.