Train to Korat
Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
141Trip End Dec 15, 2005
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We headed toward the train station unaware of what might await us. Once again, the second class was slightly faster, but 5 times more expensive at 430b. Third class, 78b, go go go. Unless you require air conditioning and a giant comfy seat, there's really no reason not to take third class. With the open window, you're never hot and the area is clean. The window also provides superb clarity viewing the countryside and listening to the outside.
Every station along the path from Ayuthaya to Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima) was well maintained with a staff of at least a few train officials. This is despite the fact that maybe 2-3 trains a day pass through these towns with only a handful of passengers. Thailand's economy does well though, and they are trying to pull themselves into the developed world. They seem serious about making the government trains and busses clean and reliable. They still have a ways to go on schedules though, our train was 25 minutes late and we were more than an hour late by the time we arrived at our destination. The Ayuthaya station even had a sign declaring what prices were reasonable to pay the tuk tuk drivers for 20 different destinations around town. Despite this, the tuk tuk's still ask for more, I guess to test the obvious. Our trip was 140km, but stopping at every town (4-10km) stretched it out to a 5 hour trip.
The north-central countryside consists of vast prarie lands with a wide variety of vegetation and agriculture
The hotel we're staying at is again superb for the reasonable price of 320b. We have all the perks of our last place, but with a TV and blankets on our bed. The only news channel we get is Fox News, but there is some channel called "Reality TV" that is more like "The Learning Channel" back at home. In fact, I think it plays shows from Discovery and TLC. Perhaps the American "Reality TV" has not caught on in the rest of the world. We can always hope.
Tomorrow we try for Phimai and another regional city, both containing fully restored temples.