The Ancient City

Trip Start Apr 21, 2005
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Trip End May 17, 2005


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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hello again.

One of the reasons I came on this trip was to see friends from the last trip.  Mafeung invited me to her family's place out in Bang Pe.  It's certainly not one of the highlights you'd find on the tourist map.  But a welcome change from the big city.  So I gladly accepted.

We headed by bus southeast of Bangkok.  Two buses, each an hour long.  With connections it can take over 5 hours.  This is actually her uncle's place.  She's staying with relatives while she looks for a job.  Her town is further out.

It's a small apartment measuring about 12' by 16'.  The main room is for eating, sleeping and dining.  There's a small cement, utility room for cooking/cleaning with an even smaller room for toilet/shower.  Mafeung shares the space with her uncle, aunt and cousin.  It's pretty cozy quarters.  But they're comfortable with it and were happy to share.  The two nights I stayed her aunt moved next door.  I felt honored to be invited.  Even if it meant mosquitoes all night and no air-con.

For dinner, we went into the market.  I picked out my three favorite dishes to take back.  All to-go food and beverages are served in plastic baggies.  Very easy and economical.  I see lots of people carrying baggies home after work.  Back at the apartment, we spread them over newspapers on the floor.  Their favorite way of eating is to wrap up small balls of rice in their hands to dip in the main dishes.  It was interesting, and filling.  With temperatures around 100 Fahrenheit, we never came close to finishing.  An important part of Thai culture is not showing the bottoms of your feet.  So, during dinner, that meant sitting cross-legged or side-saddle.   Sounds easy but for me kind of awkward.  I got lots of reminding.

Her uncle recommended we visit the 'ancient city.'  I was expecting a few old buildings.  Muang Boran, as they call it, is actually an architectural goldmine.  The government has reproductions of traditional palaces, temples, stupas, sanctuaries, houses and boats.  They represent Thailand's past and present, covering every region of the country.  In all there are over 100 structures spread over 320 acres.  We each rented bicycles and rode around.  Again one of those places I wish I had more time.  At one point, Mafeung was overcome.  We were at an elevated house with a well, a stone press for grain and chickens contained by bamboo cages.  Just like her house in Phayao.  The titles on the uploaded pictures are the best my memory can provide.  For more pictures and background please refer to their website: www.ancientcity.com.

Eric
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Comments

david on

so very fantastic, why so many few hits . this and your skills need to get out there

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