Monkeys and antiquities

Trip Start Feb 29, 2004
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Trip End Apr 12, 2005


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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Here are the Ayutthaya basics: it's an old Thai capital city an hour or two north of BKK, with loads of old temples, lots in the Khmer style (with reddish stone towers like Angkor in Cambodia). It's deceptively big, so a bike was in order. Big Bertha was about 3 tons of silver steel (or maybe lead?) and had no brakes to speak of, but we had a nice day together and she held up beautifully, even when I off-roaded it.

Weather report: hot and cloudy/hazy, pretty crap photo light, oh well--I can still work on my tan!

Question of the day: Why are there so many Japanese tourists going on elephant rides here?!?!

Accomplishment of the day: Met up with Lynda, a cool French woman who lives in Barcelona.

Decision of the day: Lynda and I decided to brave the monkeys of Lopburi together and set off to the north on the old local chicken bus...


The basics on Lopburi: it's the monkey city--loads of 'em everywhere, especially in/on the temples near the train tracks and anywhere you look up. They're not too cuddly and innocent, either, tho they are totally fascinating to watch. One little twerp snuck up behind me and yanked the plastic bag out of my hand with my prize mango inside--and proceeded to climb up a water pipe and perch on the roof of the store we were walking under so he could eat it right in front of me. Little shit! :)

You know you're at the Lopburi train station when you spot this charmer:


Otherwise, it seems like a sleepy little town, nice to wander thru, good food at the night market (including the best omelette I've had so far in Thailand, made by a really nice guy and his mum, who was the wok master!).

Itinerary decision: Lynda and I are off on the train--the ssssslllloooooowwwwwwwww (but cheap!) local version--to Phitsanulok, a city on a river north of here. It'll be our jumping off point to Mae Sot, on the western border with Myanmar/Burma, where I hope to visit with friends who are working there.
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