Temples and Buckets

Temple, temples, travels, travelling, backpacking, thailand, Ayutthaya, buddha,

The rest of our time in Bangkok was a hazy hot blur of temples and buckets. I don’t completely agree with the statement ‘once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all’ when it comes to temples but there are definitely only so many reclining Buddha’s one can take in a short space of time. Temples are a large part of Thai culture so I think it’s important to see them, as it is to see Cathedrals in Europe, but I do find it very tiring to try and pretend to be more impressed by the temple standing in front of me than the last. Also, because it is so hot and you have to cover up, things can get very sticky! As well as a little bit gross if you’re the person who forgets the appropriate clothing and has to borrow some old rag to wrap yourself up in.

We’d seen the main temples in Bangkok but there was one more I still wanted to see. Wat Arun is more like a statue you can climb than your usual temple. In true Thai style there's only a small flimsy rope to help you on your way. I’ll admit I did get stuck at one point and an old lady had to help me down. That’s not good is it? The elderly helping a 20 something down some steep steps. I do worry about my generation coping with old age or rather myself. The view from the top on a clear day is wonderful though and well worth the climb. In addition to get to it, it costs a mere three baht to catch a boat across the river.

Wat Arun, bangkok, thailand, travelling, travels, backpacking, temples, temple, view, river,
Wat Arun

We also had a further day of temples by visiting the old city of Ayutthaya on a guided day trip. Our tour guide was the jolliest, most wonderful woman ever – Donna, who liked to refer to herself in the third person. Every time we sat down to eat she declared ‘Now, you must eat like Donna!’ Donna was great! I’d been in Thailand for a few days now so I thought I was coping with the heat quite well. That was until I nearly fainted whist on said tour. A main problem with nearly fainting I've found, a part from the inconvenience of nearly fainting, is that you just look pissed. Instead of helping, everyone just gives you dirty looks as you wobble around desperately trying to stay standing and you can tell they're thinking 'bloody English drunk'. This happens to me more than it should. I don't mind getting dirty looks when I actually am being a bloody English drunk which also happens fairly regularly. Luckily Donna was too busy talking about the Burmese decapitating Buddha statues to notice so I managed to emergency hydrate and slip back in to the tour unnoticed.

Ayutthaya, buddha, head, tree, temples, thailand,
Ayutthaya

The bucket part of these few days started with a night out at the Thai Boxing at the Lumpinee boxing stadium. I found this strange. The tourists are given ‘VIP seats’ which means they charge you more and separate you from everyone else and you get a sticker! The boxers all look about 14 at the oldest so it’s a bit odd to watch them batter each other. Two of them got completely knocked out and wheeled off. At this point the fish balls were still very present and so I had to break up my buckets and boxing with constant visits to the ladies. Luckily by the time it was the last night they finally were out of my system so I celebrated by a crazy evening on the Khao San Road with bucket after bucket after bucket. Because we were still very new to the country and this backpacking malarkey we were still very much in the 'let’s try everything we can' mood. So naturally we practically inhaled the Sangsom rum like it was water.

Tom also decided to try something new in the form of a barbecued Scorpion rammed on a stick. It took a long time for it to be consumed and a highlight was when its pincher got caught on his top lip - maybe that was its last attempt of saving itself! I did no such thing, fish balls were plenty wild enough for me. We continued the festivities into the night and spent some of it with the weirdest Portuguese men, one of whom refused to say what he did for a living and went into a spiel about how he doesn’t like to tell people what he does because of blah, blah and blah. Why would you bother? If you don’t want people to know, just make something up and move on because now I’m just thinking he's either a porn star or hitman. Not the best way to make friends - be a secretive weirdo.

The next day we really were paying for it. So much so that we paid to have the hotel room for an extra night just so we could sleep until it was time for our train down south that evening. To this day it was one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had. That said, what a brilliant English drunk way to end our first time in the chaos of Bangkok.

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