Friday, June 23, 2006

Thailand explored

Hi Guys,

Sorry I haven’t written for a while, but it has been a kinda hectic and busy holiday. So where was I last, where have I been, and what have I been up to?

I think I was in Ayutthaya last. We spent an extra day in Ayutthaya, going round Wat’s (temples) getting a book stamped, so that when we got back to the tourist office we could get a special medalian for free-apparently they do this every year, and this year the medalian was to commemorate the King’s 60th Jubilee which occurred while we were here-they absolutely love their King. We then went out and had a look at some of the temples which are lit up at night-they look absolutely amazing, so different to the day time.

The next day we got up early to catch a train to Khorat, but the early train wasn’t running so we sat in the train station for a couple of hours until the next one. When we got to Khorat we caught a bus straight to Phimai, where we visited the most stunning Wat. It is an old Khmer Wat, and is the most extensively restored Wat in Thailand-and also the most beautiful we have seen. The carvings on it were just amazing-so intricate, and beautiful-even thought they were so old and weathered.

The next day we had a look around the National Museum in Phimai, had a look at another ruin, and then at the old City Wall gate, about all that is left of the City Wall. We then got a bus to an old Archeological Site. It took a bit of finding, as the directions we were given were once again not accurate-it seems the way in Thailand, you really need to triple check everything to make sure you get the right information. The Archeological Site was really interesting. There were 3 digs, and they had mainly uncovered bodies, from between 2500 years old to 500 years old, each era having a completely different style of burial. You could visit all 3 digs, but only the first one really had anything to see, and the other 2 just had a couple of small objects in them.

We then went back to Khorat where we booked into a Hotel which looked alright, but when I got into the shower, I discovered I was sharing it with at least 5 cockroaches, as well as numerous ones we also saw later in the room. We decided we couldn’t stay there and found a better one just down the road. The next day we saw a monument in the city (about all there is to see in Khorat), and the old City Wall, did some shopping, and then caught the train back to Bangkok. In Bangkok we had a quick look at the night bazaar, and then caught another train to Surat Thani, where we had to get a bus to get to Krabi.

We wanted to have a quick look at Surat Thani, but were told by everyone that there was nothing to see, and were basically hearded onto a bus, without having the chance to even see anything-we were not impressed. The bus then took us to a bus stop, and then had to wait for a mini bus. The mini bus was then jam packed with people, the luggage on the roof. When started to rain they attempted to put a tarp over the baggage, which didn’t work, so it all got wet, plus they didn’t know where they were going and got lost, so by the time we got to Krabi we were less than impressed.

I had met some Americans in Bangkok who lived in Krabi, so we gave them a ring and asked if they would like to go out for tea as it was my birthday-they were so happy to hear from us, and took us to a lovely restaurant in Ao Nang.

The nest day we decided not to stay in Krabi, as it wasn’t near the beach, and went to Ao Nang instead, it is quite resorty, and on the beach front with a couple of quite nice beaches.

From Ao Nang we went on a 4 island tour round the bay. We went to one island which was stunning. It was low tide, so you could walk from the island we landed on to another 2 islands, across the sandbars. The sand was so white, although the beaches weren’t all that wide, and they had a fair bit of rubbish on them. We then went around the corner to a place called chicken rock, named because it looks like a chickens head, and went snorkeling-it was so nice and warm, and great to see some coral, tropical fish and lots of sea urchins. I have never been swimming in tropical waters before. We then went to another island to have lunch, and walked up to the end of the beach to look as some monkeys, they are so cheeky. Finally we went to Raily beach where it was raining quite a bit, but went swimming anyway, and the water was so warm, it was about 32 degrees. When we got back to Ao Nang we went for another swim, but the water was not clear, and not as warm, so was not nearly as nice.

We decided to hire some bikes and head out to a National Park, which had quite a few waterfalls in it. As it happen in the rainy season, it poured while we were at the National Park, and we might as well have been in a shower, we were absolutely soaked, but the 2 waterfalls we visited were very nice, and worth the drowning we got for it.

We then decided to go to Phi Phi, so got a speed boat over and visited the Phi Phi Ley on the way. We went to a lovely lagoon, which had the most gorgeous coloured water in it, before heading to Phi Phi Doh where we were dropped off. There is not a whole lot to do on the island, mainly sit on the beach which we did the day we arrived. However it was raining the next day-not exactly beach weather, so we went up to the viewpoint, and looked out across the island, it was just stunning. It would have been nice to have nice weather, but as we didn’t have a lot of time anyway, we decided to head off to Phuket, as we couldn’t really enjoy the beach on Phi Phi. We met a guy on Phi Phi who had lost both his son and daughter-in-law in the Tsunami, when they were here in their honeymoon, and a family of 5 who had been on the beach when the Tsunami hit, and amazingly had all survived-how they managed that one is a miracle.

In Phuket we spend the day shopping and went up to the viewpoint which looked out across the town. It was quite nice, but not as nice as Phi Phi, there were a lot more houses, and not as much beach. We also went to a large Buddha statue on the way up the mountain, which was huge, one of the biggest we have seen.

That’s about all for now, we are now heading back to Bangkok to do some more shopping, and maybe a little sightseeing, before we fly out in only 3 days-its been too soon since we arrived here, we really didn’t have enough time to see nearly what we wanted to.


Anonymous said...

Hy Cara,

Sounds absolutely great - you have had a magical time !! Did you write this or Rhiannon ?? Or have you had another birthday that we didn't know about?? Anyway - happy birthday to whomever it was.

Very excited to nearly have you back !!!!!!!
See you soon - yippee !! Get well and over the Bug you caught.


Anonymous said...

Hey cara,
Your coming home!! what joy!
Am looking foward to catching up once you get back.
Call me when you've recovered
See you soon,

Mr David said...

suprise birthday! brilliant! You would have 2 birthdays a year if it was possible wouldn't you Cara?? hehe
see you in like 2 days or something!