A Travellerspoint blog

Week 2 - Lopburi and the Temples of Chiang Mai

Our plans to go to Sukhothai after Ayutthaya changed as we found out it was heavily flooded! Instead we took an hour train ride to Lopburi, the city famous for its monkeys that live freely n the temples and roam the streets! The temples were impressive but the monkeys were the highlight. Hundreds of them swarm one particular temple ruin. Its incredible to see them in such an unusual setting, they were very clever and mischievous and unexpectedly jumped on Bens back, with two of them trying to open his bag to see what's inside- apparently they are known for taking things from tourists and running off with glasses, food and whatever else they like the look of! We then took an overnight bus to Chiang Mai. Although it's a big city, it's much more relaxed and friendly than Bangkok! We again walked around the city looking at it's famous temples, the highlight being a temple at the top of a mountain, 1000 metres above sea level. We got a lift up to the base of the temple and walked its 300 dragon patterned steps to get to the top. The temple itself was very beautiful with huge golden monuments everywhere and it was incredibly peaceful, away from the noise of the city, it had a real spiritual aura about it and before entering we had to cover our flesh and take our shoes off out of respect. The most impressive part however was the view from the top- it was amazing to see the whole of Chiang Mai and the mountains in the distance. We've been fortunate with nice hot weather since we've got to Chiang Mai and we're hoping it continues in the next few days as we are off on a 3 day jungle trek which going to be insane! We've been given our packs complete with knife and slingshot and were off tomorrow with some Canadian nurses so wish us happy hunting in both departments!
All the best, the boys x
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Posted by Ben-Rob-Josh 07:10 Comments (0)

Week 1 - photos from Bangkok and Ayutthaya

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Posted by Ben-Rob-Josh 19:58 Comments (0)

Week 1

Bangkok and Ayutthaya

After a good flight and many a film we landed safe and sound in Bangkok where the rain was like nothing we had seen before! We got absolutely soaked walking up Khao San Road to our hotel. The hotel was nice and the rooftop pool was a nice touch with an awesome view of the chaos of Bangkok skyline, especially when lit up at night. Over the next 3 days we really got into the busyness of Khao San, enjoying the chang beer and Sangsom in the rooftop bars listening to live music! We enjoyed visiting Patpong night market and Chinatown and getting from place on tuk tuks, through the hectic streets of Bangkok with some ropey drivers- this also helped us brush up our bartering skills to make sure we were getting a good price! We loved Bangkok but four days was plenty as were growing tired of the busyness, noise and hassle from the street sellers! After Bangkok we got a bus up to the Ancient city and old capitol, Ayutthaya where we immediately noticed the difference in atmosphere; it is much more relaxed and less touristy. We checked into a nice guesthouse called "Tonys Place" in a family room with a balcony, the food was lovely here too with some really nice local dishes. The following day we hired out bicycles for 40 baht (80p a day) and explored the cities main sights, and in particular the Wats (ancient temples) that are scattered around the city. These were incredible, detailed pieces of architecture and were fantastic to view from both inside and out and included the biggest Buddha in Thailand which was a golden statue standing 19 metres tall! Also as it was a Sunday, we saw hundreds of Thais from all over that had come down as part of a pilgrimage to worship at the Buddhist temple, singing prayers and waving scented sticks! We really enjoyed going about on bikes as we got to see pretty much all the sights as well as the locals going about their everyday lives, whilst dodging terrible drivers, tuk tuks and even elephants who didn't look too happy being used as tourist attractions. The weather has been on and off with rain but it has mostly rained at night so we haven't been affected whilst sight seeing during the day. All's well, loving our trip so far,
Ben, Rob and Josh
xxx

Posted by Ben-Rob-Josh 05:25 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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