Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Bit More Ayutthaya, A Bit More Ko Samet

Last Sunday we did a quick day trip to Ayutthaya, which I've decided is quite a nice, easy outing. It's really fulfilling to go to Ayutthaya for the day: you can see lots of interesting things for cheap in a quiet, peaceful location that is accessible by a train that takes less than an hour. It's fantastic.
We tried to see different ruins than the first time I went; we were going to rent motorbikes (Alisa and Jackie can drive) but it was pretty expensive and none of the salespeople made a convincing case that we should rent from them. We ended up on bikes again, which is more environmentally friendly, cheaper, better exercise and perhaps just as quick and convenient.
The only problem resulted from my inability to navigate; we ended up on a pretty long tour around Ayutthaya that didn't lead to the place we thought we were going. We still managed to see the best ruins that I have already visited, as well as a large reclining buddha and we had a nice ride along the river. We also had lunch at this fantastic (although rustic) little lunch place- soup with noodles and fish balls (they're not inedible) for 10 baht.







The reclining buddha was fairly impressive, crammed into a building that just barely fits the plaster-looking figure. Apparently there is a stone carved reclining buddha in Ayutthaya which I suspect is more beautiful.
I didn't sunburn this time, but again the sun was deceptively strong and we all got a fair amount of colour while out exploring. Another great day in Ayutthaya!

This weekend we went to Ko Samet. I haven't been in ages and I'm really glad I decided to go- there were 15 of us all together who went from our school, including three of the Thai staff. The weather was just about perfect- it rained some on the way out, and then was a little cloudy on Saturday and it rained that evening, and Sunday was absolutely scorching and sunny. I'm working on my tan so that I don't come home all pasty and have people think I've been lying and don't really live in Thailand.







It was pretty busy in Ko Samet, and there were far more families there than before. I wouldn't expect the beach that we stay at to be popular with families, since it is sort of a party beach without really great services, but the kids seemed to be enjoying themselves and there are some fairly nice resorts in the area. Apparently there are much more secluded beaches on other parts of the island; perhaps one of these days I'll check them out. We found a new place to stay on Ko Samet- last time I stayed at Tok's and thought I was in the most horrible lodgings EVER, but I was wrong. I booked ahead this time (to avoid being defaulted to Tok's) at Ao Phai, which the Lonely Planet book billed as "A place you wouldn't be ashamed to take your grandmother"- it was a terrible mistake, a dirty lie, a place worse than Tok's. There was a roach in the bathroom, so I went to kill it with the plunger, and the pipe from the sink to the floor (and I mean that literally- it went to the floor and drained onto the floor) fell off and at least three more roaches crawled out. We had to go. After a bit of hiking and searching and disappointments, we came upon the Sea Breeze, which is quite nice, REALLY clean, large and inexpensive. My first choice from now on until I find something even better.

Next weekend we're headed back to Ko Samet for Jackie's birthday; should be a great time as long as the weather holds!

Until next time,
Heather

1 Comments:

  • At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Auntie Bonnie said…

    Hi Heather,
    Your mom and dad will be SO glad that you've checked out all the facilities for them. Don't think your mom will be too thrilled to have a sink full of roaches - how "Men in Black"ish!
    Take care! Love, Auntie Bonnie

     

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