More old ruins, biking, a boat ride, and paradise!
The last few days have been quite different. We have gone from historical sights to a beach resort. Here's a brief summary.
We took a train from Sukhothai to Ayutthaya - about 3.5 hours. The train still uses tracks that were laid in the late 1800s. It was very bumpy and a little scary (for me). If you come to Thailand, do yourself a favor and don't google things like "train derailments in Thailand" or "Thailand tour bus accidents". It makes travel a lot scarier! Transportation has been my biggest surprise and source of anxiety on this trip.
Once we arrived in Ayutthaya, we made our way to a teak Thai guesthouse called Luang Chumni Village. The place was unique! The small door led to an all wood interior complete with mosquito nets. The small guesthouse complex was surrounded by a moat. The bathrooms were below the bedrooms (inconvenient) and the mattresses were on the floor. I thought it was cozy and felt a little like a cabin.
We found great street food that evening settled in for the night. A street food dinner for our family is around $7. It was delicious!
The next day, we were offered a nice breakfast once again. Most breakfasts consist of a plate of fresh fruit as well as eggs made to order, French toast, crepes, toast, etc... Pretty normal breakfasts. We rented bikes from the guesthouse and set off to discover more historical sites.
This is the most photographed sight in Ayutthaya. It is still a mystery as to how the Buddha head ended up intertwined with these roots. There is a guard near the head to remind tourists to kneel to stay lower than the head. Staying below the Buddha's head is a sign of respect.
It was incredibly hot in Ayutthaya - probably our hottest day yet. We took breaks for beverages and rode slowly. The kids were happy with Ayutthaya's most popular snack. It's a sweet crepe filled with cotton candy floss.
We rode back to the guesthouse and had a few snacks before hiring a small private boat to take us around the river that surrounds Ayutthaya's old town. For about $20, we took a tuk-tuk to the dock, hopped aboard a small boat, and saw the city from a different angle. The driver stopped at four different sights.
The most interesting part of the ride was going through these crazy rootless plants that take over the river. No kidding! We just blazed straight through them. We also saw three monitor lizards. Yuck,
She finally got her coconut.
We were very hot by the end of the boat ride and asked the tuk-tuk driver to take us to a place with cold drinks. The heavy rains were coming so we set out for a nearby night market for dinner. Tasty again! Well, except for the weird fishy flavored donuts that everyone seemed to be buying. At least we found mango sticky rice again for dessert. We didn't try the fried bugs and larvae. Here are a few market scenes:
An entire section of MSG. What?
The next day, we splurged and hired a private van to take us the 3.5 hours down south to Hua Hin. Hua Hin is a beach resort about 2.5 hours south of Bangkok. This last stretch of our Thailand journey is a vacation from our vacation! We were more than happy with the great airbnb condo we booked months ago.
The kind condo owner welcomed us with an excellent fruit tray.
The best part is the pool that wraps around the complex for one kilometer. It takes a long time to swim one kilometer!
We spent our first day at the resort alternating between the pool and walking along the beach. Check out the size of this jellyfish!
The condo complex is like a ghost town. Almost all of the units have been unoccupied. We are wondering if lots of Bangkok residents will head down here for the Thailand holiday weekend. We are here five more nights. Tomorrow might involve a waterpark. We shall see....