So I left Sukhothai and finally arrived in Ayutthaya (when I say "finally" I mean 3 days ago) - lets just say bus drivers aren't expected to wake you when you arrive at your stop, ended up back in Bangkok and having to get a bus back North, to say I was a bit confused would be right. I sat on a local bus back at about 6:00am surrounded by the morning commuters, forgot how busy things were at early o'clock in the cities. And, well, let's just say I now know what it feels like to be the ethnic minority.
Im staying at a place called Ayutthaya Guesthouse (I know, where DO they come up with this stuff?) and been renting a bicycle from them everyday (about 60p a day) and been off exploring the city... I think technically that's what it is but it's not very big at all, a town by our standards. It's kind of a small Chaing Mai with hints of Sukhothai (and a little bit of basil?) and I understand that means nothing to anyone except me - it's just small, slightly busy, with more shops and lots of ruins.
The first day I was here... About 30 minutes after I got back on my bike (by the way, how hot it is/was and how much energy I have, is surprising) there was a massive thunderstorm and epic amounts of rain. I was standing out under a canopy thing but I have never heard lightening strike so close, it was like War of The Worlds - the Steven Spielberg one. The rain did freshen things up a bit though and im glad it didn't continue as in the afternoon I booked my train ticket to Khao Yai National Park, the idea of trekking round that in the rain was REALLY appealing :-/
So basically everyday i've been out on my bike, kind of too much time and not enough destinations really, could have left today if it wasn't for the fact my guide book said dont go to Khao Yai on a weekend - way too busy considering it's proximatey to Bangkok. So im leaving tomorrow (Monday) for probably a 2 day stint in the park, most likely in a tent (hello mosquito spray) which will be a bit of a change, although not much when you compare it to some of the huts i've stayed in.
Anyway, there's a few more bars and stuff here than Sukhothai, and the Wat ruins are quite impressive (one called Wat Chaiwatthanaram - im well naming my child that - was very nice, I think the fact it was sunset and there were a group of monks mulling around made it so) so it's been a pleasant stay but if you ever come, 1 day would probably be enough. A walk around the city at night reveals nothing except a banana & chocolate pancake - which was actually worth it. Oh and today I got directions to a "mall" along some strech of road a woman drew on my map to try and find a book shop (no book shops here! Really annoying!), so about 40 minutes later and after a casual trip down a motorway - everything is so casual here - I find it and next door is a Tesco's (yeah, weird) so of course I had to give it a look. Ended up being just a generic supermarket with the same old crowd of shoppers and products you get in England - except Thai of course - so it wasn't quite the taste of home I didn't not want (?). These Western stamps seem to spoil Thailand... It's all too big and air conditioned for my liking.
Oh, and the book shop I originally went for had only Thai books, even though the woman said it wouldn't. I care not, it occupied me for an afternoon, although I think she should get fired because she was an official information giver at the T.A.T (Tourist Authority of Thailand).
P.s. I have criminal sunburn today, proper lobster arms with a really crisp line where my t-shirt was. You'd think after 6 weeks my arms wouldn't be so god damn white. Grr... X