Saturday, March 27, 2010

Travels - Bangkok & Ayuthaya

We managed to get everything in Korea packed up and left Busan on Thursday night. Even though I've been ready to leave for awhile, I really realized how great of a year it had been, and how thankful I am for the whole experience.
After taking the KTX to Seoul on Thursday, we spent the night at Quan's house, then caught an early flight to Bangkok. The flight was terrible - turbulence the whole time, and a huge amount on the landing. However, we flew Jin Aur, Korea's new budget airline and it was pretty entertaining. There were party beats playing when we got on the plane, and the flight attendants were wearing brightly coloured polo shirts, jeans, ball caps and converse sneakers!
When we landed after 6 hours we were tired but ready to explore. We took a taxi to meet Nick, George's high school friend who has been travelling for about 6.5 months (On a side note - check out his amazing website - Nick's uncle has an apartment in Bangkok, so we were lucky enough to stay there. We ventured out to eat some street food for lunch ($1 each and delicious) and then took a water taxi towards the Grand Palace. The boat ride was pretty wild. We took a tuk-tuk ride to the Grand Palce, only to find out that it was closed for the night. We were lucky that next door was Wat Pho, which was still open. We explored the grounds and saw the main attraction, a giant reclining Buddah.
After Wat Pho, we walked to nearby Khao San Road, a famous backpackers street. On the way there we walked through the main protest area, and found ourselves surrounded by red-shirted protesters. Luckily the mood was quite festive, and many people were just relaxing, selling goods and giving massages.
Khao San Road was overwhelming. The most foreigners I've seen since leaving for Korea a year ago. There is incredible shopping, and tons of nightlife, but it isn't somewhere I'd want to spend much time.
This morning we woke up and took a van to Ayuthaya. We've spent the last 4 hours biking around to all of the temple ruins on the island. It is hot here today - in the low 30's, so we're taking a break in a nice air conditioned internet cafe. The sights here are amazing ... red-ish brick temples and ruins set in large parks ... it's really spectacular. I spent the first hour running around like a kid in a candy shop, but was soon too hot to express how excited I was! It finally hit me how awesome it is to be here, and how many amazing things I'll see in the coming weeks.

This evening we're going to watch the sunset over an off-island temple, and then boarding a bus to Chiang Mai at 8pm. We'll arrive tomorrow morning at 7am ... that's right, 11 hours on a bus!
Luckily it has big reclining seats, a/c and a bathroom, so we should be pretty comfortable.
More updates and pictures to come tomorrow once we're settled in Chaing Mai!

No comments:

Post a Comment