Friday, 4 May 2007

Sukothai Bike Hoons

Shalom and sawat dee everybody, and i hope you all have a wonderful Shabbos!

After leaving the islands in the south of Thailand, we headed up north to Bangkok which was a really painful 18+ hour trip including 3 separate buses (one which broke down, another with an exploded toilet or rotting rat in the air conditioner, couldn't tell which) and 2 minibuses, and i had my first "I want to punch you in the face you rotten fucking tout, but i'm in another country and maybe i should calm down" moment, which was quite unpleasant for all involved. We spent a few days in BKK checking out the city (deep inner city, not rubbish farang land near the khao san road, which sucks) and found some ripper food (if you are ever in BKK, you really should eat at Hemlock, just leave some TP in the freezer before you go!). We also went to see Jim Thomsons house, which was excellent. Alex's mom said we should eat there, but we couldn't even afford a drink, let alone a papaya salad.

We then headed to Kanchanaburi, which, besides having a name that rolls deliciously off the tongue, is where the "Bridge over the river Kwai" was built by POW's and some slave labour during the second world war. Bridge was a bit lame, but the bus journey was fun, and the museums were excellent (if a little slanted toward the 10 000 allied POW's that died, as opposed to the 90 000 Burmese and Malay imported labourers who also died). We also had an outstanding meal at a guest house there (which also has a cooking school attached) after which we rolled back to our bungalow (on the rover Kwai - on stilts nogal!).

After Kanchanaburi (and the monkey show, pictures below) we went to Ayuthaya, which was once the capital of Siam. This place really needs pictures to be appreciated, so you'll all have to wait 'til i get back to see them, but we hired bikes and rode around the town to all the different old ruins.

Witness Miss Fraser above on her turn of the century (the last century, that is) bicycle. Dont be fooled by the smile, SHE'S CRAZY! Alex weaves in and out of traffic like a taxi-driver with a death wish, which is fine if you are thai and know what you are doing, or, for instance, look over your shoulder every now and then, but Alex does not. She takes the "when in Rome' philosophy a little too far, and so we came to an agreement that i would ride in front (where i didnt have to watch her be almost knocked over every five minutes) or she would carry her medical insurance card in her top pocket. Anyway, Ayuthaya was pretty cool, but then we moved on, to...

Sukothai! Sukothai was excellent. Really sweet little town, excellent guest house, friendly people. It appealed to the package tourist in me because all the ruins were neatly located in a park (with no traffic to bother Alex, THANK GOD!) and was all quite atmospheric. Oh ja, and cheap, that appeals to the Jewish package tourist in me. The bikes here were possibly crapper than Ayuthaya, but mine had a bell.

So now we are in Chiang Mai, which seems like a really cool place (kind of like the Melbourne of Thailand - Tals). For starters the food so far has been outstanding (always a good sign), and the place seems really chilled and less about tourists and scheisters than BKK, which is a step in the right direction. Today has been proclaimed a rest day, because we were both totally whacked when we got up this morning. The weather turned a bit crappy so we went for a massage to pep ourselves up, but things didn't quite go as planned. There was not a 'happy ending' to my massage, just a lot of squealing from me and some laughing from the masseurs at the temple. The woman told Alex "you are very good" when she was finished, but she just smirked at me. I wanted to know if she would still be smirking if i balanced all my weight onto my elbow and jabbed it into her back, but i didn't ask. Tomorrow we are off to a cooking course on an organic farm, and a muay thai fight in the evening, which i am looking forward to. Oh, and eating, of course...

Hope you guys are all well...


Hamster said...

Don't know if you've seen this already but if not Yu might be interested in this website.
It's got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along
Good if you like to try cooking Thai food at home

Dr Phil said...

who is the hamster? anyway. sounds awesome dude. klomp bladdy jealous. did you see the bulls beat the reds (useless bastard ozzies) 92-3? NINETY TWO TO THREE. Set all kinds of super 14 records. So sharks one, bulls two. Two home semis. And the crusaders have to play in Pta! Excellent night of rugby all round. Who cares if the stormers suck.