Part of my experience in Thailand taught me to laugh and accept changing plans. I had plans to go to Auyuttha and Lop Buri for my New Year vacation. However, I ended up staying in Chiang Mai for NYE which was totally magical, so I am glad. Despite the massive monetary loss of $20 I used on agoda to book hotels it was mai pen rai. After NYE Kelsey And I joined Kru Manow in Sukhothai. Which was absolutely beautiful. It is an ancient city that was the capital for some years. Plus I got to see Manow’s sweet bike riding skills, she just learned how a couple months earlier in Thailand.
Following that we did make it to Lop Buri, which I am glad about for the sake of all the sunflowers. They only bloom December- February, and since it is quite a ways from Chiang Mai, this was my opportunity. It was just as magical as I imagined and what my childhood dreams were made of. In Lop Buri monkeys live everywhere in the city. I thought I would enjoy this aspect more, especially for how much I love animals. But I was not overly fond of getting close to the monkey’s. They are wild animals and these ones had no fear of people. So I admired… while keeping my distance.
The lowlights of the trip are part of it as well. My least favorite experience thus far occurred in Phitlosanluk, where the train station was. Walking to get food, we saw a man on the street covered in blood. His arms, his legs, his clothes and his head. He had his head wrapped like he had been to the hospital….but he was stumbling all over, and could not get to his feet. Even worse, people were onlooking and (uncomfortably?) laughing. So, we went back to find a police officer at the train station to help him. We got him to follow us, but he just told us the man was drunk, and did not help him. It was disheartening to say the least to walk past the man slumped on the side of the road as we finished dinner. But we were at a loss of what else we could do.
Other hiccups, that pale in comparison, was the train situation. The train from Phitlosanluk to Lop buri left at 10pm and got in at 3am. I mean…maybe not the safest way to travel. But there was 3 of us, so it seemed okay. It was bench seating on the train with windows that did not roll up….freezing. And since it was a holiday weekend there was only one overnight train left from Lop Buri to Chiang Mai. The 8pm, 10pm, and 11pm trains were full, so we were stuck with the 12:30am train. We watched the other trains roll away, but were excited to see they were all sleeper trains! A bed, a blanket? Oh-emm-geee. Luxury. But as our train finally arrives we are in no such luck. Our 14 hour train ride would be in up right seating with windows that do not go up. Sigh. I unpacked all the clothes I had and put them on accordingly. I put two t-shirts on my feet as socks, and pulled my sweatshirt up over my head to combat the fluorescent lighting that does not turn off in the train and put Lewis Watson on my headphones. Non- surprisingly I did manage to sleep the majority of the ride.
The cherry on top-which is actually just pretty silly is that the ATM machine at the train station ate my debit card. My american debit card. And I get paid in cash from school, and do not have a Thai bank yet, as I had to wait for my work permit to come to me. But I just watched it take my card and inform me it was not giving it back. I slowly backed away from the ATM, hoping it would change it’s mind, but no such luck.
Making it back to Chiang Mai, we were all exhausted. I enjoyed sleeping to the utmost in my little home in Sanpatong.