i’ve been to thailand twice before 2015/2016. the first time was with my mom (of which the pics i’ve never seen). and for my birthday in 2012. it was officially the first time i feared for my life while i was traveling
if i’m not mistaken, this was this was the start of my tradition of “being in a different country for my birthday.” i took advantage of the fact that my good friend’s sister lives in BKK, which means i get free lodging for the whole duration.
our idea was to take the local train to the summer palace, then go bike around to ayutthaya. oh boy was it a long day.
THE WAY TO THE SUMMER PALACE
while i didn’t expect much, i didn’t expect it to be so ghetto (i have since gotten used to the state of asian trains).
at some point, we stopped for a long time. because i think there were trash along the tracks that needed to be cleaned up? these while we were entertained with the amazing views.
after what felt like hours (i remember leaving chiong nonsi at 8am and arrived around 11am) we reached the stop to bang pa in. we had to take the song thaew to get to the summer palace itself.
THAI ROYAL FAMILY’S SUMMER PALACE
it was surprising after the train ride that we will end up in a place so tranquil. it was beautiful with well-manicured lawns. best of all-almost no tourists
after approximately an hour, we went back to the train station to go to ayutthaya
THE BIRTHDAY THAT COULD HAVE BEEN MY LAST DAY
it started well enough. we arrived around lunchtime, had fish at one street stall, and we rented bikes.
not natural bikers or anything, we had to bike the whole day (who knows how far we had to ride in total) alongside 10 wheeler trucks in highways, tuktuks, song thaews, and mopeds. we had to bike uphill on a bridge on the last stretch (when i was at that age, i can still bike such incline). we also had to bike fast enough to get rid of a pack of rabid dogs who didn’t want us around their territory.
BUT i mean, given the things that we saw, it was worth it right? (especially the beer at the end
THE LOCAL TRAIN
but the local train really had to have the last say. on the way back it was crowded, hot, and we had to compete with seats with chickens. halfway through the train decided to do a slow crawl because of the very bad traffic. we were there so long that we were still in there for what i assumed were the evening prayers on our second to the last stop. we were sitting ducks for almost an hour.
by the time we got back to bangkok (around 8am?) our bodies just would not take it anymore. but it was my birthday! i wanted to see a ping pong show. i pushed my aching body to go to patpong…which was a bust. i chickened out when club goers started chasing me to watch at their clubs. so i just saw dancers dancing through windows
overall, not a bad way to spend my birthday