30/4/15 - 5/5/15 40 °C
It's difficult to know what to say about these former capitals of Siam. Other than the ruins they are famous for they are peasant but fairly unremarkable. Both though we're exceptionally hot with the temperature reaching 100 degs F and the humidity meaning the slightest effort makes you pour with sweat. However, I did meet a couple of unusual characters, one British and the other South African, now living in Lopburi. The latter told a story of how he'd shot and killed a burglar in his house in Johannesburg, then while waiting for the police to arrive had poured a scotch and sat down to watch a film. His biggest regret was that they arrived before the film ended and he never did get to see what happened. The British guy who was in his late thirties turned out to be an ex drug runner who in his youth had regularly brought cocaine to the UK fom South America before employing other people to do it for him. He was absolutely charming and great company, and, he told me, totally reformed with a Thai wife, a child on the way and a developing business selling pies to the tourists. Despite his background I couldn't help liking him.
A bodhi tree growing around a Buddha head in Ayutthaya . Nobody quite knows how this happened.
Stupa ruins in Ayutthaya
My riverside guest house in Ayutthaya
Ruins and monkeys, LopburI.
That's the end of my month in Thailand, though I hope to cross back to the north of the country after visiting Burma. Although I have enjoyed my time here I can't deny that I feel a little disappointed. I was probably expecting something more exotic but with a few exceptions the country, including the landscape has proved to be rather ordinary if not dull. In many ways that can only be a good thing as it shows that Thailand is developing and it's people have a standard of living well above those of other Asian countries I've visited.