We left our guest house in Kanchanaburi first thing to head to Ayutthaya–the former capital of Thailand. This three hour venture was made by songthaew (essentially the back of a pickup truck with a cage overtop). It was actually a very enjoyable method of transportation despite the fact that it doesn’t exactly conform to Western safety standards.
On the way we stopped on the side of the road where our tour guide purchased a rat that he proceeded to have fried up at lunch for us all to try. There you have it folks, I can now say I have tried rat meat. Not as bad as it sounds but a pain to eat because of all the tiny bones.
We spent the afternoon biking around the city. Our major stop was at Wat Mahathat. Here lay the ruins of the most famous temple in the city after being burned by the Burmese in war 400 years ago. This war marked the first of 94 wars Thailand had lost to Burma. It was after this that the Thai government revoked the city’s status of the nations capital and made Bangkok the new capital. Talk about harsh punishment. The temple is most famous for the Buddha head that is found in one of the trees.
After dinner we boarded our overnight train to Chiang Mai for New Years Eve. What a surprisingly awesome venue for NYE! Our group played drinking games until 9:30 and then moved to the “dining room” which is a car with rowdy Thai music and tables. We partied here with a full car of tourists and locals all the way through with our own outside liquor–amazing. Going to bed in a sleeper train made me feel like I was in Harry Potter, a definite added bonus.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention, found Wyatt’s brother in Thailand! And if anyone needs a good read, I Am Malala is fantastic.