Day 70 Lamae to Surat Thani

107km/7hrs

Country roads most of way (4112 & 417 into Surat Thani). Flat but few slight hills. Good road. Food and drink available. Ban Don hotel 400B is fine and good friendly service. Even got bars on the windows to hang ones washing.

I got the impression that the youth managing the resort was not too sad to see me leave. I gave him a cheery hello and thank you while offering him the key but he just nodded at the counter and turned his back. No matter, I don’t thinkĀ  we were destined to become close friends.

I didn’t get lost for a change but did have a dog attack. Two women were chatting at a road junction and as I passed their dogs rushed me. I managed to out run them when expressing my disapproval to the women. ‘I would appreciate it if you could keep better control of your lively dogs’ or something very similar. I have a respiratory infection so left a trail of phlegm in my wake today.

Paddy has made way for plantations. Rubber but mainly palm. People beeping and waving encouragement and generally very friendly. Lots of places for food and water.

Lonely planet guide made Surat Thani sound very sleazy. They suggested getting here and leaving the same day and if one had to stay not leaving the hotel. It is not so bad. A few nice coffee places, a good night market with better food than in most other places and a Cool club. I imagined girls mobbing you as you left the hotel shouting, ‘Hello, you handsome’. Actually the town is a bit dead after 9pm.

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garbage picker, Surat Thani

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street from my hotel

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not a nice road going into Surat Thani for last 20km

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motorbike mechanic

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quiet country roads for most of the day

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roads in south are a bit too straight

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obvious large Chinese community in Surat Thani

obvious large Chinese community in Surat Thani

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I didn’t see much other night life around

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Doesn’t look a bad hotel just up the road from Ban Don hotel

 

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Day 60 Ayutthaya

Good sleep and back recovering and no allergy. Bit tired after the catching up in a bar with Pedro last night.

Everyone seems to speak English here. On the tourist trail.

Toured some wats and palaces by bike and got attacked by three dogs with another few ready to join in. I stopped to photograph a small quaint house and heard barking. Thinking it was just the usual I am doing my duty bark I cycled slowly off and then three dogs charged after me. I hadn’t got time to out run them so stopped to face them but in my haste to get off before they reached me I got my leg tangled in the handle bars and was hopping on on leg shouting at the dogs and remembering not fo fall. My aggression to them slowed them up. When disentangled I put the bike between me and them and threw stones at them. An old lady had come out of the quaint house and didn’t seem to think it was much of a big deal and just signaled for me to move on. Why the hell can’t people take responsibility for their bloody animals. Most should be killed.

Most people like the familiar. Ricky has taught English in Autthaya for 10 years (wonder if the students know they are learning Cockney English) and loves it here. ‘A nice little town’ he said. It’s a shitty, shabby, badly lit, boring provincial town plagued by vicious dogs. ‘Town’s a bit quiet’ I suggested. ‘Yes, but they had a good band next door last night’. ‘Is there much else at night except these three bars in this street?; ‘No, that’s about it but it is good meeting with other teachers here’ he replied. He and the other teachers seemed happy with this.

Now a lot of wat, chedi and monuments to great egos

undressing an enormous Buddha

undressing an enormous Buddha

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putting gold leaf on a Buddha. Don't think Buddha would approve

putting gold leaf on a Buddha. Don’t think Buddha would approve

monk blessing food and shopping items bought from the wat

monk blessing food and shopping items bought from the wat

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unfortunate name

unfortunate name

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birds are caught and sold to people who gain merit by releasing them. Not catching then in the first place seems more meritable.

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tour guide teaches tourist how to shake out a stick which has a number and indicates fortune. Inevitably good fortune. Guide wants a tip!

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