I woke up with a random woman in my bed. I hope this is the last time I have to say it. I got to know Lizabeth a bit before bed. She had been travelling Laos and Cambodia before this and has been to Indonesia many times. We decided we would both go to the old city together and there was a festival called the ‘Lyo —‘ in the old city which we would also do together. She is a budding photographer so I was happy to go around with her and steal her angles and artist point of views.
When arriving at the old city we found out entrance was free for the day because of the kinds death, this meant already we had saved 300baht. We rented bikes for the day which cost us 30baht (equivalent to around 70p). We began with the outside, north and west section and then into the centre.
The place was so quite. Considering it was a nationally historical park I thought it would be heaving with tourists but there were hardly any. I cannot complain though, it was lovely.
We saw the Le Wat Chang Lom, Le Wat Si Chum and the Le Wat Lahathat.
Loy krathong festival
We met someone called Brian who we had late lunch with and convinced to stay for the festival. It would traditionally have lots of colour and fireworks but due to the death of the king they only had light and sound. It was magical. The kings presentation was heartfelt and filled with patriotic Thai. One man told us he loved his king so much, he cries everyday with sadness that he has now passed.
The place was so well organised, free candles and song sheets were handed out. From perfect timing to accurately spaced vendors, the precision was immaculate. It was so special, something Europe could definitely not replicate. There were no police, no drunks, no danger. It felt safe and peaceful. If this had been held in England the festival would have been around drink and gangs. Here it was different, here everyone felt spiritual and wanted to pay respects to their king.
They sold what we called ‘wishes’ (I’m not sure about its proper name). I chose a Lillie flower. Apparently you send all your bad energy away with it onto the water and then you wish for the opposite. For me I wanted to send away all my bad experiences with my travels so far. I wished for a safer, more sociable journey.
When we got back to the hostel I Skype my dad and sister. I explained my last couple of days to them and then got a little upset. I didn’t want to be sad and I didn’t want to cry. I get scared I will worry them and that they won’t be able to stop thinking about me. My experience here in Bangkok has been a glitch and I’m sure it will be rectified. After discussing my options with them it has had me realise that I do need to be more flexible. I now realise although I want to be flexible, I’m restricting myself to who I meet and what I do because “I have booked xyz and I must stick to this well organised day to day plan I have” (quoted by Dad, who was mimicking me…it was very accurate actually).
After our call I felt a lot better and speaking to them has again made me self reflect. I now must use Bamba as a backdrop for transport, but I should not use it as a rigourous route. If I meet people who are heading into a imilar route I should go with them and then use Bamba when I have chance, rather than the other way around.