Ayutthaya

After spending some time in Bangkok we decided to start the journey up to Chiang Mai with a 6 hour stop in the old capital city of Ayutthaya. 650 years ago this was the seat of power for Siam. It lasted for about 400 years, and now much of the city is in ruins after an invading Burma army destroyed the city in 1767. It’s still an amazing place to explore and learn about its history.

We packed our huge bags, checked out of our hostel (Lub.D), and waited at a bus stop because neither of us had tried the city buses yet. After waiting for a good 25 minutes for a bus that was supposed to come every 11 minutes we hailed a taxi and asked to go to the train station. He said 100 baht; he capitulated after we both demanded the meter be turned on, and it ended up being only 45 baht. We bought our ticket to Ayutthaya in third class for 40 baht and then our sleeper car ticket to Chiang Mai for 796 baht (around $27). When we asked which train to get on the uniformed agent said car 1, 2, 3 as he pointed at each. We thought he meant 1, 2, OR 3, but what he actually meant was 1, 2, THEN 3. So after settling into our comfortable second-class seats and remarking what a good deal it was we were told that we had to move to third class which consisted of non-reclining seats that were nothing more than thinly covered pieces of wood. But it was only 40 baht for a two hour train ride…or roughly $1.30. I wish Europe’s trains were this affordable!

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My Morocco Expedition

A City Built Out Of Concrete

A City Built Out Of Concrete

Thursday 3/6/2014 5pm Western European Time Zone

Misconceptions abound. I’m writing this while sitting in the second class car of the train that’s bound towards Station Voyeux downtown Casablanca. Sure it smells a little bit like cat urine, but then again I did see what appeared to be a stray kitten roaming around just inside la gare.

I honestly did not put a lot of planning into this vacation, but that seems to be a recurring habit that I should probably start breaking, but so far it’s turned out quite well for me.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Groupon? Well Zozi.com is the exact same thing except that it focuses on vacations. The deals vary in terms of how good they actually are, but every once in a while they have a site-wide 25% off coupon. When that happens the Dutchman in me finds it very hard to resist purchasing. Such was the case the day after Christmas…over the past few years, I’ve grown a list of about 10 friends that have said things like “I’d love to start travelling more, let me know the next time you’re going to somewhere cool!” The way that usually works is I send a note to 10 people and get 10 responses back that start “That looks awesome, but (insert excuse about the lack of time, money or both).” This time, though, a friend from college told me “Let’s go!” So we found something that sounded fun (I’ve always wanted to ride a camel), and booked it even though I’ve been running extremely low on funds lately with my most recent renovation project.

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