Saturday, May 21, 2011

Home :)

I'm back home after my travels, and it's taking some time to get back in the swing of non-holiday life, I have to say.

I had a great time in Thailand.  I loved the crazy pace of Bangkok; the culture and the people, but most of all I really loved being in a completely different country and all the personal challenges that creates. 

I was very lucky to be traveling with 4 people who have multiple trips to Bangkok under their belt.  They taught me all the little ways, the customs and the "rules", and they showed me how to negotiate with tuk tuk drivers and get around, giving me the confidence to venture out on my own by Day 3!

This is one of my trips on a riverboat taxi - getting on and off is a thrill in itself.  You don't have long at either point, and you get very nimble when there's a risk of falling in the canal!

and there were daily foot massages...heavenly.

We did a few day trips using Bangkok as our base, hiring private cars and planning our own days rather than going on organised tours for the most part, which really worked well.

First we headed up to Ayutthaya to visit the ancient city ruins, which were so amazingly beautiful...

Ayutthaya was razed by the Burmese in the 1760's and at the same time, they removed all the Buddha images' heads.  It was really rather eerie, even today.

Misty & I spent a lot of time wandering around here, and I was really disappointed that I had only taken my "point-and-shoot" camera - so many wonderful shots went by the wayside.


From there we were taken onto another temple in the Ayutthaya province, the one the has been rebuilt.  We were there on the King's Day (Monday) which is why all the Buddha's were draped in yellow cloth - it's the King's colour.   Apparently on their previous trips, my travel companions told me each Monday you would see a lot of Thai people wearing yellow out of respect for the King, however this time round, after the recent protests, we barely saw anyone.

 We also went to Lop Buri, home of the Monkey Temple...

The monkey's FREAKED me out!  They are everywhere in the town, and they are sacred, so you can't shoo them away. One large male made a running leap at my back as we walked towards the temple, and I nearly had heart failure!

Misty on the other hand, had no problems with the monkeys and was quite keen to let them touch her...{{shudder}}

Suffice to say although I am glad I went and experienced it, Lop Buri was not somewhere I would be returning to in a hurry!!

Our group also went out to Ko Larn.  For this we actually did tag along with a tour group because it was easier and cheaper than doing it ourselves.  The tour was OK, but it was very tourist-orientated naturally.

We took a speedboat out from Pattaya to the island, had a swim, rode some scooters around (I may have crashed mine, but that's another story!) and then headed back to Bangkok. 

This trip was so fantastic that I'm already planning my next one - Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos are high on the list.  The short time away showed me that there are some really important things in my life that are being neglected, and I need to pay attention and make these things important again.

Knitting definitely falls in this category, so since being back, I've set aside specific time in my day for it.  I've been working on my Stellar cardigan - currently at the long inevitable stretch of stocking stitch inescapable when working all-in-one and top down. It doesn't make for the most interesting of photos, but it is good mindless TV knitting!

I've also cast on for Baby #4 - in purple!!  It's a simple yoked cardigan, worked all in one to the armholes.  The wool is Shepherd Merino Baby 4ply, and the colour is every bit as rich and delightful as the photo.

In Roller Derby/SSRD news, my beloved Cutthroat Charmers won another bout on May 14th - the day after I got back from Thailand, so there has been a lot of purple-love in my life recently!

I managed to line up for this one, but didn't actually get any track time - which was FINE!  I am ready to go next one out though - definitely!!

Hopefully this time with 100% less broken face.


knitabulous said...

Can never get too much purple love!

When I saw the statues draped in the yellow robes I thought of yarn bombing ...

I fully concur with the monkeys. Eeeww. And they're strong little feckers too.

I really enjoyed reading what you've been up to - it made me smile.

Rose Red said...

mmmm purple!

What a great trip - I think that's the best way to do it - go with people who know the area and the ins and outs, try to avoid the touristy stuff as much as possible while still seeing the amazing things.

DrK said...

it looks like you had a great time away, those amazing temples are just breathtaking. im so glad it was a chance to recharge and reprioritise, sounds like time very wisely spent. and the purple, oh!

Gracia said...

Yet to meet a monkey I didn't like but then I've been only to the zoo.

Glad you had a great adventure, Kylie, with or without the monkey love.

g xo