Sunday, December 16, 2007

In A Forgotten Thai Town - with the Elephants

My last Thailand visit was set on visiting towns outside Bangkok. For a measly PhP1, 200 (about 1,000 baht), I found myself treated to a private airconditioned car service - yes, with meals, as well as fees to landmarks - with a very charming and toothsome Thai in his mid-50's.

He had this self-deprecating humor about having a nagging wife and a young sweet concubine (a nurse), congenially complaining about how expensive maintaining such lifestyle was. Thai society isn't really all that much different from ours, Pinoy Catholics, or from well-heeled Westerners for that matter. Polygamy seems fashionable, and makes an interesting, albeit hilarious topic of conversation.

It was an intimate travel, just the driver and 2-3 "car-mates", something that I was wary at first - I was expecting a van full of strangers. It was ultimately rewarding. On our way to the Ayutthaya Temples some 2 hours north of Bangkok, we stopped at an unnamed town whose main attraction is an elephant farm. For just 200 baht (PhP 270), one can get a ride on an elephant. I didn't want to make a spectacle of myself so while waiting for my carmates getting their exhilirating ride, I volunteered to take their photos. Once that was done, I walked out of the farm's compound. I followed an indescript wavy footpath of parched grass, with 4 feet bushes lining the road. Small houses dot the distant horizon. I turned somewhere and found a barren field with relics of Wats (temples), adorned by a glittery yellow cloth.

I was starting to get excited. Ang babaw! Hehe. This was how I prefered my travels: discovering places off the beaten track.

The sun was up and I was sweating profusely, but I made my round, walking around this huge Wat. To its north is a red wooden bridge, under which was a clear flowing stream. It was placid - and it was all mine to enjoy!

Found myself soaking in the midday sun. After a few minutes just sitting beside the temple, I noticed an elephant carrying a couple of caucasian ladies with a huge umbrella (cabana). Took that as a signal to go back to the elephant farm.

Little wonders from an unnamed Thai town...

This is the Eye in the Sky!

No comments: