It was another early 7 a.m. start as we began the two day bus journey to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We traveled north to Phitsanulok, a small city with a booming night market. On the way there, we stopped at Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We toured Ayutthaya which was treated kinda like a temple. I say kinda, because none of us were prepared for the temple like dress code, with a lot of people in the group wearing shorts for our journey. Our tour guide said the dress code was a very recent change that even he was unaware of.
I found an interesting sign basically telling Americans what to do and what NOT to do. I found it slightly funny how they showed Americans as being fat, red, and basically outta pocket.
Today was gorgeous. Not a cloud in the sky, no humidity, just nice.
We had free time to roam the grounds and I got a few pictures, brought some pineapple, paid to use the restroom (5 baht basically everywhere in Thailand to use the public restroom….get used to it), and got back on the bus to wait for the entire group so we could continue our journey to Phitsanulok. After two hours, we stopped at a gas station that had a McDonald’s and a KFC for lunch. Now, fast food isn’t’ really my thing, especially McDonald’s which I haven’t had in YEARS. But I’ll eat McDonald’s over gross KFC any day. So I chose McDonald’s to see what the Thai’s Mickey D’s was like.
The menu was all in Thai but luckily had pictures so I was able to point out what I wanted to eat to the cashier. I kept it simple with a double cheeseburger meal with a Coke.
I have to say…Thai McDonald’s taste’s better than American McDonald’s! Not only that, but they had a full McCafe WITH A WORKING ICE CREAM MACHINE (It’s a running joke in America that our McDonald’s ice-cream NEVER WORKS) The McCafe made all the smoothies, milkshakes, and even sold slices of cake. It was amazing. And plus, they have Ronald McDonald doing the Wai (Thai greeting – slight bow with the hands pressed together) outside, so it was super adorable. But, I’m good on eating McDonald’s for another 10 years or so.
After three more hours, we finally arrived in Phitsanulok, we were saw a 75 foot, golden Buddha. This was the umpteenth temple in the last few days and even our tour director joked, “see one temple, seen them all”.
I guess you can say….“there was Buddha, Buddha, Buddha, Buddha, was rocking everywhere”
*Puts on sunglasses*
You weren’t allowed to stand in this particular building, and as always, shoes had to be removed. I wasn’t in this temple very long, because kneeling on marble floor isn’t my idea of fun.
We arrived at the hotel and made a beeline for the pool. After getting a few drinks and getting ate up by mosquitoes (BUG SPRAY PEOPLE), we left to get ready for our Rickshaw ride to the night market. Just coming from Bangkok and after kinda getting comfortable with the Tuk-Tuks, I thought a rickshaw would be something similar.
A rickshaw is a basically a giant tricycle. Kinda like a pedicab. We had 20 of those to take us to the night market. It was a nice night driving through the really tiny town. And out of no where, I felt a drop. Then, another. Then the sky and the heavens opened up and I was getting SOAKED in the back of a rigidity rickshaw. My driver pulled over to pull the shade and wind protector over me, but he didn’t have one himself, so the whole caravan of rickshaws had to pull over under this little infrastructure. I ran to get out of the rain, not noticing that this building had tile flooring.
Guess who fell?
Straight busted my tail. I’m surprised I didn’t break an arm bone from trying to catch my fall or my tailbone because my ass is so bony. I limped away in pain and for the first time on the trip, I wished I was home, in my apartment, tucked away in my clean sheets. But instead, I was cold, wet, and in pain…but then I remembered I was in Thailand and sucked it up.
RICKSHAW IN THE RAIN:
Just like the tropical storms I am used to, the rain quickly stopped and we were on our way again.
First stop before the market – DEEP FRIED INSECTS.
Yep. I ate a scorpion on my first night, and now I was staring down fried lizards, crickets, silkworms, and grasshoppers. Bugs I would usually run away from in their alive state were sitting on a plate in front of me waiting to be eaten.
I was afraid to pick up the fried frogs and lizards, but did have the courage to pick up a fried silk worm (whattt?!…it didn’t have a dead face looking at me and judging me, so I felt better about picking it up and eating it). I can honestly say that the fried silkworm tasted like popcorn. Seasoned very well. Check out the video below to watch me eat only God knows what kind of bug….
After quickly going through the night market (at this point, markets were almost getting to be like the temples. Seen one, seen them all), we stopped to get dinner at a local spot. While I just thought it was going to be a simple meal of Pad Thai, little did I know the cooks were putting on a show and I was going to be involved in it.
Y’all, I caught our appetizer in a trash can lid!
Let me explain lol:
We all picked a piece of paper out of a jar. If your paper had a mark on it, you were the lucky one to catch your section’s appetizer of Morning Glory in a trash can lid. The chef would cook it, you’ll see the flame as he is cooking it, he stands a few feet away BACKWARDS with a huge pan and hurls it at you for you the catch in the lid.
I CAUGHT IT:
Made this my night in this small town totally worth it.
New Years in Chiang Mai and the Lantern Festival!