(journal excerpt-March 18, 2012)
This place is slowly warming up to me or vice versa as we’ve been spending each day wandering around a few of the seemingly hundreds of beautiful wats around the city. One gets the sense of how old the city is compared to Bangkok and some of the wats have chedis which are over 700 years old.
Walking around the city, you stumble across many examples of ruinous brickwork and ancient wooden structures. Yesterday we went to a particularly beautiful wat that had very lovely grounds with paths and a forest throughout.
Signs of buddhist proverbs were fastened to trees along our walk and the butterflies were everywhere and a few even sat still long enough for me to take a couple photos!
The heat during these hottest peak ours of the day has been insane (36c-37c) and now that we’re in the dry season, the humidity is low and it feels even notter. The wat and it’s shade was a welcome break from this. We drink litres of water a day and still cannot get fully hydrated. Another downside to this season is the haze. This is the time of year that farmers burn their crops off, not only here but in neighbouring Myanmar and Laos and the smoke wafts into the city. Apparantly it was much worse before we arrived but today when I stepped out of the guesthouse for breakfast, I could actually smell the burning and the air along the street is quite bad making my tired defective lungs whine a bit. Given that we did so much walking in the heat the past few days, I think we’re going to take it a bit more easy today and do some writing indoors to take a break from the air.
Actually, the other day was like this when I got up in the morning but by afternoon it got windy and it blew away quite a lot of the haze. For our break from the heat we stepped into a bar run by two expat Bits in their 70’s, both with young Thai wives. One dudes wife was a year younger than one of his daughters and just had his baby. Despite their questionable proclivities, they seem to be nice guys and we talked to one of them and rank and tried to learn about Thai property law and the ins and outs of all his prior properties and current building repairs!
The reason why I mention this is we also found the bar to have rooms for rent and we are losing our room where we are now, tomorrow. We booked online and I mentioned we’d probably want to stay up to aweek or more but that we’d just reserve 3 nights for now, and low and behold it was booked out from under us. So we have to move. So the pirate bar may have a room for us or another place we looked into. Ahh well! Can’t get too comfortable anywhere I suppose!