23rd – 28th June – Being lazy
And so my long holiday in Thailand began to draw to a rather lazy close. All the Saga trips had finished and we were left to our own devices. With my friends, I returned to the night market where we spent a lovely evening browsing the stalls. (I was fascinated by one woman who was repeatedly putting a fish through a mangle.) There was the inevitable break in Starbucks for a frappuccino and to make use of their air conditioning. I also spent some time exploring the tiny local stores outside the hotel and out beyond the shop which took care of our laundry, where we discovered a neat little cafe.
Another day I returned to the spa for an aromatherapy massage and a facial. The smell of the oils was wonderful and it was great to finish off with a cup of ginger tea. I was so relaxed and well balanced I felt 2 inches taller as I walked back to my room. If possible, I always try to fit in at least one massage, while I am on holiday. Some are just good; some are out of this world! Later that day we watched England beat Ecuador 1-0 in the second round of the World cup.
We were almost at the end of the holiday when my two new friends and I went out on a trip, part of which now makes me feel very uncomfortable. The first part of the trip was a visit to an elephant village and of course the experience included a ride. If I had known then what I know now about the treatment of elephants who carry tourists in these places, that place would not have been on my itinerary. So the least said about it the better.
Following that we went to visit a monkey village. By contrast the monkeys had a totally free run of the small village which ran from a hilltop down to a stoney beach. They were everywhere pestering visitors for the bananas and sweetcorn that we were encouraged to buy before starting out. There were some sweet babies but there were also some fairly aggressive males. My usual combination of fear and fascination kicked in. I can’t stop looking at monkeys but I’d rather they left me alone! Is that asking too much? The village also had a number of temples, which were very much in the Chinese tradition rather than Thai. They reminded me of the many temples I had seen in Borneo.
Our last full day involved mainly swimming and and further visit to the night market (and inevitably to Starbucks). On our final day I had hoped to swim but it rained heavily and, by the time the rain stopped, it was too late. So I wasn’t able to break my record of 27 lengths in a day. I enjoyed the drive back to Bangkok. I think that any new wild landscape is interesting and so it was good to see so much of the country before leaving. There was plenty of time to mooch around the airport and have quick bite to eat before enduring a departure lounge full of teenagers who spent their waiting time dancing inexplicably boring dances.
Once again I tracked my route over Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and then Europe before touching down in London just before 7a.m.
So, I was beginning to feel a bit of a seasoned traveller and, almost as soon as I arrived home, I started to look ahead to next year……..