Go read Sarah’s first.
I really like Thailand. I don’t like Bangkok. But our time in Bangkok was good. Thanks entirely to Pete, Leah, and Leah’s family.
They were fun and happy and let us travel around in their well chauffered cocoon. The cocoon was full of history, amazing architecture, and even a very few people. Who I liked.
The buddihst architecture was really great. It was intricate and filled with non-stop gold. I didn’t get any pictures that expressed the kind of non-stop oppulence involved. At one point Tee (our great travel guide) pointed to a stupa 100% covered in little gold tiles.
He said the plan was to get tiles from Italy but they were too expensive so they just did it in gold. Everything was pretty much either outlandish or gold. Actually most things where just both. So that was amazing to see.
The other thing I liked alot was the old capital of Ayuthaya. It had an old, vastish buddhist temple complex. Most of it was rubble but alot of the stupas were still standing. Back in the glory days everything was all goldy and impressive but now it’s just all raw bricks. I like old things that look old and the ruins definitely oblige.
One of the less picture worthy parts of the ruins was the old royal palace. Which simply no longer exists. Apparently the Thais are still pissed at the Burmese for that one.
The destruction wreacked on the old capital was visited all over the Siamese world. As our guide put it so memorably: “Everything to be burned. Everyone to be killed”. In fact the burmese swept aside three simese kingdoms who had been fighting for dominance since the Siam ascendency hundreds of years earlier. After the destruction of the old kingdoms however the beloved king Taksin raised an army and built the new kingdom of Siam over the ashes. The new captial was built in Bangkok (well close to bangkok) to take better advantage of booming international trade.
Seems like everywhere you go there is an ‘old capitol’ of Thailand. This is because now Thai people identify themselves with all the old ethnic Thai Kingdoms. So at a few points in history there were 3 or 4 ‘old capitals’ at once.
Mabey it’s because I’ve read some Thai history that I found the sights more interesting than Sarah.
Anyway all in all it really wasn’t _that_ bad.
offtopic ps: Is google down there too? It’s been down all day. Now gmail is down too. Isn’t this one of the signs of the appocalypse?
and is altavista a .com or .org? Am I even spelling it right?