Journey to the unknown : Thailand – Part 4
The mindless wandering was going on and I had been in Thailand about 5 days now. Things had started to become normal. I had started to be less anxious and I was in some part of the southern Thailand called Nakhon si Thammarat. A city where I couldnt find a hotel in Expedia. I woke up early mostly. The day seemed more beautiful that way. This guest house I was staying at seemed wonderful with its little green oasis. I got down to grab the free coffee. Who doesnt love a free coffee in the morning? It was an instant coffee that you made yourself. But still the wooden furniture and green surroundings and a cool breeze just made things seem beautiful. It felt wonderful just to be sitting there with no plan in the world and just feeling joyous.
I started chatting with this guy who owned the place. Since he spoke some English life was much easier. I checked with him on what I can do here. At first I decided to go to this waterfall about 30KM out of city on a rented motor-bike. But it was a Sunday and we couldn’t find any motorbike rentals and it was a small city. I was told that I can go to this waterfall Phrom-lok. I got the directions and maps and a paper containing common phrases in Thai / English so that I don’t get stuck. I was really grateful to him. As a thank you I suggested some ways to increase traffic to his guest house by listing on Expedia etc.
Finally I took a tuk-tuk to the bus area. After some difficulty I found one tuk-tuk going towards Phrom-lok. At first he gestured some amount that i mistook to be 200 THB. I said no way! But finally he showed me a green 20 THB note and I smiled and sat inside. They dropped me at a 7-11 on the highway from where the waterfall was about 4.5 KM on the road going left. I waited for about 30 minutes to find a moto-taxi. A lady who probably knew no English tried her best to help me and make sure I could find something. It was another one of those touching moments in Thailand. To be in some random part of the country and get a kind gesture from the local people is something that lifts your spirit. Finally I got a moto-taxi up to the waterfall.
At the ticket checkpoint I was mistaken for a Thai. I said I am from India and then I paid the foreigner fee. Maybe I shouldnt have told them 😉 The moto-taxi dropped me right up on the waterfall. I just lazed around. Sat on the side wooden tables and just listened to the fall and the wind. I walked down a bit with my sandals off. Had a coke and realized what a big company Coke is. It is present at any and all places in the world. It was a Sunday and I saw a lot of local Thai people with families on a picnic. I was the probably the only guy alone. It sure did feel weird and even a bit out of place. It was something like a food for thought on how man is a social animal.
I started walking back knowing that I wouldn’t really find a taxi so I would be walking back the 4.5KM back. I stopped at a couple of places to take some pictures. But mostly I walked non-stop for the 4.5 KMs back to the highway and took a tuk-tuk to the bus area. And another one to the guest house. I got back around 3PM and the showered was like a seductive nymphet. I asked Win to recommend me some food. He suggested Thai fried chicken and rice etc which was really amazing! Then Win mentioned that his dad can take me into town in the evening.
Since I had no plan I accepted that offer and was dropped in the downtown area in the evening. I walked around randomly looking at old houses and people and places. It was one of those lazy walks where you came to each crossing and took a random call on which side to turn. I came back by myself and just had a coffee downstairs. I chatted around with Win for a bit and I realized this was the fun part of this trip. To meet new people and different thought processes. Just looking at people doing their usual thing here was like a profound moment. The way these people looked at Love and Companionship. The way they were free and yet rooted was quite a lot for me to handle at first. It left me feel dazzled at times by the incidents I could see.
I went to bed that evening once again with a lot of thoughts to reflect upon. However the one that I had figure out was also on where i am heading to next. I called up an ex-colleague and he mentioned stopping by at Hua-Hin but the timings were not working. I found out that the city of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai would be a wonderful place to visit and totally un-Thailand-esque.
The next morning was an early one as well. I had to get the tickets to Bangkok. From bangkok I could head to Sukhothai. I went to the train station around 7.40AM. Turns out the ticket counter opens only at 8AM! So I waited a bit until it opened. There were 2 trains to Bangkok I think at 1PM and 3PM. 1PM was full but I got a ticket on the 3PM train. This can only happen in Thailand! To get to a train station early morning and get a ticket for the train departing the same day! How lovely it was and how free it makes you feel knowing you dont have to plan your travel months in advance.
After this I went to the Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan (also referred to as Wat Phrathat). It is the main Buddhist temple and most famous attraction of Nakhon Si. I loved the temple to be honest! There was nothing to write home about unless you have a strong religious sense. But I just browsed around and then sat on a bench in the park. I just looked at the people feeding the birds. I looked at little kids coming for a school trip and people clicking pictures. I didn’t feel like a intruder and no one noticed me. I was free to see people for who they were without an external influence. I saw little kids run around after the pigeons. I dont know how time passed while I sat there.
Maybe I was lost in some other world for a bit. I had breakfast at the guest house once again. I chatted a bit with Win and then went up to room. Just relaxed for a long time till 1.30PM and came down, checked out and ate some food. Win said he was going downtown so he can drop me to the train station. I was really thankful and said yes. He dropped me to the train station and I said the good byes. The train started off slowly and I just looked out of the windows until the sun went down. Another journey ended. Another one had started off. Things were in motion. They always are and we just dont see it that way. This is the world. The world of continuous change.