I left Myanmar and headed back to Thailand for a few days before Christmas to catch up with my mate Roger who lives in Pattaya. I had a few days relaxing and unwinding not wanting to do much other than reflect on a great adventure. It was by no means over but i was returning to England for the first time in 20 months before the next part of the world tour.
I was looking forward to catching up with friends, family, ex-colleagues, and getting a new passport.
I was asked by the ex-pats of Pattaya to bring back lots of extra mature cheddar and lots of bags of twiglets if i was returning in the near future – odd bunch !
After a few great days in Siem Reap with my brother it was time to leave Cambodia, my two month stay was over and my visa was just about to run out. I had wanted to return back down to Indonesia and meet up with some people whom i had met last year when coming through on the boat and catch up with what the were doing. I needed to obtain an Indonesian visa for a 60 day visit so had to go to an Indonesian Embassy. You would have thought that it should be just as easy obtaining a visa regardless of which embassy you went to but after a bit of research this was clearly not the case. The Indonesian Embassies in Phnom Penh and Kualu Lumpur seemed very reluctant to issue 60 day visas even if you met all the criteria. The embassy at Penang seemed to give them out left, right and center and the one in Bangkok seemed ok according to recent reports.
I decided to go back to Thailand that way i could apply for a visa in Bangkok and go and visit my friend Roger again who lives in Pattaya. This also meant that i could fly from Siem Reap back to Bangkok with my brother who had a business meeting there and stay with him saving me a nights accomodation.
I went to the embassy with my paperwork but wanted to get straight out of town, i had done all the tourist things on a previous visit and the hussle and bustle of Bangkok was not for me. I got to the bus station and jumped on a bus headed for Pattaya, Roger met me at the other end and it was good to catch up as i had not seen him since Christmas. I travelled back to Bangkok a week later to pick up my visa and and also decided to travel on the train north up to Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya was once the capital of Thailand about 6-700 years ago, the Burmese kept invading and destroying the city as much as they could so the capital moved to Bangkok which was easier to defend. There are a lot of ancient ruins there but confined to a small area so most people travelled around on bike for the day.
On a day trip out we went to a 3D art gallery which had been created in an old warehouse called Art in Paridise. Images had been painted on the walls and floors but they were all made to look 3D especially when you had photos taken with them.
A short trip out from Pattaya is an amazing chinese museum – Viharn Sien – Anek Kusala Sala. Funded by a Chinese billionaire he has donated hundreds of objects most of which are made of bronze. There were dozens of full size statues of mythical Chinese characters and animals. Also on show were some of the original soldiers from the terrecota army, only discovered in 1974 this is the only place in the world where some of them exist outside of China. It really is a great place to visit especially as the entrance fee is a whole whopping pound !!
Felt a bit like home this, fish and chips for dinner, red telephone box, and oh yeah – the gulf of Thailand.