This morning was an early morning as well. We woke up and were in the bus ready to go by 8am. Our first stop was a buddah foundry where we saw many people working on casting, and decorating the buddah statues. There were so many statues I had to ask Boeing what to do with my feet. As it is considered rude to have your feet point at a buddah image (Interestingly It is also rude to touch anyone, even a loved one, on the head). Boeing, and some fellow travelers who are Indian, informed me that the buddah was not sitting in a sacred space after being blessed. So this was not an issue in this space.
Attached to the foundry was a rare bird sanctuary where we saw many exotic birds. I made 2 bird friends and one bird enemy. My two friends responded to my imitation bird noises, and one, who was the size of a toddler, gladly bounced back and forth with me, happy to be interacting with people. My bird enemy wasn’t having any of my shit, hated my noises, and turned his butt to me every time I walked by!
Next on the agenda was a bit more driving to the first Capital of Thailand, Sukhothai. Much like Ayutthaya the grounds were reminiscent of Angkor Wat. Brick columns, floors and Stupas littered the large grounds of the beautifully landscaped and protected park. Irrigation ponds and natural ponds were full of lotus blossoms and lily pads and since it was Monday the tourists were few. On our way out we encountered a large group of children on a field trip to the park who kept practicing their English on us and smiled broadly as they waved us away down the line.
On the way to Lampang, where we stay tonight, we also stopped at a small textile museum and an ancient pottery kiln ruin. It was amazing to me that, because of a crime rate of about 2% nation wide in Thailand, there were still many artifacts of pottery in the kiln and no major security around it.
Once we arrived at the hotel we quickly grabbed our things and went off with Joe and Gina and Sonal. Joe and Gina are from NM originally and on their honeymoon as well (not sure if I’ve mentioned them yet) and Sonal is from California and is traveling alone. We all went to a candy shop down the street to try the local treat which is made in a Lampang factory. It is a rice cereal treat with various flavored glazes. We chose watermelon. Snacks purchased, we headed around the neighborhood to a couple street vendors and grabbed dinner, then to a nearby bar where we had some Singha, Chang and Leo beers and Joe bought a bottle of Johnny Walker Black (750mL) that everyone thought would be too much…but 3 of the group managed to finish it off. We’ll see what kind of shape they are in tomorrow on the windy northern Thai roads!