A boat ride, more temples, sunset, bumpin tuk tuk ride - fun change of pace..

I was sitting outside on the deck for breakfast, with my new little pal that would not take no for an answer...
  



Back at the hostel after a mtg with the local dental office, I saw a sign that said 'Boat Tour leaves at 3:50p'  so I inquired at the desk. For 200B (less than $10) the hostel had a 2 hour boat tour option - since it was something totally different, I signed up. And I am so glad I did! There were 5 of us from the hostel that went. We were picked up in our own Tuk Tuk. I was already excited about that because they look so different here compared to Bangkok!!! I loved it! We all crammed in, knees to knees, and bumped along to the canal port. 


There we were given a single 'point' in the direction of the boat. Assuming she meant we walked that way, we walked towards and down a pier to the canal where a low riding, wooden, with wooden bench boat await us. We were told '3 to bench' - so as we all piled in, climbing over said wooden benches for 6-7 rows worth of seats - (a good reminder of why I would have SUCKED at hurdles back in track and field). The boat would sway WAY to the left, bringing the boat really close to the water edge and then back to the right. Everybody kind of shimmied one side to the next to balance it out. The water was murky green with lots of thick vined leave things in it. Not something that looked remotely appealing to swim in... or HAVE to swim in!!! 

The boat was surrounded by the huge, thick vines of greenery - I was curious to see how we would get out. Back home, the boat motor would have gotten clogged with the weed things and the propeller would have stopped working right away. These boats are clearly designed for it though - the actual motor was IN the boat, with just a long metal tube going at a wide slant into the water behind the boat. It was very loud!!! The boat 'driver' sat on a wooden bench, cross legged, as he held on to the long metal handle of which he used to steer the boat. he used a figure 8 sort of tie around the handle to prevent it from going out of control should his grip loosen for any reason. 


The motor shook the whole boat as if we were riding over rumble strips - to the point that my teeth were clanging together relatively hard at one point! We backed out of the 'weeds' as I will call them and made our way around the canal. The canal was busier than expected, considering it simply circled the city and had no known outlet (according to the map). 

There were other boats carrying people and goods. There were barges - lots of them and at one point they seemed to be aiming right at us. The driver hit the gas and veered left and t he water line got REALLY close to the edge of the boat.. that tug boat and barge were hauling a** - we were 2 meters away from getting REAL close to the vessels! 

Shortly after that we came to a stop at a pier that looked like part of a Wat. As we looked at each other, not knowing we were going to stop along the way, the drive yelled "20 min-yutes" and we all got off the boat as he held it with his toes from the large concrete platform.  

After seeing this sign I heeded the warnings and took my shoes with
 Throughout the day, the driver single handedly maneuvered and parked the boat in such a way that the 21-24 of us could enter and exit fairly easily. Not sure how he did it, but he has done it for some time based on how he climbed all around the outside of the boat ridges to get to the back. 

We ended up stopping at 3 different temples along the way - each different from the last.

 The last stop brought us to temple ruins - which I have seen enough of to get my fill already - however, we arrived just as the sun was starting to set. This led to some GREAT photo opps!!! If only I had room and safekeeping enough to have brought my 60X camera - but my phone did just fine to capture the idea anyways!! 




 


Along the last stretch of the ride, I wound up in the back bench seats - right in front of the driver and motor. Great time for a selfie - and the driver even participated! 


By the time the driver dropped people off and got back to where we had gotten onto the boat, the sun was completely gone and nightfall had arrived.  


We got off the boat, walked the platform and then up the stairs where our tuk tuk was waiting for us. This time, in nightfall, the tuk tuk was now a pimp wagon complete with lights and a sound system.


 All 5 of us form the hostel got a kick out of it and managed some selfies without falling out as we whipped down the road weaving in and out and around traffic! Back at the hostel, I had a  quick shower and walked back down to the festival area. Lacking 'umph', I simply made a lap in the area I hadn't made it to the night before, got some food, and walked back to the hostel. All the fresh air and sights of the day had me sleepy!!! and After day 2 at Ayutthaya, I admit I am kind of 'templed out'. I have seen several now, and while they are all super unique and impressive, I am getting a bit bored of them. I know, sad to say, but true.

                                                               Christmas Spirit in Thailand








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