Lopburi – “one thousand… and two bats”
As we went to leave Ayutthaya to get the train to Lopburi, Sam luckily overheard some Dutch boys saying they couldn’t get the train to Chang Mai, where we would be working up to after Lopburi. It turns out there had been a mudslide and the train wouldn’t be running for 10 days. We only understood the scale of it when we saw this photo:
We decided to go to Lopburi anyway then return to Ayutthaya and get an overnight coach to Chang Mai. The owner of the Ayutthaya guesthouse was advising us not to go there but I’d seen a blog about it and we’re so glad we went! We stayed at the Noom guesthouse as recommended and went on their fantastic excursion.
The driver had a penchant for 70’s disco so we YMCA-ed our way to a lake with mountains surrounding it, where we had 2 blissful hours to swim and dry off. There were children swimming and jet skies around. We’d brought T-shirts to wear over our swimming gear as is the Thai custom so we wouldn’t offend anyone. It was only after we got dry we spotted rings to float in!
We met our driver again at 5.50 and headed into the mountains. We could hear the all too familiar sound of bats echoing off the caves in the rock. The driver told us “the bats will come at 6 O’clock” and sure enough, at 6 on the dot, a steady stream of bats flew out of the cave. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen!
We found out the bats eat mosquitoes so they are definitely our friends!
It was an eventful night in Lopburi. I woke up at 4am to Sam sitting bolt upright next to me, semi delirious. A cockroach had wormed it’s way through the woven roof and she was sitting paralysed with fear in the dark. Then it fell on her. A blood-curdling scream later and I was up with the lights on, cockroach hunting. The palm-sized creature met it’s demise in a crisp packet in the bathroom.
In the morning, we went into Lopburi monkey hunting. It didn’t take long to find them – they’re everywhere!
We went to the main temple to take some photos and one climbed up Sam’s leg and left pawprints. She’s now convinced nature hates her and we’re both super glad we had the rabies shot.
Sam wasn’t even won over by the adorable chihuahua puppies at the guesthouse.
We decided to get the 14.48 train back to Ayutthaya, leaving us plenty of time for the 20.00 bus to Chang Mai. Being in Thailand, however, the train was delayed by 2 hours 40 minutes. I conked out on a train station bench (tramp) and prayed we’d make it back in time.
We made it back with an hour to spare and managed to grab some food before the 11 hour coach ride north. The coach was pretty horrendous. I had 2 loud boys from Brighton in front of me who reclined their chairs so far back I was effectively pinned in my chair. No sleep was had that night! One positive of the journey was I found myself sitting next to the head of post production on Eastenders, who’s on a career break. She was fascinating!
We arrived in Chang Mai at 7am whereby the coach company tried to convince us to stay at their hostel and take their jungle trek. Did they not know we’d had a horribly restless night?! I was not in the mood to listen to hard sell at that time of the morning!
We escaped and made our way to our hostel, where I’m typing this up in a treehouse above a hammock.
If I don’t sleep tonight, I’m going to knock myself out with Thai whiskey before I start hallucinating monkeys as well as being attacked by real ones.