Thailand 2010 — post #1

My first day in Ayuthaya, Thailand (I am out-of-shape!)

Week one in Thailand finds me 150 kms. north of Bangkok. I spent 1/2 day riding my bicycle out of the city.  It was the most bicycle hostile city I have ever ridden in. No lanes or access, and a gridlock of cars that had everyone fighting for space. It was a relief to ride into Ayuthaya untouched.

Ayuthaya was the ancient capitol of Thailand. It has many temples of over 2000 years old, covering many miles. I visited them by bike and really enjoyed the visage. I met a Dutch cyclist, Robert, who had the good sense to just throw his bike onto the train to get out of Bangkok. Next time I will too.

mama elephant calling her baby

They want food! And they will yank everything from you all at once

as one of their babies rest amongst them...

Robert and I then rode to the elephant rescue to the north of the city. It was most pleasant to see so many baby elephants thriving. I bought food there to feed them, which I gladly did and enjoyed it immensely. They were amusing and aggressive with their trunks, hustling to get as much pineapple as possible. One young female broke her chains and promptly went into the garden where she began pulling up banana trees and eating them. Her mahoot came running up and put an end to it. There was something charming about her mischieviousness.

Thailand is, yes, the land of smiles. The culture has a ritual of praying and bowing to every new person that you meet. It is as if you are recognizing their being and ‘soul’ for the first time. The kindness of this gesture is touching. There appears to be a universal helpfulness from the locals that I meet. A gentleness of soul. Can we learn something here?

Robert and I then rode to Lop Buri. It too is an ancient city with many ruins. It is also known as the ‘monkey’ city. Packs of macque monkeys roam the streets, scavenging for food and ripping off the food vendors.  They are completely tolerated and indulged. The Thai’s Buddhism believes these monkeys to be near souls and to be treated as such.

The street food here is spectacular. I am eating pad thai every day in its many variations. With coconut milk and curry and peanut sauce, vegetables and sometimes fish. One can get a filling meal here for 50 cents. I walked the immense open marketplace here this morning and sampled new fruits that I had never seen before. When I travel, one of the things I always do is check out the open market places. These markets seems richer than most.

Well I have a lot of riding to do in the next 10 days. I have some national parks I want to visit, and then ride up to Vientiene, the capital of Laos. I will be heading out at sunrise tomorrow.

4 Responses to Thailand 2010 — post #1

  1. Hello Dwight–

    Thanks for the Blog! I will be checking it regularly. Sounds like you are having a wonderful trip.


  2. Dear Dwight-I am very much enjoying the digital ride. Please keep it coming. I’m uncertain if loading photos is a problem but they are a treat to see. Stay safe. Lon

  3. Dwight – it’s great to hear about your trip. You are making me extremely jealous with the food you mentioned : ) Safe travels!


  4. I enjoy your website, more pictures please! Stay safe and have fun!

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Dwight Worker is an American professor, activist, adventurer, and fugitive. He escaped from the Mexican penitentiary Palacio de Lecumberri in 1975 along with the book and movie Escape about the story

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