It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Ayutthaya Travel Blog

 › entry 10 of 100 › view all entries
...and I've never spent Christmas anywhere other than Birmingham or Wakefield. That's where my grandparents live and it's not that much more exotic than Birmingham. Not any more exotic if we're honest. Christmas in Thailand is going to be a new one on me.

I didn't know where to go, either. If I went to some big town i was worried it'd be alienating, that there'd be no-one there on my own for me to talk to. If I went somewhere too small, I was worried that everyone would gravitate to the big towns and there'd be no-one for me to talk to, full stop.

So I bought a bus ticket for Chiang Mai, the second biggest city in Thailand, leaving on the evening of the 23rd and arriving on Christmas Eve morning. The travel agent I bought the ticket from then closed, leaving a note on its window telling me to catch the bus from the Ayutthaya Guest House. According to my LP, a lot of 'serious complaints' have been made about service and tours at the Ayutthaya Guest House. Great.

On the night of the 23rd, I sat on the kerb outside this guest house waiting for the bus. There were a few older Thai guys sitting further down the road and one of them noticed I was drinking the same beer as he was. He came over to me. "Happy new year," he said.

"Thank you." We clinked bottles. "That's in nine days."

He thought for a moment. "Happy Christmas," he said, and I thanked him. When the bus arrived, he came over to me again and gave me a hug.

The bus was a double-decker; conventional two-by-two seats upstairs, but downstairs the seats were all kinda facing each other. Almost like a living room. Took a seat down there as it filled up. We set off. Before anyone had had time to make conversation, an American woman sitting opposite me pretty much ordered the driver to turn the light off so she could sleep. It was half past nine in the evening. Two or three others made conversation in Spanish while this woman made a show of trying to sleep. Bollocks to the lot of you.

Some time about midnight, we stopped at a service station so the driver could have a piss and a fag, and people could stamp their feet and avoid getting DVT. I bought a beer and a bag of crisps. Took them back onto the coach. "It's Christmas Eve," I intoned to my seatmates, and soberly raised my bottle. That was it.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: the_bloodsucker