Phitsanulok - the hottest place on earth.

Phitsanulok Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
A passing train on our journey

A recent campaign by the State Railway of Thailand to rid their older sleeper trains of bed bugs has resulted in quite a few trains being temporarily taken out of service. When we went to book our train tickets down to Phitsanulok the aircon special express we were hoping for was no longer running and 2nd class non aircon seat was the best we could get. So we ended up being woken at 5.40am by the evil sound of our alarm. 20 minutes later and while still dark outside we were in a sangthaew (a sort of closed pick up truck taxi?) on our way to the station. Our train was due to depart at 6.45 so we got ourselves a cup of coffee first then boarded.  We have never seen so many mosquitos in one place before.

Our train
Our only conclusion was that the carriage must have been parked in a swamp overnight. There were literally hundreds of the little devils buzzing around and intent on devouring us. A liberal spraying of repellant helped but some still went for us. Luckily once the train got moving most of them got blown out the windows but the moving train brought fresh miseries. Bits of trees, leaves, seeds and pollen were flying through the windows and Steph narrowly avoided being decapitated by a vicious plastic bag at one point. That said the cool morning air being forced into the carriage was welcome. That of course couldn't last as cool morning air soon became early morning warmth and before long it was savage midday heat. The bits of pollen, leaves and seeds were joined by ash from farmers burning off their fields and it all stuck to the sweat on our bodies and we took on a slightly comical appearance of being human fly paper.
The inside of our train
The journey lasted all day and eight hours after leaving we arrived in the swealtering heat of Phitsanulok.

We had no idea what to expect from the town and our first impressions weren't particularly favourable. We checked into the "Lithai Guesthouse" which at 350 baht with a free breakfast was excellent value. Our bed was very small but the room was spotless and the aircon worked well, which was a relief. As soon as we put our bags down it was straight into the shower to wash off the debris from the journey. A brief walk around town revealed that Phitsanulok is very much a local town. The shops and services are not geared up for tourists and that was actually really nice. It gave us a sense of seeing some 'real' Thailand for a change. That said the heat was oppressive and we headed back to our room for more aircon.

Adam along the river in Phitsanulok

Anyone who has been keeping up with our blogs will be aware that we have been off the beer lately but this heat dragged us off the wagon and after a very respectable effort of just one shared beer in the past seven days, we decided to head down to the riverside bars and sucumb to that most irrisistable of temptations that only ultra hot days and very cold beer can offer. If we had been offered the chance to travel for an extra month all expenses paid or that first beer it would have been the beer without hesitation.  Definately a new entry into our all time top ten greatest beers. We headed to the night market area in search of some food and instead found another beer, we're on a roll now. We ordered some spring rolls and veggie tempura with them and it all went down very well.

View of the river in Phitsanulok

With a very pleasant little buzz that only a week off the beer can bring the heat was much more bearable and we strolled through the market which was still mostly in the process of being set up, stopping to buy some delicious sweetcorn on the way. We decided to head back to the room and come out again later after eating our corn. There was a really nice atmosphere when we returned and the market stalls were thriving. Crowds of locals with a smattering of tourists thrown in paraded up and down stopping to eat and drink and haggle for clothes etc. It was a really nice evening and although we have decided to head off to Sukothai tomorrow what we thought was going to be a bit of a dead end stay has actually turned into a really great memory. For a taste of a genuine piece of Thailand, Phitsanulok was superb.

Virginiagoodings says:
The train ride sounds deadly! I can relate to the joy of that beer though!
Love
Mum/Virginia xxoo
Posted on: Mar 24, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
A passing train on our journey
A passing train on our journey
Our train
Our train
The inside of our train
The inside of our train
Adam along the river in Phitsanulok
Adam along the river in Phitsanulok
View of the river in Phitsanulok
View of the river in Phitsanulok
Sunset in Phitsanulok
Sunset in Phitsanulok
2,091 km (1,299 miles) traveled
Sponsored Links
Phitsanulok
photo by: aleksflower