Guided Tour to Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya may be an essential for a trip to Bangkok and Thailand, however I want to tell you my experience so you can't say you weren't warned. I took a guided tour by bus to Ayutthaya, a quick stop to the temples, and then to Bang Pa'In and back by boat. This was by far the worst tour I have ever been on. I mean my skin crawls just thinking about it. Ayutthaya may be great, but we didn't have hardly any time to explore, Bang Pain is about the least interesting place in the world. Bang Pain is a summer palace for the royalty, you basically drive or walk around and look at the different buildings, it is incredibly boring. It is three or four hours of torture to be in this place. There was one kid on our tour whose camera and all his pictures was confiscated because he had his camera out in a restricted area. The tour guide, although very nice, repeated everything he said maybe 4 times, I felt like I was in the twilight zone. The boat ride back was nice, with a buffet lunch. Overall, please, please, please, please, unless you want to be tortured, don't take a guided tour to Ayutthaya!!!!!
Sweetest Tamarind in the World!
It is a tropical tree, native to eastern Africa, including parts of the Madagascar dry deciduous forests. It grows wild throughout the Sudan but has now been introduced into tropical Asia, Australia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The fruit pulp is edible and popular. It is used as a spice in both Asian and Latin American cuisines, and is also an important ingredient in Worcestershire sauce. The ripened fruit is sweeter, yet still distinctively sour, and can be used in desserts and sweetened drinks, or as a snack. In Thailand, there is a carefully cultivated sweet variety with little to no tartness grown specifically to be eaten as a fresh fruit. Ma-karm-See-Thong" is the name of the Tamarind Fruit Golden Sweet Tamarind in Thai language.
the best ones come from Phetchabun Province. The fruit is, as the name suggests, a sweet variety of a fruit generally associated with an acid taste. After being peeled it is generally eaten fresh, though boiled in water it also makes a refreshing juice. Other, more sour varieties of tamarind are used in various cooked dishes for flavouring.
You can buy this everywhere in Bangkok whether in Chautchak, MBK, Siam Paragon, Night Markets and even in My favorite Foodland Supermarkets. It cost 60 Baht for 500 grams and 120 Baht for 500 grams!
Wat Pho is a must
Known as Wat Phra Chetuphon to the Thais, it is famous for its Reclining Buddha. The temple covers 20 acres and was built 200 years before Bangkok became the Thai capital. It was almost totally rebuilt by Rama I when the capital was moved to Bangkok.
The Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high.
Please be polite
The Thai people are the most charming people I have met. When bargaining please try to remember to smile and do not get angry. On previous experience, my husband has made several good buys for less than he expected just by having a sense of humour. The Thai people love humour and appreciate a smile.
ABOUT THE THAI MASSAGE
ABOUT THE RELIABLE THAI TRADITIONAL MASSAGE OF WAT PO
Every visitor knows about the temple of the Lying Buddha situated just behind the temple of the Emerald Buddha. Paying a visit is already worth the trip but if you have 2 free hours in your schedule, then do not miss one of the inner pavilions where you can have a medical massage by a well-trained therapist (man or woman).
The best of all is if you really can manage to free yourself for 30 hours (and willing to pay 6,000 Baht). Then you will be teached the know-how of a traditional Thai massage under the guidance of an experienced Ajarn (teacher) who can speak English.
During the first 30 hours, you will learn all the positions of the traditional massage, how to position yourself, how to press your thumb, where to press...
After these 30 hours, you will have to take an exam (your Ajarn being the patient himself and you will have to practice on him) and once you have got your official certificate, you will be able to give a good massage to others.
For those who would like to learn more, another 30-hour course is most recommended (cost : 6,000 Baht).
In Thailand, there are two schools for traditional massage : the one in Wat Po (Bangkok) and another in Chiang Mai. I myself followed the classes in Wat Po. By experience, I can say that I haven't wasted either my time or my money. I have just discovered the great pleasure to give a traditional massage.
Would you like to try ? Check it out !