OR, AND SO THE END IS HERE! FINAL DAY OF TRANS SIBERIAN ADVENTURE.
It had to happen. The last day of significance of my Trans Siberian Express trip. This gentle goodbye at an empty temple complex was a perfect finale to an incredible adventure. Apt I should spend it in Thailand which was my beautiful welcoming country on my first big solo trip and would be my last on my epic Trans Siberian Railway Trip.
Links of some Places Visited on my Trans Siberian Express Adventure.
I had travelled to St Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, Ulaanbaatar, Beijing, Xian, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok and Ayutthaya, to name a few. It had been the best experience up to date as it took me to very unfamiliar places and turgidly cold environments which I hadn’t done before and which surprisingly I loved. From there it had boiled me alive in searing heat some extremely humid and difficult. It had tested me on many levels and although there were some blunders, (hopefully you will learn by them) I think I did pretty well considering most of it was planned and arranged on the hoof.
So many Wats all with something special……
Top tip: The map below gives you a taste of how many temples and palaces there are. If you like this kind of thing you will lurve Ayutthaya. Try to get away from the centre. Plan to see it on your first day then you can relax and get off the beaten path and see some beauties with nobody there. I went to all the marked ones on the map, some of which are not worth stopping for if you’re not bothered about the modern stuff.
Slideshow of the huge variety there.
Palace and Buddhist Temple (วัดนครหลวง)
This magical site isn’t given the name in English on Google (maybe someone can help me with this?) but because of that there are practically no visitors. It’s brilliant. It’s like a layer cake which culminates on the top terrace with statues and plants and benches for meditation. I loved this place with its Buddha footprint at the top. I sat under a durian tree and pondered life. I was already planning my trip home but also celebrating my epic journey. The good, the bad and the darn right ludicrous.
I had gone from -40 to +40 degrees throughout the journey. I had visited palaces in St. Petersburg, walked on the ice of the largest fresh water lake in the world in Russia, seen the magic that is Mongolia, snorkeled in Vietnam, travelled the Trans Siberian Express train for a total of six days. I had seen amazing architecture from throughout the ages, and sculpture and paintings of exquisite quality. I had climbed on the Great Wall of China been to see the magnificent Terracotta Army and been sure I was followed in the Forbidden City. I had sampled retreats in Thailand and was now seeing the beautiful Siam. Archaeology, natural beauty and scenery. Had fish bite me in Kota Kinabalu and bit them back at their night food market. I had climbed, walked and staggered across ice, snow and sand. Laughed and cried, sulked and moaned, been triumphant and defeated. Had successes and failures, chomped on amazing varieties of food and drink, met wonderful people, and some right shit arses. I’d planned and read and investigated, drank from the cup of knowledge. I had pretty much had it all as an old bird travelling solo around lands far away from Europe. And now I was ready for home.
This revelation only occurred while I sat in peace at the top of that palace by Buddhas footprint. With the birds chirping, the durian fruit hanging plumply and stinkily around me, and flowers all over, finally at one with life and myself. There I let go of all anxiety and was thankful for the wonders I had seen. There all the wonderful calm took over my soul and I had reach my personal enlightenment. My Nirvana possibly was less profound than its supposed to be, in fact kind of shallow may I say, but it sure felt blissful to me.
(click on arrow below for slide show)
A final dinner with Mr Tuk Tuks family (he’s a friend of mine on FB and yet I still call him that. I must rectify this!) Made for a beautiful poignant end to my whole trip so thankyou my friend I will search you out and tell you you were really great and I will come back some day. xxxxx
Alert: With this over I’m now going to get the old journals out and drag you around India, Thailand and Cambodia. Do come experience sailing on a boat at dawn on the Ganges, being chased by wild dogs in the jungle in Thailand and being caught in mountain floods in Cambodia. Come for the ride I think you’ll like it!
OVER AND OUT LOVE REBECCA X
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