Nakhon Ratchasima, decided last minute spontaneously in the morning, over a thick, sweet, gooey pancake in Pak Chong. A short pit stop and a mission of a journey to see some ruins on the top of an old extinct volcano. It sounded romantic!
We headed for the Bangkok Bank instructed by our hotel owner. Where a bus will stop and pick us up…brilliant!
Walking down impossible streets, up and down, around and ducking under awnings we reach it. 10 minutes late for the 8.00am bus, damn!!
Standing in the motorcycle parking area on the side of the road we wait patiently, looking left and right, left and right checking the numbers on the side of every van and bus.
45 minutes gone and no breakfast (hunger monster brewing) a bank advisor pops his head outside the lovely air conditioned, pristine, glass sliding door.
We tried to explain where we were trying to go, and after a few phonecalls he returns, only to tell us the buses do not come around this street! And that there are lots of Bangkok banks..oh!
He takes me inside and draws me a map from a neatly sharpened pencil, squiggling in Thai, the street names and slowly describing the route to the station.
OK. I got it! (I thought, getting a bit restless and aware if the time passing us) as we headed off again now 9am…walking for 30 minutes, resistant not to get another tuk tuk we find ourselves wondering about the streets… lost… Again!
Asking for directions and each time getting lost in translation with the locals, we give in and find ourselves in the tuk tuk once again!!
Taken to the bus station (hindsight is a wonderful thing ay) And shocked how far away it actually was!!!
Relieved to be on the bus we travel for two long hours arriving at the side of the road to be told the ‘prices’ of the taxis to the Phanom Rung Historical Park. Let’s just say we walked away very quickly (even though in my head I knew there was no other option as we were stranded, I thought… What the heck are we doing!) But within two seconds we are approached by the competition offering us a much lower price. Phew!
We made it!!
So relieved we head off…. Yes… Again in the completely wrong direction to a random run down toilet and the back of a temple. Is this it? We thought. Gutted….
Then a friendly local lady on a motorbike chuckles and points us in the correct way of the main entrance…oh haha!!! Oops
We made it!!! Haha for real this time!!
I would like to say it was really all worth it, but the extent of our travel nightmares to get there lessened the whole experience just a little.
Still impressive through…A beautiful old, red sandstone temple, built on top of a high volcano surrounded by green forests, a Khmer monument devoted to Shiva one of the divinities of the Hindu religion reinforced by every each inch of stone carved into it, stories and important happenings of the beliefs of the time.
The most impressive sight was the lead up to the main ruins, a long, large bricked, path which was channeled by the use of tall stone towers all the way down, like large chess pieces.
Through the main building there were different parts all interlinked, it is said that at certain times of the year the sun shines through all doors, (I bet that sight is absolutely magical).
For me being into textile and design the different patterns and carvings impressed and carved their own ways into my artistic log. Imagining each one as a print on a fabric or in a painting. It was worth it for me just to see the designs, each one so neatly done and the inspiration was just oozing from the bricks alone.
The journey home was calmer and head filled with patterns I was appreciative for what I had seen today. Another memory made and another story to tell.