Trompe le Monde: A Round the World Tour Diary

An online travel diary so people can keep up to date with what I'm doing and where I'm going.

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Location: Home, United Kingdom

You all know who I am, I assume.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Muay Thai, Ayuthaya

Hello all,

When you last heard from me I was in Bangkok. Now I'm in Ayuthaya, which used to be the capital of what was then called Siam in the olden days, back when it was a city that at the time was bigger and more populous than London (which was possibly dying from gin and/or consumption and/or the plague and/or fires at that point), before the Burmese sacked it and the Thais set up again at the present day site of Bangkok.

On the last night in Bangkok we went and saw Muay Thai kickboxing at Lumphini boxing stadium, a building reminiscent of prtty much every Jean Claude van Damme martial arts competition film I've ever seen. It was a concrete, wood and wire mesh structure with a lit-up ring in the centre and a packed stand full of Thai men frantically betting with one another.
The action itself was not as quickfire and bloody as I'd expected and, let's be honest, hoped, but therew aren't many times or places in life when you can watch kids in their late teens hug and knee each other in the ribs for about six quid, so it was pretty cool. At the end of five three-minute rounds of such hugging and rib-kneeing, the person who had been hit the most was declared the winner, or so it seemed to us. Obviously we didn't quite have the rules down pat...

And so to Ayuthaya on the swish-as-anything Thai trains. We were in second class as well, so god knows what first class is like! Have spent the last two days seeing lots of cool old ruined (and some still in use) temples travelling between them by bike and boat. All very photogenic and evocative. We'll probably leave tomorrow and go to Phitsanulok, from there visiting the other ancient Siamese capital, Sukhothai.

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