We had a relaxed start because Paul was occupied at the garage rescuing David and Tessa’s Disco from it’s petrol dilemma.
So this gave some of us an opportunity to visit some of the temples at Sukhothai as the sun rose. Nearly 200 temples have so far been excavated and partly reconstructed to give an indication of what Thailand’s early capital might have been like. This area was the cradle of Thai culture, and archaeologists have found the remnants of artistic and religious works that would define a society for centuries.
The road to the border was excellent; the usual wide dual-carriageway to be taken unhurriedly because we were due to take an early lunch at a Japanese Garden Restaurant before tackling the border crossing into Myanmar in the afternoon.
We were delighted by the decor and ambiance and even more delighted when David and Tessa appeared with a functioning car.
We went to the border in “pods” of six cars to spread out the queue for officialdom and the road to the border was a revelation on the Thai side. A new, six lane carriageway that snaked up a mountain to almost 900m before descending to the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge. Bruno’s team were on hand to breeze us through the procedure and we were on our way.
The road out of town was bumpy and crowded but we should have appreciated it more than we did because soon the road deteriorated to nothing, and was crowded. For 80kms we endured a ‘road under construction’ which meant there was no surface at all. We dodged down into dry streams where bridges had been demolished and ground along in second gear in clouds of red dust. 80kms is a long way in such conditions and it is rumoured that one or two cars suffered a sense of humour failure.
But then miraculously we found blacktop and cruised into our hotel to a royal welcome of dancing girls and singing. No really.
The evening was spent under the stars, they must have been up there somewhere, sitting around the pool and enjoying the obligatory buffet supper.
How is this for service? Bruno’s wife Zani greeted us at the hotel and produced two bottles of gin and a cold bag of tonics. She knew we would need them and the hotel only does beer. Zani topped this munificence with imported wine at dinner too. We are going to enjoy Myanmar.