Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trip Report, Part 13: Saving Time For Friends

The Sanctuary of Truth near Pattaya

[This is part 13 of a series that may or may not ever find its way to a proper conclusion. It has to do with my latest trip to Thailand, and the people, places and things I encountered along the way. You can find the rest of the series by clicking here on Trip Reports.]

You probably remember me saying this before, and you'll undoubtedly read it here again: one can't have too many friends - just too many to have time to keep up with.  This thought came up again repeatedly on my last visit; several good folks were hoping to take me places they felt I'd enjoy, and I simply didn't have the time to do all of them justice.

Being just a regular guy I don't mean to imply that I'm all that and a bag of chips, as I like to say; I'm merely someone who's attempts to be thoughtful of and grateful for the friendships that have grown over the years, but it's a minor frustration each trip. More for them than myself, I suppose, but I don't like to disappoint people.  I'm sure many of you understand.

When the rubber slipper's on the other foot I like to drag people to Yosemite National Park, so it's only fair I go along with climbing the 611 stairs up to see the Erawan Cave, even if I might not do so traveling on my own. In fairness, though, I'd miss a lot if I didn't.

Many Thai work long hours, and often six days a week. It's only gracious of us as visitors to show some appreciation for the extra efforts they make to exhibit some pride in their country and locale, wouldn't you agree?  I mean, if it were a nine-hour drive to see the country's largest ball of string off up on a hillside in Nakhon Ratchasima I might try to adjust the plans slightly, but who knows?

This past trip a friend had asked if I'd saved any time for him to take me somewhere, and this time I had. My only request was that it be somewhere off the well-beaten farang tourist path and that it not be scheduled with so many side trips that there wasn't an hour or two to read, catch up on notes and - with any luck at all - an afternoon nap. 

As a warm-up before heading to some mystery location he wanted to surprise me with we did a quick half-day trip to see Prasat Sut Ja-Tum (the Sanctuary of Truth) just outside of Pattaya, which you can see in a couple of panorama pictures today.

I'll write more about the place next time, as there's quite a lot to see there and I don't have the rest of the photos prepared yet.

A small portion of the Sanctuary of Truth

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