Monkey Temples and confusion
A couple years back now, this was when I was new to Thailand and wanted to experience some Thai festivals. I went to the famous monkey town called Lopburi to enjoy the Monkey Festival. I had quite an adventure while there, but the story doesn't end there.
As a traveler a big part of the fun is exploring and experiencing festivals abroad. I had met up with some of my mutual friends who were also teachers in Thailand, and some even lived in this town of Lopburi. In Lopburi every year they have this festival called the monkey festival where basically you feed the monkeys on these huge tables and let them go wild. Seems super cool and interesting to experience, and it is, but also it was a tad bit scary. Monkeys are no joke, they are aggressive, steal your stuff, they smell, and they use your hair like vines in the jungle. It can be funny, but I couldn't imagine living in this town with this many monkeys all the time.
Check out my friends vlog of our trip. You can really see the chaos of the monkeys. Such a fun trip though. Lopburi, 2019
While I was in Lopburi I had caught up with my friends, met new expats, went to the monkey temple, some bars, went to an art gallery, and saw some beautiful nature. Lopburi is honestly a pretty small area in Thailand, a lot less urban, but there is still plenty to do.
While visiting Lopburi I would recommend you stay at my friends guest house/ bar Nooms, it is such a fun place to stay and you will meet tons of Thai's and expats here. They have great food, entertainment, game nights, and a good happy hour for drinks.
After my fun weekend getaway it was time to get back to my town I lived in Thailand. I had teaching the next day and this was one of the first times I had gone on a solo trip from my small village in Nakhon Pathom. I luckily had met a friend who used to teach at the same school as I and gave me such clear directions. It was fabulous, or so I thought...
When travelling this happens all the time; we miss our bus, have complications, take the wrong directions, are late, and so on. I took my bus from Lopburi to Bangkok, then to Nakhon Pathom. There is a very convenient train station in Lopburi that most people prefer to use when visiting Lopburi, however I was going to a more rural area. So my transportation was just a bit more complicated to do. I took a mini van bus to Bangkok, which worked fine. Then at the mini van bus station I had to change vans to the van that would go to my small town in the province of Nakhon Pathom. All in all this trip was to take about 3 1/2 hours.
That isn't the worst and I was tired since I was up late with my friends and we had been doing so much over the weekend. I would like to justify maybe I got on the wrong bus because I was tired from my nap I abruptly woke up from or maybe my thai failed, but basically I got on the completely wrong bus once I arrived in Bangkok. I ended up taking a bus up to the north past Bangkok. I was so exhausted though, that I hadn't realised until it was way too late. I had fallen asleep and was asleep for most of the drive, so we had gone up north to a very random province that I normally wouldn't have gone to. I woke up to the driver asking me which stop I was going to and I told them with my google translate and me trying to pronounce it.. the others on the bus looked at me with open mouths and talked amongst themselves. I was just confused, I thought my Thai was just bad. All of them tried to help me and try to communicate with me, but it went poorly. They were trying to tell me I was on the wrong bus, to get off, but they were also trying to find the correct bus for me which was so kind. They were filled with guilt it looked and I was getting more confused as the ride had gone on.
Eventually someone found the courage to say in English to me the situation, that I got on the wrong bus, they tried to find the bus for me to my town, they were going to drop me off there, but it was already too late in the night... I was thinking crap. Its dangerous to be out this late now in an area I don't know. I was honestly panicky.. I finally called someone from my school and they were very calm, it shocked me. They were not mad and not phased. They just helped me find a hotel in the area and also helped me book my ticket for the morning to return to my school. They went so out of their way to ensure I would be able to get back. Everyone I met actually on this trip wanted to genuinely help me find my way. I didn't even end up having to pay for the accidental bus I got on either.
I ended up staying the night in a hotel, getting some delicious Thai food, stressing in the hotel, and then realising that Thailand is awesome and helpful and full of kind people and I actually was just fine. My school was so kind when I returned and the drivers were so kind to me on the entire trip. It was such a random adventure and I really got so so lost late at night, but I was safe, met tons of random kind strangers, and met a ton of crazy monkeys that weekend. What a memorable time Lopburi was.