|Close-up of temple decoration.|
I had my breakfast at the station prior to departure, and one food stand displayed 'Mexican buns' of all kinds. I have never seen these steamed buns in Mexico, but they must sound exotic here. I ran my fingers over the bun in the train, and it was as soft as a baby's cheek. I should have left it at that, as it didn't taste like anything much and the bright green interior, was .....well, a bright green interior. Nothing more. Perhaps you are only supposed to caress these little buns and not eat them.
By 10:30 we were surrounded by highly professional, crisply measured rice fields and large agricultural equipment, crowded at time with flocks of white herons, dotted with an occasional larger grey and black heron, waiting patiently, staring at the water for his midday meal to swim by.
As you slowly continue up into the mountains, lotus covered ponds and canals accompany you for miles, and the rice fields change into smaller, more rustic rectangles until you are in the foothills, where they are no longer seen and are replaced by lush tropical vegetation.
Thailand is a clean country, and even the train's toilets were clean, with running water and soap. I have seen far worse, even in Europe. I don't mind using a squat toilet, but this one would not hold still for even a minute. I must have looked really pleased with myself when actually getting out of the little door, in the rolling train, balancing on every ridge that I could find, so that I didn't have to get my shoes wet. It was probably water anyway, but I wasn't entirely sure, as I didn't think that the backpackers' sense of balance was any better than mine.