Fresh from a night of beer-induced sleep, I was wide wake through the hour-long trip to Ayutthaya while everybody else slept. The Northern Thailand countryside, save for spirit temples, was akin to the Philippines in terms of infrastructures and vegetation. Her people, gentler.
With me in a hired van were four people I only met that morning– a Thailand-based English travel guide, a British-Kiwi tax accountant and two Dutch backpackers- a software engineer and a social worker. I was quiet all the way through, unsure if I was ready to make friends that early in the trip. But I wanted to hear their backstories, and for that, I played nice.