It so happened that I paid a short visit here. Located in northern China, Shanxi province, Datong shows you what modern China is about. Imagine a medium sized city („medium” as understood in China) where the whole central part is under construction – excavators cranes and other machines work day and night in front of the windows of citizens who never complain. And the goal of it all is not constructing new skyscrapers – that would be too obvious. They’re making all the mess to destroy the dwelling boroughs and replace them with new „old town” with its „ancient” city walls. The size of the project and its absurdity is quite shocking. But I guess somebody (who doesn’t really care about historical authenticity) calculated that this will pay off and will draw hordes of tourists with loads of money.

One Polish tourist went to the most famous and authentic (I hope) historical site, a UNESCO World Heritage spot…

Having left Lopburi, I reach Chiang Mai after 17 hours train ride (13 hours travel; 2 hours waiting in the station; 2 hours delay on the way, including switching the trains in the middle of the jungle due to engine breakdown). Luckily the train was half empty and I could sleep quite comfortably.

Chiang Mai (“New City”) was officially founded in 1296 by king Mengrai, though before there already existed a town called Wiang Nopburi. Chiang Mai replaced Chiang Rai as Lanna kingdom capital. The city is located amidst picturesque mountains that make the biggest highlight for travellers (plus the all-night party centre and over 300 temples to see). Chiang Mai can really be addictive – you can ask those many individuals who only stopped here for a couple of days and have been living here for years already.

Do Chiang Mai docieram z Lopburi po ok,…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9UPf4JLmmk

80 kilometres north from Bangkok, only 2 hours away by train (+scheduled delay), this is the former capital city, ransacked by Burmese army in 1767. And ever since the city has not recovered. Though quite big in size, Ayutthaya feels very provincial and tourist come here mostly to see the ruins of former Siam capital. One of the tourists also arrives here to sped the New Year’s Eve. And – accidentally – gets invited to a neighbourhood party. Though our communication options are quite limited, me and my hosts go along very well, especially when it comes to tasting local whisky and snacks. We watch artistic-karaoke performances taking place on the stage put up together by neighbours – the folk-pop tunes make us drown into nostalgia, the state that I have to get out of in order to make it back to my hostel (B.J’s, 120 baht a for a room). The host wants to offer…