Still trying to find our first weeks accommodation in Sri Lanka as we need it to apply for an online ETA which you present on arrival at Colombo and are then granted a 30 day Tourist Visa.
The economy in Southeast Asia has been making the news. As with Australia there is a slowdown in growth, real estate sales and car sales. The same reason, lack of consumer confidence appears to be the major problem as it is at present all over the world. The base interest rate here set by the equivalent of Australia’s Reserve bank is currently 1.5% (Lower than Australia) but the economy has not been responding.
Overall even though the Chinese economy is slowing it does still look as though this is The Asian Century. Great powers come and go as witnessed by the once great Roman Empire now reduced to a Tourist attraction! One cannot help but think that Western civilisation is on the decline, fuelled by the excess and lack of care for others as was the case with the Roman Empire. Greed and the oppression of the weak and poor is what led to both the French and Russian Revolutions.
When I hear Australia’s Reserve Bank talk about “Trend” and “Normal” I sometimes wonder in their isolation have they not realised that the world going forward in unchartered territory and history is no longer relevant in these volatile times.
Enough of my opinion! Serious exploration of The Old Moated Town starts today. Last evening we strolled around the corner to be greeted by street food hawkers. The tantalising smells led us to a pork charcoal satay lady and we purchased and rapidly consumed four for 20Baht or 77 cents Australian. We then came across a man with pork dumplings and purchased 10 for 30baht or $1.15 Australian. He smothered them with hot chilli sauce and we took them back to The 99Gallery Hotel and washed them down with a $2 Australian local beer! (We normally never drink beer but this seemed the right occasion!) Both satays and dumplings were absolutely Yummy!
Headed down nearby Ratchadamnoen Street. Tried the old fish eating your feet place for 99baht or $3.80 for 20 minutes. The little critters munched away at my feet but too much dead skin foe one session! Passed many little eateries a Wat and came upon the bamboo lined entrance to Tamarind village, an upmarket Hotel, Spa and Restaurant. Prices start at 4666Baht to 17,000 Baht or $180 Australian to $653 Australian. Beautiful place if one has the money and well located.
Further on we were horrified to see a Coffee Club from Australia! Not my favourite place when in Oz and even less so here. Passed through the Old Tha Phae Wooden gate in the outer brick wall and looked at the moat further up that had some fountains going. The moat is very low and a tad fetid around the city as it is the end of the dry season and there has been very little rain this month. In the old times before the weir was put in the River Ping you could walk across it at this time of year.
On our leisurely stroll back towards our hotel we encountered a small shopping area called Kad Klang Wiorng off the street with cafes and trendy shops. It was next to the Hot Chili Bar that was surrounded by masses of flowering Orchids. It looked like a good place for a snack and a drink but sticking to retiree/pensioner mode we kept on walking. Before this complex was a wonderful fully gilded Stupor called Wat Phan On built in 1501. It glistened in the burning sun.
Next we stumbled on The University of Chiang Mai’s Architectural Museum housed in a Laana style house. It was a cross between Manilla style on the ground floor and Laana on the top. Donated to the Uni it housed models and descriptions of all of Thai architecture. We found we had seen in real life many of the buildings. We sat on the first floor veranda for a while taking in the view of a neighbouring Wat and the lovely breezes. Easy to see why the built 2 stories and had such open verandas and rooms.
We have finally found a weeks accommodation in Kandy Sri Lanka at a not so well off retiree/pensioner rate so can organise our ETA for entry in the morning online.