Happy 2013! We spent our New Year's Eve in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
What would New Year's Eve be without a trip to the local nightclub?! The band was amazing (but loud...I couldn't hear afterwards for about 20 minutes).
Possibly the most awkward photo ever taken:
At about 12:30 AM, Andrew and I decided to get some snacks at the 7-Eleven outside of our hotel. When we left, a Thai man came running up to us with a glass of whiskey, offering it to Andrew. He invited us to join a group of four Thai men sitting at a table outside. Naturally, we thought "YOLO" and went along with it. They immediately offered us food (chicken feet...yum). They barely spoke English and we only knew how to say "Thank you" in Thai, so we had to struggle through our communication, passing around one of the man's phones so we could type words into a dictionary. We ended up spending about two and a half hours asking them questions about their lives and asking them to teach us Thai words. We made a list of all of the words we learned and have been trying to use them ever since. They even let us hold their baby!
To our hosts: Thank you so much for your hospitality and generosity. I felt safe and welcomed into their celebration, and it made for a very good first morning of the new year.
I believe that spending time with the Thai people is more valuable than any tourist destinations or guidebooks.