I found the more famous of the temples, Phra Prang Sam Yot, a ruin that looked very similar to the Ayuthaya temples, having come from the same time period. However, this particular temple had monkeys climbing up the sides of the towers, walking around the exterior, and even sitting on Buddhas lap! I walked over to the Buddha to take a picture when a monkey approached me and started tugging at my bag. I tugged it back and it made a whooping sound to call over a few of its buddies. It all happened so quickly but two of them jumped on my back, one of them kept tugging on my bag while a fourth started pulling at my flip flop. I was being mugged by monkeys! I hopped on one foot trying to cling onto my bag for dear life and swung my arms around frantically. One monkey was successful in taking off my shoe and ran off with it, the rest following. I was left relatively unharmed, with a small bite mark in my shoulder and one shoe missing, but completely terrified. I had to be in this town for the next 36 hours surrounded by these rabid creatures!
Luckily I ran into other travelers who wanted to rent mopeds and drive into the countryside the next day. I was more then ready to leave the monkeys behind. We took off early, and rode for an hour through farmlands and fields, reaching a secluded lake surrounded by mountains. It was the first place in Thailand I'd been to that seemed genuinely Thai. The locals sat in elevated bamboo huts along the lake, crunching on fried insects and sipping on bottles of whiskey, simply relaxing. All the kids swam in their clothes, and as a sign of respect I did the same. After spending the afternoon at the lake, we took off to find the giant Buddha, which sat on the side of a mountain overlooking miles and miles of countryside. The temple at the base of the mountain was completely deserted, except for dozens and dozens of peacocks. Such a bizzarre sight to find! 400 steep steps later, we're standing in front of the Giant Buddha. Buddhists like to build their most important temples on mountains, not only for the meditative views, but because its closest to heaven. The utter calm and peace I felt on that mountaintop, away from monkeys, in the middle of the Thai countryside, next to the giant Buddha, is something I hope I can find and hold onto the rest of my life.