Out of Bangkok
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 147 of 254 › view all entries
Up early to catch our train to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand; we seem to be making a habit of 12 hour train journeys. We were quite happy to leave the frantic pace of the capital for somewhere a bit more relaxed.
The scenery was interesting, passing the shanty areas of Bangkok before we entered the countryside filled with rice fields and villages. Our tickets included lunch and snacks; they were a bit strange but edible. There were a few westerners in our carriage but most passengers were Thai, and all messages and calls for stations were in Thai, including what we perceived to be a safety briefing at the start of the journey - we made a note of the nearest exit just in case!
The last few hours of the journey seemed endless, but at last, just before 9pm we rolled into Chiang Mai station. In Bangkok, the main method of tourist transportation is by tuk tuk or taxi, but in Chiang Mai there are also many sawngthaew (translated literally as 'two rows') which are small trucks with bench seats down both sides. We hopped into one of these to our guest house - it was fairly basic, but clean, with a hot shower and air-con so we weren't complaining.