Bus heaven!

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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It's strange, but as soon as we are back in Thailand, I start sweating. I'm sure in Laos, hot though it was, didn't make me sweat like this, I comtemplate whilst riding the first bus of the day, from Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai. It may be due to the rush we had this morning to even get on the 57B bus, as it's lucky we made it at all, as in my drunken state last night, I mistakenly thought I had set the alarm, but none was forthcoming.  We mistook the owners of the Bamboo house rushing us out the door as them wanting the drunken idiots to leave, but they were trying to tell us the bus for Chiang Rai left at 11. We got to the bus station as the bus was pulling out, and luckily just made it! We could have ran, or walked, to catch up with it, however, as the bus went incredibly slowly for at least 30 minutes, until a woman on a bike caught up with the bus, and delivered some groceries to another lady on the bus! Then we could go!

Upon leaving Chiang Khong, I see a sign depicting some local view of the foreigners, exclaiming "Welcome to Tourism, Satan". If that isn't a welcome I don't know what is. It's only 2 hours to Chiang Rai, but it seems like a lot longer, with a hangover, an empty stomach, and a parched throat. When we get to the station, we immediately book a ticket to Chiang Mai, which costs 180B, but we get seat numbers! Now this is organisation on a scale unseen before! After grabbing some food, and more importantly, water, we feel a little more human, and get onto our spacious VIP bus, which includes a film (in Thai, but still!), and free water, and a wafer biscuit. Now we're living, after some hellish bus rides in Vietnam, this was like being on the Hilton of buses, and the 3 hours to Chiang Mai passed quickly.

In the trup spirit of adventure, there's no booking of hostels in advance, but I heard Th Moon Muang is the place to go, so we get a tuk-tuk over there, and the driver drops us off at soi 7, at the North Lands House Hotel, which is pleasant enough, and it's 350B for a roomy a/c with cable TV, and comfy mattresses. We go for a little wander around the area, find some bars, and get some dinner. It's the first time in a long time I have catfish, and it's a little bony, but some beer at The Wall (Pink Floyd pub) washes it down, and we have an early night, ready to explore the Wat's of Chiang Mai tomorrow.
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Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes