Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 30 Tue 27/07 - Overnight Bus turn out Overnight Train to Chaing Mai

Today spending : 1274 baht    Total : 12414 baht

The original plan of an overnight bus from Nakhon Pathom to Chiang Mai,unexpectedly changed to an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.The reason was due to Udom/Tao couldn't secure a bus ticket (fully booked),instead they bought the train ticket.I could visualise the troubles they had to endure to fetch me to Bangkok which is 80 km from here. We arrived at the train station ,half an hour early before the train schedule to leave at 7.35pm.Udom/Tao helps me to carry my bags while I wheel my bike to the luggage carrier. My seat is the bottom sleeper with another bed on top and it cost 850baht plus another 90 for the bike.I guess this must be the most expensive seat in the train.A normal bus ticket only cost 300 baht. Really caused a big dent in my pocket whatsmore -with no place to air my frustration!! I was hungry and helpless left with no choice but to ordered a dinner of simple sweet&sour chicken rice top with a bowl of lousy soup and few slices of oxidised apples for another 180 baht, which normally don't cost more than 80 in the street and taste so much better. There is not much to see or do ,so I went to bed early on a noisy,rough and rocky night.

Day 31 Wed 28/07 - Arriving in Chiang Mai and Stay the Cheapest Guesthouse so far

Today Distance: 4.7 km     Total: 2014.4 km
Today Temp :  23 - 32c
Today Spending: 588 baht   Total : 13002 baht

The train arrived in Chiang Mai station at 9.45pm as scheduled.After claiming my bike from the luggage carrier and hooked up all the bags,I grabbed a city map from the tourist information center and spent about 20min on it.The directions to the city center looks pretty direct and easy.I rode for about 5km and came across plenty of guesthouses to choose from.As the day is still early,I have the luxury to go merry hunting from one to another.The prices went down from 350,300,250,200... and finally I found the cheapest so far in Inter Inn at 100 baht for a fan room,but the low price comes with a burden to carry all my stuffs up to 4th floor,leaving only the bike at one corner in the reception.Recap the last time I came here (actually stop by maybe 12 yrs ago) with my ABM trekkers,hiring a van from Betong to the most northern tip of Thailand - Mae Sai, didn't really know much about this city. A walk around in the city,there is no high rise towers,hypermarkets or any big huge modern buildings, what you see mostly here is very ancient,historical wats ( temples) . The most prominent structure surely belongs to the 4 ancient gates built in red bricks and form into a square pattern,surrounded by an outside canal,so as to protect the city from enemy attack.You will find more guesthouses than hotels. This is where backpackers from all over the world love to hang around. They enjoy the simple,easy,relax atmosphere here and yet on a very low budget.