Night Train to Chiang Mai ~ Arrival – Feb-22-09

Well the sleeper was big enough to be comfortable and after the long day we had yesterday I didn’t have trouble sleeping – although I don’t think I slept well…

It was a bumpy night on the train… we were up around 7am and I bought an OJ (which was more like Tang then anything) and at 40Bht definitely not worth it (considering you can get a real fruit smoothie for 15-25Bht in most places). So lesson learned stay away from the train food and bevys – bring stuff with ya!!!

The train was due in Chiang Mai around 7:15AM – and we didn’t arrive until almost 9:30AM… The schedule stated between 13-16hrs and they weren’t kidding! The train station was a flurry of activity – with lots of tourists and locals – and then the Tuk-Tuk drivers and Guest House (GH) reps offering their services. I found a GH on the Sunshine School website that boasted garden views and CHEAP rooms (140-200Bht – $6-8) with bathrooms and hot showers… what else could you need?

We called and arranged to get a room… she advised us to leave the train station and get a taxi (songathew) to take us – as he drivers from the station are often reluctant to take people there as she doesn’t pay commissions… we found a nice driver who promised to take us directly there – no stops – and he did J

Bee the owner was there to greet us and showed us a double room (2 twin beds for 200Bht – that’s $4 each!!). We decided to share a room and save a few bucks and we got along so well that why not! After we settled in I tried to take a shower only to have it almost explode on me!!! AHHHH Bee came to fix it and moved us to the room across the way (which was the same) and in fact a bit better of a view – so we settled in (again).

Then we took a walk around to find my school (orient myself before class starts tomorrow) and then explore the Sunday Markets…

We found the school without any problems (only a ten minute walk from the GH)… on the way back we discovered a great little antique market… and I bought some handmade chips (pumpkin, banana & potato 50Bht for all 3) and had a fruit smoothie… at this point we were hot – people in Thailand take 3-4 showers a day (and I can see why)… although it’s much cooler here in Chiang Mai… after walking around in the sun we definitely needed to get refreshed before heading out for dinner.

After a nice refreshing shower, we headed towards the city. We found a great fruit and veg market, and right beside a beautiful flower market (orchids, mums, gerbra daisys, roses, jasmine, and more!!!) we followed a free map we got at the train station and discovered the night bazaar! Lots of same same stuff from the Bangkok markets, but cheaper!! We ate at an open air, almost cafeteria style place – nice food and very cheap – 30Bht for a big plate of Pad Thai and 20Bht for 3 spring rolls!!

After that we walked back to the GH and settled in for the night – of course taking one more shower first!

I like it here – but the pollution is getting to me – feeling a bit congested… :o(

I’m excited to start school tomorrow!

O&O

~A