Saturday, July 9, 2011
Bangkok to Chaing Mai
It's been a while since I updated so I figured I'd update little by little...
In order to get to Pai, I had to first go to Chaing Mai. There are a bunch of different ways to get from Bangkok to Chaing Mai but I figured I'd try the overnight train. For about 800 Baht (25 or so bucks) you get a sleeping compartment and it only takes 13 hours.
I was at the Bangkok train station early and as I'm coming out of the bathroom, which was as gross as you'd imagine a bangkok train station bathroom would be, I ran into an old co-worker from Taiwan. He was one of the co-teachers at my school and was in Thailand en route to Malaysia for a meditation type of retreat. It was completely random and I was definitely not expecting to see him there, but as he said English teachers are all cut from the same cloth so traveling around southeast asia is the norm for most. We talked for a while and it turns out my old kids' school in Taipei might be shutting down due to a lack of students. It's a shame because that was by far one of the best schools I've seen in Taipei....still it was good to see a familiar face in Thailand.
As for the train itself, it was clean, new comfortable ...all aside from the bathroom which didnt have a tank and I'm pretty sure whatever was flushed down the toilet just went down the tracks. Around 9 the crew came around and set up some of the beds and I had a solid 9 hours sleep. We left Bangkok at 6pm and got to Chaing Mai at 9 am the next day.
All in all a good experience and I was able to be up for the sunrise and get a few nice shots!