Planes Trains and Automobiles

Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
Trip End Mar 22, 2009

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Planes Trains and Automobiles
   Well with our sights firmly set on leaving the Roongrawee and travelling around Phuket and then heading off to the sanctuary we did at around 8am this morning change our minds.. We are at the moment (Sunday morning at 8.30am) on a train heading for Chiang Mai... Ok I'll get to it. 
see if you can see our planes shadow in the last pic
   The Island where the sanctuary is is about to have some huge party thing where 30,000 people (mostly tourists) go and make a mess of the beaches and drink themselves silly until the sun rises when they start the same thing all over again - Not the place for a 6 yaer old or two 41 year olds come to that!!!
    So I checked out flights this morning and at 14:15 we found ourselves on a plane heading away from Phuket and onto Bangkok where we were then going to decide exactly what or where we wanted to go..  Why Bangkok again then I hear you all ask? Well we are sick of carrying all our clothes and bits about so we left our cases there - we threw bits away and stuffed our belongings into two cases and for 200 Baht a day we can leave the cases in storage for up to 90 days. We looked at a few options travel wise and decided to head straight to Chiang Mai via either bus or train or plane or car, we were going to hit Bangkok centre and work from there staying over a night in town, but at the bus station in the airport we found one straight to the main Bangkok train/bus station and were about to jump n when a taxi man approached us offering a lift for 300 Baht more than the bus but half the travel time, so we haggled!! And got it down to about the same price as the bus and so off we went, they love the haggling here and always do it with a smile we learnt the phrase 'Pak mac mar' the first week we were here, 'too expensive' we always get the same answer.. "No no good price" "standard price" somehow we always seem to get it for well below standard price with a smile and some banter.

     Anyway our taxi man spoke good English and we got chatting and swapping country details, average wages, house prices, college tuition, how much he makes as a taxi driver, how much he pays his mum and dad a month, (he was 57 they are 75 and 85 respectively) and so on... Anyway as it happens he dropped us at a travel agent for tickets and after some more negotiations we ended up with sleeper train tickets to Chiang Mai overnight and leaving in 15 minutes - So with taxi man in tow carrying my guitar and me having a heart attack every time he banged it against a car or bike or pillar we all ran for the station. 
     The scenery last night and now this morning is amazing, we have just travelled through a forest an expanse of trees and then in the middle of nowhere a dirt track or building at one point I even saw a motorbike leaning against a tree no one in sight and not a house for miles, a lady sat opposite me on the train this morning and as she got off a few miles back from the station she stood and waved goodbye like we were old friends that had known each other for years.

  The Thai people are so meek and inoffensive, they have a love of life that I have never seen before children walk hand in hand brothers and sisters together smiling and joking, I have not seen one naughty child or one mother being angry towards them in the streets or shops, the only cross word I have heard from a Thai is in regard to us ferang, slightly soured by the odd foreigner with an attitude or taking their hospitality as an open offer to take advantage of them, they offer respect at first meeting as a welcome to their country and because, well that's just how they are, even the taxi drivers have often seemed embarrassed about taking our money when we have good banter with them and try to learn more of the language.

Chiang we are told is beautiful and we can't wait to arrive in about an hours time, we have nowhere to stay yet so will wing that, it is also supposed to be one of the cheaper areas of Thailand, I just hope they can understand our version of Thai as it changes wherever you go. Bangkok people understand us fine Phuket struggle and Prachuap people just starred at us blankly.

We hit the night market after we found a hotel and have also bookes a day trip for the girls to see the Elephants and a three day trek through the forests for me - we both leave Tuesday.

The night market was packed but full of bargins and good food as you will see.


Time will tell but we will keep you all informed...
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