Published: November 19th 2010November 19th 2010
Where did I leave off... Oh yes, we were on our last day in Bangkok. We ate some omletes, bought some awesome dresses (well I did, not Zach.. though he had big opinions on them haha), and checked out at 11:00. Our goals for the day: 1) Get taxi ride to Hua Lamphong train station without getting ripped off, 2) Drop off luggage at train station, 3) Get taxi ride to MBK shopping mall without getting ripped off, 3) Buy Nintendo DS charger compatible for Thailand, 4) Go back to Hua Lamphong for 4:10 train ride (pay careful attention to this time) without getting ripped off, 5) Catch overnight train to Chiang Mai.
So, the second taxi we flagged down was wonderful, even if the driver was a wee bit crazy. He used the meter and talked the whole way there, though I wished he just kept his eyes on the road since I thought we were going to die. I noticed every time a taxi driver goes through an intersection, they touch the good luck charms hanging from their rearview mirror. I don't know about you, but that didn't give me a lot of confidence. So we got to
Hua Lamphong from Soi Rambutri and it cost 47 baht (about $1.50). Left our luggage at the Left Luggage department (150 baht for two pieces), and got in ANOTHER great taxi. I was feeling great by now. All of them used the meter!
MBK is the biggest mall I have seen in my life. I didn't take pictures but we are going back before we fly home to stock up on souvenirs. It is 8 or 9 stories high (yeah, Zach almost barfed on the escalators when he looked down). We headed up to the 4th floor where the electronics are and found a DS stand. We bought our charger and a pirated game (231 games in one cartridge!!!). Charger was about $7 and the game was $30. On the game there are all the Mario Brothers, Zelda, Pokemon, Crash, Halo, on and on... And they all work (and are in English)!! We are going to buy a few more when we return (shhhhh, don't tell anyone!)
We ate lunch in the food court on the 6th floor. Instead of paying money, you buy coupons and use them. I had the best coconut milk ice cream, but I
chose not to add any of the toppings: sweet corn, beans, a strange looking banana, tamarind, and others. The lychee did look good but I went for the extra scoops instead. By now it was 12:30 or so. I wanted to head back to the train station by 3 to catch our train. Zach was all hopped up wanting to charge the DS so we headed to the station early. What is a few hours, right?? On the first floor of MBK, we stopped at Mister Donut and bought like $9 worth of donuts (Krispy Kreme can kiss my ass. Mister Donut rocks!).
Hailed another wonderful taxi and again paid about 47 baht back to the train station, where I discovered our train does not leave until 6:10 p.m. It is about 1:15 and the train station has no air conditioning. Needless to say, I was about ready to kill anyone who touched me, talked to me, or looked at me. But the train station itself is pretty decent. Has a food court with excellent food. We stocked up on dinner and snacks. I got a bacon-wrapped sausage (yes Ashley, bacon muahaha), 6 sticks of chicken satay, and a
cup of corn. Zach got some pad thai and noodles in a thick gravy. All food was heavenly. The Sprite though does not taste like Sprite. Stick to the 30 cent water or gatorade.
Got on the night train (air conditioned). Zach was under the impression we are having our own cabin. Yeah right, honey. You go on a trip with me, you don't pay for 1st class. 2nd class though is wonderful and only cost me about $27 a piece. We both had lower bunks because when they convert to a bed, you get a window, more room, and no light shining in your face. I will post the video and pictures of the conversion. The bed is so comfortable and the ride was smooth(ish). I was out by 8:30 and up by.... 4:00. Yup that is right. I cannot sleep in no matter how hard I try.
The view is beautiful going into Chiang Mai. Steep drops, huge hills, adorable floppy eared cows, Thais working in the rice paddys, banana trees, and stray dogs. The train was 2 hours late into Chiang Mai (which is apparently normal, so why do they put arrival at 7:25??). We
got a taxi ride to our guest house CM Blue, which will get rave reviews from me. So peaceful. Chiang Mai is definitely heaven. Does not stink, easy to get around, and is not 300 degrees out!!! We want to open our own guesthouse and Zach doesn't want to leave: we have been here 4 hours. We booked tours through CM Blue: Doi Inthanon tomorrow (1800 baht for both of us, includes lunch and entry) and Baan Chang Elephant Park (4800 baht for both of us, our splurge for Chiang Mai).
This weekend is Loi Krathong. The fireworks are already starting and it is only 1:00. I'm jumpy so I about pooped my pants twice already from them. Tonight we are going to the main gate (we are in Old Town, surrounded by a moat) for the start of the festivities.
Right now though: The internet I am using right now is 30 cents for the whole hour (10 baht). Zach is at our guesthouse "resting" while I am on the search for lunch, a new book to read, and (SORRY!!) a pack of cigarettes. I haven't had one for almost a week and well, everyone is smoking
and the temptation is too great. I will hit the 7/11 after this.
There are more photos below