Everytime I hire out a scooter I fret that it’s going to get stolen or knocked over during the night when I’m not there. Although it was locked safely in the courtyard I still fretted.
Out of the room by 8pm to search for the Doi Chaang coffee shop which was meant to have good coffee I snuck the scooter out quietly and drove past the gold clock tower to the shop. It was kind of like a two story wood house inside a warehouse with a garden and pond with fish in it. As promised the coffee was great and I enjoyed it with a banana and yoghurt muffin. It’s hard to find good coffee in southern Thailand but up here in the north they export it so it must be good.
Next I went searching for bus station 2 which according to wikitravel is on highway one near the Big C shopping centre. Made it to the Big C and drove up and down trying to find the thing on either side of the road. After about 4 laps I gave up and went in to a hotel to ask. She told me it was 13 kms down the highway! So I said sod that idea and took the scooter back. Pleased to receive my passport back after getting the scooter past inspection I walked back to my hotel.
The lady there told me I could buy the bus ticket at bus station 1 (which was just round the corner) and then take a songtaw to bus station 2 for 10 baht. I hung about in my room for an hour then checked out to go to the station. The hotel had been ok for the price – but I could hear the person next door go to the loo the walls were that thin. 🙂
Chiang Rai was a lovely little town and I may have liked it a little more than Udon Thani (sorry Wendy) but that may be because I had my own wheels.
Bought myself a ticket on the 1pm VIP bus hoping I’d get one of the cool doubled decker lux buses I’d seen zooming down the super highway. Getting in the songtaw to transfer me to the right station I managed to bash my head on the roof which damn hurt. All the Thai ladies on the bus laughed (to hide my embaressment) then fawned a little over me. A little dazed we all rode the 13 kms to the new bus station. It was exactly like the Udon Thani bus station so I was an old hand at it. Waited an hour or so and then the bus arrived.
Disappointed it wasn’t double decker I got my luggage marked with my seat number and then got shown to my seat by the bus hostess. The seats are huge and leather and are either in a two or 1 seat config. I had a 1 seat which was to be expected. The seats have leg rests that pop out like a recliner and neck support. We got given a water and cream bun once we had taken off and then watched a corporate video about the bus company and how great it was. I kind of secretly love those videos cause I like seeing what they think their best traits are. The bus services I’ve been on in Thailand are way better than any i’ve ever been on in australia but then again I’ve never done a long haul (but we do three hours just for fun in aus).
The trip took 3 hours across plains, then huge mountains then back to plains. The scenery wasn’t amazing or anything but I did get a shock seeing a Dutch windmill house in the middle of the mountains. Also saw an Aussie flag outside a pottery shop. At the bus station I badly negotiated a tuk tuk ride from 80 down to 50 baht (probably could have got it for 40) to my hotel. Oh, my hotel.
A month or so ago I decided that by this point I’d need some pampering and seeing a deal online I booked myself a club room for 1 night as a treat. Voted one of the top 40 hotels in Asia the Dusit D2 is right next to the Chiang Mai night markets which is perfect for someone spending only a night at the hotel.
They gave me a wonderful lemongrass and Ginger iced drink then whisked me to te 7th floor to check in on the club level (personal service in club). After checking in in the club lounge I was escorted to my room which was beautiful. I love modern design so I was lusting all over the place. A bath, a kettle, a view, a couch! A cocktail hour in the lounge with free food and wine! Free softdrinks, tea or coffee whenever I wanted. This was truly a great thing for my travel worn soul.
After having some sort of awesome pineapple with nut nibbly thing on top and wine etc I headed across the road to the food court (no lunch u see). Bought a chiang Mai specialty – spicy sausage for 50 baht with some super spice on the side and a lime mirinda drink. Also had a jelly dessert to celebrate mum’s birthday.
Wandered the night market looking at the trinkets, copy clothes and great art. I have trouble wanting to buy stuff like that cause it makes me feel like it will just sit on a shelf somewhere. I guess I have to really connect with it. Pictures are enough maybe.
Back at the hotel I knicked a drink then headed to the bath to soak and relax. Of course they’d done a turndown service as well which is to be expected in a hotel of this level. Always feel a bit odd though about sorneone having been in the room.
Tomorrow it’s off to the Elephant Park. Woo!