Our first 24hours in Thailand turned out better than we expected. I withdraw my earlier comments and concerns for a western influenced Thailand.
Today's trip to an amazing temple housing an impressive gold 30ft meditating Buddha, with a broken Thai phrase book conversation (with the caretaker), followed by a kick in the taste buds pad Thai for lunch and hour of people watching in the bus station effortlessly helped to prove that a small western influence hasn't even began to touch the culturally rich and beautiful Thailand.
This afternoon we again hop forward to another destination. A short bus ride to Chiang Mai. The rest of Thailand is open for us to explore and we can't wait!
Onto our 3 hour bus ride to Chiang Mai and prepared for the worst. We had bought the cheapest ticket called 'x class'. There was C,A, and 1st class busses above ours! Expecting to be in one of the animal transporters we wrapped up warm and had filled up on food and drink before the departure. 3.30pm and our bus pulls in...it's only a ultra modern 52 seater coach! We and 6 others hop onboard to find a pretty new empty coach! Full recline seats that even slide sideways to create more room from the seat next to it, TV's, and 46 spare seats to take your pick of and spread out in! You would never have seen two westerners so excited to be on what was quite simply just a bus!
Siobh slept and I watched the leafy green and extremely wet Thai country side fly by.
A Tuk-Tuk into the city center revealed the Chiang Mai night bazaar; An amazing concoction of flowers, noodles, BBQ's, and your usual handicrafts.
Bearings found we began to start our search for a bed. Proving harder than other places we had to take breaks along the way. Many we're full and just as many others were below par.
A decision was made in a small guest house. We were the only guests for the night. We had the choice of any room or two beds in the dorm room (that we would have all to ourselves). At a dollar extra we pushed the boat out and went for the private room!
Food was found, consumed fast and washed down with a Chang beer.
The sky's opened and it poured down. A short dash home through the puddles to our private guest house for the night. It seems we had found a quiet side of the city, the bars were bare and only a few customers per restaurant. We decided that tomorrow we would explore the old city with the intention of possibly moving closer to the action.