After hearing scratching again like we have every night we woke up to more noises that sounded like they came from the balcony. We could hear something moving around, like footsteps. I said it sounded like a dog. When we walked out of the hut to go for breakfast, we found I was right and there was a white dog asleep on our balcony! So that was one of the weird noises that had been freaking us out for the last 3 nights!
After breakfast we checked out and walked down to town with our big rucksacks to get the mini bus. The booking office was very busy and there were 3 different mini buses setting off at around the same time. We managed to do our quick getting on the bus manoeuvre and get seats together before setting off dot on half 11. We knew the roads leading out of Pai but as we were asleep on and off coming in, we didn't fully realise how curvy they were. We understand now why it's famous for its curvy roads! It made me feel a bit sick going round and round!
We got into Chiang Mai bus station at half 2- dot on time! Most on time transport we have ever used! The coach to Bangkok wasn't until 8pm so we had some time to kill. The bus station is in the middle of the highway and not near enough to the centre to make it worth walking to so we walked to a big mall down the road. We left our big rucksacks at a self made baggage storage (a man sat on a stool also guarding the toilets with some shelves behind him). We decided we would go to the cinema to kill some time and have some fun! The mall was massive and the first big western mall we had been to in Thailand. It had all the same shops; h&m, Topshop, Lacoste. It had a games arcade and an ice rink in it too. The food mall was all electronic and you had to pre load a card with money first. We didn't have a clue what we were doing! We had some dinner, our last pad tai dish, before going to the cinema. We were told that that film finished at 7pm so that would just give us enough time to walk back to the station, get our bags and get on the bus. Sounded perfect timing!
We went to go see a new Will Smith film called Focus which was really good! It hadn't got to the crucial part of the film though and I looked at my watch and it was 7pm! s***! We were sat nervously on the end of our seats going between going for the bus and seeing the end of the film! The film finished at 7.20 and we hurried out of there, speed walking down the highway to the bus station. We ended up with more than enough time. We even had enough time to get on the wrong coach and accuse a monk of sitting in our seats! Turns out it was pretty much the same bus, the same company, going to the same place, just the wrong bus!
Once on the right bus we took our seats at the very front of the bus upstairs, looking right down on to the road to watch the crazy driving! To make it better, the bus had a speedometer at the front so you could see how much over the speed limit you were driving! The seats actually turned out to be very good and we had much more leg room! We were given blankets, water and a snack before trying to sleep- as always great service from the Transport Co. At many places on the way there were police waving vehicles in and checking them. We got stopped once and the police came on with their torches to check whatever they needed to check but there were no problems.