Monday, May 4, 2015 to Tuesday, May 5, 2015
By 5 pm Monday evening, I was showered, well rested, and ready to go to my next destination!
After some haggling I found a taxi driver that would take me form Khao San Road to Hua Lamphong Train Station (where I bought my ticket the day before) for 150 baht (~4 USD).
Once I arrived at the train station, the Information Desk clerk told me that my train was on platform 5 and that I could board then if I wanted to, it was ~5:30 and my train wasn’t to leave until 6:10 pm. I had planned on eating before boarding, but the clerk said there was food onboard, so I decided to be safe and go ahead and board the train.
Hua Lamphong Station:
This ticket means that I was on Train 1, Car 11, Upper Berth 15. Since I was so early I was the only one on the train for a bit. As more people started to board I began to realize that my train car was a “Women Only” train car, which was actually very comforting.
Once we started moving I was able to see my first Thai sunset 🙂 It is NOT easy taking pictures on a moving train…
A man came around with menus for dinner, and I instantly regretted my decision to not eat before boarding. The menus looked “fine”, but the food was sold in “sets”, where you could get an entree with rice, AND a side dish, AND soup, AND fruit. Considering how little I’ve been able to consume in the past few days, I really just wanted to buy one thing, but after a really frustrating conversation with the sales guy I ordered Set B (or was it C…) that came with Sweet and Sour Chicken, Curry Pork, Soup, and Fruit. Thirty minutes later my regret intensified as I looked at the food 🙁 The chicken was questionable looking and borderline non-existent. The pork looked ok. The soup was broth with some random veggies thrown in, and the fruit consisted of 4 pineapple slices. Well, crap.
Trying to be smart I avoided the chicken. Paired the veggies that came with the chicken with the curried pork (which actually had good flavor). Ate, well, more like drank, the broth, and finished my meal with the pineapple slices.
Future travelers….learn from me…Buy dinner before boarding and make sure to bring some snacks for the evening/breakfast.
Once I was done eating, the train attendant came to set up the beds. I was in the upper berth, which is skinnier than the lower berth, but still plenty of room to sleep comfortably.
The Upper Berth:
Eventually, I needed to go to the bathroom…
And silly me, I chose the door on the right. This option consisted of literally a hole in the floor. OK, so there was some infrastructure around the hole, its not like they just cut a hole in the train floor, but this was going to be a squatting adventure. I won’t go into any more details, but lets just say that is was NOT easy. Upon leaving the bathroom, a lady was leaving the bathroom on the left and I noticed it HAD A TOILET. Damn.
Future travelers…learn from me…Check both bathrooms before choosing the one you want.
By about 5:30 am the train attendant came back around to disassemble our beds. I was excited to be sitting by the window again so that I could see the scenery as we approached Chaing Mai.
Arriving in Chiang Mai:
I am so glad I waited to eat in Chiang Mai because check out this awesome breakfast:
Spicy noodle and chicken soup with fresh herbs and crunchy peanuts. NOMNOM. The hot and spicy soup got me sweating but that was nothing as compared to how much I was about to sweat.
According to the map the hostel appeared to be about 3 miles away, and on a normal day that would be a doable walk. But add 40+ lbs of baggage, intense heat and humidity, and you get a workout that would make Shaun T. proud.
It was nice exploring the city as I walked to the hostel, but I think my excursion induced a mind-numbing headache. With my headache thumping, I decided to spend the rest of my day planning my Chiang Mai adventures and catching up on some computer time.
GUESS WHAT I HAVE PLANNED FOR FRIDAY?!?
a Thai cooking class!
Overall, the train ride was a great and I would do it all over again if needed!
Arianna the Wandering Pipette