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First taste of Asia !!!

Our 3-hour stopover turned into 5 hours but it couldn't happen in a nicer airport. It has shops everywhere, gardens, lounges, TVs. There is an orchid garden, outside sunflower garden, movie theatre, free internet, massage chairs (so good) and lying down sleeping chairs. We boarded our 9.45 am flight to Bangkok and 1-1/2 hours later were still on the tarmac. They announced we had a fuel leak and they would change us to another plane. We were all hungry so they had food and drink waiting for us in our next departure lounge. I had ordered gluten-free meals and get them first and all my meals have been so good.

The flight to Bangkok was 1-1/2 hours. Due to our delay we were cutting it so fine to get our connecting flight to Chiang Mai. It took us one hour after disembarking to get through immigration. We now only had 45 mins till our next flight. We discovered our luggage had gone through to Chiang Mai and we didn’t need to get it. We were told to go outside to get the free shuttle to the domestic airport. The girls at the booth there were totally disinterested and said it came every 15 mins. After waiting 15 mins and no sign of any bus, with only 30 mins left now we decided to take our chances and walk and run the 1 km tunnel joining the airports. We made it and boarded the plane 10 mins. before take off!! On the way running there the shoulder strap of my bag broke and the bag fell on my finger breaking one of my new nails! Really hurt!

Had a 1 hour 10 min. flight to Chiang Mai. Had a really nice duck salad on the plane. We waited and waited for our bags and no sign of them and we were the last people at the baggage claim. A man suggested we look in another part of the airport (international section) and our bags were there much to our relief. We walked outside to the taxi rank and were told there was a 20 minute wait. I saw a red songthaew (covered ute with side benches) and he said he’d take us for 150 baht ($5). It was so exciting in the songthaew whizzing through all the traffic, especially bikes, with the wind in our hair, with all the sights and smells of Asia. Bamboo scaffolding around buildings in progress, women sitting side saddle on bikes, no helmets, policemen with masks, rustic wooden Thai style buildings.

We got to our guesthouse in about 10 min and it is very cute and rustic. We have a ground floor room in this rambling wooden house, with a four poster bed covered in white netting and white sheets. We have a lounge, TV, fridge and nice bathroom. When we leave we put a padlock on the outside of the door. We are here for 3 nights and it is 1200B a night ($40). We were very excited, especially Nathan and decided to go out exploring straightaway. We walked down our road (narrow and busy with no real footpath), passing by people cooking and selling food (not covered or refrigerated) to the footbridge where we crossed over the River Ping. On the other side was crazy traffic (so hard to cross the road), tuk tuks, songthaews, bikes everywhere and we came to Warotet Markets. This is not a tourist market but where the Thais come to shop and it was fascinating. There was meat and chicken covered with flies and only some was on ice. There were beautiful flower arrangements. We just wandered around and then decided to have a foot massage. We were led up these tiny narrow steps behind a sewing area. As well as our feet they massaged shoulders and neck. It cost us 200B each ($6.80 each). It was very relaxing. We then stumbled across the Night Bazaar and Nathan bought a superman shirt for 150B ($5.10) and a laser torch for 180B ($6). I bought some lovely soap candles for Mum and Barbara 350B for 4 ($12). I wanted two so he made another one in 10 mins. They are so clever. We had dinner for 200B ($6.80) and then caught a tuk tuk home for 40B ($1.40). Bottle water is so cheap and cost 10B a bottle (35c.)

I had changed $200 Aus at the airport (6000B) and spent 1160B the first day. Toilets – not allowed to put toilet paper in the loo but in a wastepaper basket!!!! In bed by 8.30 pm. Doesn’t get light until 7 am.

Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk


Baan Orapin Guesthouse

Baan Orapin Guesthouse


Crossing the bridge to town

Crossing the bridge to town


Warotet Markets

Warotet Markets


Busy streets

Busy streets

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Thailand

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