An all night train delivered me to Chiang Mai this morning. I traveled here with Jake, a 5th grade teacher from San Francisco, Leana, a 21 year old girl who works with the mentally handicapped, and her boyfriend Jonas (sp?), a brick layer both from Sweden.
It was fantastic to have traveling buddies on the all night train, we sat up and talked and took in the scenery of Thailand going by until the sky got too dark. Then we pulled down the double-decker beds in the train and fell a sleep… or at least we tried to. The train rocked more than the house boat does on a windy night and as we past town the horn would blast.
In the morning we woke up to breakfast and views of the Thai country side. Beautiful jungle, rice fields that have dried for the off season, small huts and houses and too many dogs to count.
Chaing Mai is a smaller, quieter and cooler city in the north of Thailand. It is definitely set up for tourist with lots of day trek options, spas, guest houses and restaurants, but it also has as many temples as Bangkok does in about 1/10 the space. We visited the oldest one, built over 600 years ago and destroyed by a earth quack and flood 400 years ago. It was beautiful and MASSIVE.
Leana, Jonas, and I decided to split a room at the Same-Same Guest House. The room is very basic but it has Wi-Fi and they have a computer, plus at 350B (about $3.50/person) per night – you can’t beat it. Outside our room is a nice roof-top garden that I am sitting on to write.
The change in temp. has helped my stomach tremendously and I think we will be going out to have lots of Thai food tonight with Jake.