'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The overnight Train Experience - Chiang Mai to Bangkok

The team arose early this morning in order to spend a good last day in Chang Mai before we had to leave for the night train at 4 pm. Breakfast was brought at our now replaced tesco called 7eleven. The large amounts of rice and noodles the group has been eating, 7eleven is the teams favourite place to go and find the cheapest treat possible. If anyone is missing there is always a large chance that you will find them in 7eleven. (Ed...Along with at least 3 others of course ) After breakfast, the team split into two teams, half of which went to see some of the temples in Chang Mai and the other half spent the day by the river and wandering round the streets of Chang Mai. I was in the half that spent the morning looking around the temples. The largest temple we went to was called ‘imput name of temple here’ The buildings were very decorative and the overall colour theme was gold. When we walked into one section of the temple, the monks were all sitting on the floor at their small tables in there orange gowns being served lunch. We all noticed how their lunch seemed to be a typical healthy meal of broth, rice with chicken and vegetables followed by rambutans for pudding (a meal the team has grown very use to during our month here.) However we then noticed that hidden in a plastic bag by one of the monks was a KFC “finger lickin’” good family sized bucket of chicken! As twelve o’clock came and we had just finished looking around the temples, the heavens decided to open. Coming from England we like to consider ourselves ‘at one with the rain’ and do not associate it to be a problem for us.....we thought wrong! The rain was incredibly heavy and could not even be compared to England. Within fifteen minutes the water on the roads was up to peoples ankles. We decided to make a quick dash from the temple to a nearby cafe. What wollies we can be sometimes! As we ran down the flooded streets of Chang Mai, we were being laughed at by the locals who had been sensible and stayed in their shelter. I don’t think they’d ever seen such a bunch of lunatics! When we arrived at the cafe, they handed us a roll of loo paper to help dry off but by now the thought of being dry was a lost cause as we all looked like we had just jumped into a swimming pool. We soon found a ‘truk tuk’ to take us back to where we were staying so we could dry off. To no surprise the other half of the team had also made their way back to the guesthouse to escape the drenching rain. The idea of going out in the rain again was not too appealing and therefore we spent the rest of the afternoon in the guesthouse playing with the resident dogs. (One of which was wearing a Batman t-shirt) At 4 pm the ‘truk tuk’ arrived to take us to the station for our train from Chang Mai to Bangkok. We got on our train and we were on our way by 530pm. Some people were sceptical about the idea of spending a whole night on a train in a bunk (bottom bunk if you’re lucky to avoid the slight worry of rolling out during the night) rocking backwards and forwards to the movement of the train but sitting in my top bunk now, listening to the silence around me, I think it is safe to say that nobody has had trouble falling asleep. (Ed. To our disappointment the overnight train was not quite what we were expecting and having experienced a few overnight trains in my time was different to what I was expecting too...I was expecting individual cabins but none of that was evident. However, as the journey continued a conductor came round and set up the beds...A curtain made the whole thing private...however, Some (me) didn’t sleep well and was being rolled around and shaken awake every hour ) Tomorrow morning when we get off in Bangkok, we are getting straight onto a minibus to a ferry port to take us to the island of Ko Chang – our last section of the trip! Beth Lance

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