Thailand Days 13 and 14

Chang Mai

We are back on the road heading to Bangkok to catch our overnight train. As we get in quite early we head to one of the largest markets yet – Jatujak.  A Tourist Policeman gives us a map which makes us a lot ore confident and it is nice to break away from the group for a couple of hours – of course we do get a lecture about being on time!
It is time to try out the sub-way and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. It is a well oiled machine and a great way to get around from a – b. Our system could use their advice. There is no danger of falling on the track either before the train arrives or after and very easy for elderly people to hop on or off. Our instructions are to get on the train but unfortunately 4 of our party had not yet made it down to the platform – off goes the train with our guide left behind to help the others but with a look of panic on her face. We are lucky to have one of our group who knows which station we get off but it doesn’t help calm some of the travellers and with mobile phones not working properly this only adds to the tension. Of course we all end up at the same place and have a good laugh about it all.
We are now at the biggest shopping centre I have ever seen, 7 storeys high. first stop is a Japenese burger bar recommended to us  – sensational.
The funny thing is I will remember this place mainly for the toilets, heated seats, height adjustable, everything that squirts, cleans and dries – yes I have to try everything and it is pure luxury after some of the places we have had to “go” in.
We arrive early at the station but we are allowed to sit on the train and they put the air-con on. O how soon the memories of the fantastic toilets are marred by the smelliest ever! Later on we do find a western style toilet which is much better if only some people knew how to flush!
So we are on the train about 6:30pm and it is due to leave at 7:30pm, we are booked in for dinner at the dining car at 8pm. We do not leave until 9:30! A word of advice here and that is to go first class if you can as it is not that much more expensive – the other carriages just stunk of urine.
Most of us are able to sleep on and off during the night. I enjoy my first Thai breakfast of rice porridge with chicken, ginger, onion and other nice things. I really enjoyed it and thank goodness it will stick to me as we don’t get in to Changmai until 1:30pm – that’s 20 hours on the train! the scenery along the way is lovely and you do get to see Thai people at work in the rice paddies, vegetable farms and its a nice change to the hustle and bustle of the cities.
In Chang Mai we are staying at a most beautiful motel – wow – pure luxury and worth the 800 bht per night per person – about $40Aus.
I’m not really in the mood but we have some more markets lined up. I am told they are very good so I decide at least the walk will stretch my legs after the epic train ride.
they are great! In fact if you want any advice save all your money for this part of the country. Most of the things at the Walking Street Market are hand made and you can talk to the designers and makers of the goods for sale.This is also the area you can find cheap knockoffs at some other street markets but you do have to look around for some genuine Thai food.

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