To keep continuity, this post should start from the day before, after we got off the plane.
We arrived at the brand-new domestic arrival hall of Dun Muang airport. Hoping to experience domestic train in Thailand
and being told that taxi services in Dun Muang airport are expensive and unorganized, we headed for the Dun Muang Train Station, whose location was not known to us. After consulting to the locals (and thinking of conspiracy theory that the taxi driver union removed all signs of railway station in Dun Muang Airport), we walked north to the old terminal (which seemed like a coach station compared with the modern Suvarnabhumi Airport), up the stairs in a remote corner, across an overpass, down and through some noonbathing locals to the ticket station of Dun Muang Railway Station, only to be told the last train downtown had long departed.
P.S. With baggage in both hands and mom’s nagging in both ears, there’s no time left for photos.
Since anyway that’s a train station, so we stood on the
express way (in traffic jam) and started hailing taxies. After about 10 taxies refused to take us because the drivers didn’t read our hotel location in Google Maps , or was not willing to take us there (not very likely) or didn’t understand English we finally boarded a taxi. After a brief 2 minutes, the driver took us to the airport departure hall, stopped and asked as seriously where we were heading.
P.S.We finally resolved this problem by calling the hotel.
P.S.P.S.Our very friendly taxi driver welcomed us to Bangkok and asked where we are from. Having been told “China” he asked us: “Thaiwan”? #HowIWishedICouldAnswerYes
P.P.S.S.There seemed to be a 100THB “Taxi Tax”(I admit I invented the name of this tax) at Dun Muang Airport, since we hailed that taxi outside the airport, no extra fees.
P.P.P.S.S.S.Given the cost of taxi, the price advantage of Dun Muang Airport to Suvarnabhumi is really negligible
ok, that’s because domestic flights in Thailand are all that cheap, for the latter has much cheaper metro connection.
Now it’s official February 7th.
It’s Chinese New Year Eve, also our first full day in Bangkok. I was eager to see how a foreign festival was celebrated in Thailand.
We were to spend the day visiting sites like Grand Palace, where any other holidaymaker would visit. For the night, my mom had been complaining about the lack of shopping malls for days.
Morning, we took a taxi on the main street near our hotel to the Grand Palace. It seemed that taxies waiting in the alleys never used the meter, and named whatever price they could imagine.
We are only staying at Chiang Rai for one day, having checked out of the hotel in the morning we asked the front desk clerk about motorcycle rent (last night as I walked around Chiang Rai, I found virtually no motorcycle shop, much contrary to Pai which is restaurant + hotel + motorcycle shop). Much to my surprise, the clerk showed me a chart saying “they have a partner shop”.
P.S. With much less competition for business as in Pai, motorcycle rent in Chiang Rai is much more expensive.
Then we set off to Wat Rong Khun. Since Chiang Rai’s anyway a city, road condition was much better than Pai.
Today we left the temples of Chiang Mai heading to Pai. Our hotel helped arranged a Songthaew pickup to Chiang Mai bus station. It seemed that local Songthaew is a FIFO queue with capacity of 8 people, when someone arrived at his destination, the driver headed out for the destination of the next person. Without complicated algorithms like Uber, but it worked still fine.
Today it’s mainly the various temples in downtown Chiang Mai. So after breakfast we rented two bicycles and cycled randomly in town. In fact, given the density of temples in Chiang Mai, it’s totally fine to walk.
Also in fact, the temples in Chiang Mai followed the same construction pattern.
Maybe because there’s too many temples in Chiang Mai,
with fierce competition for tourists, so none of them charged any admission fee. More than that, it felt like they truly welcome people in, to spread their faith to the devoted and their culture to the alien, while I have experienced so many temples in China that preyed on the admission fees with little to offer.
I woke up to a quite pleasant morning that’s unique to little towns like Chiang Mai, which the occasional horns of motorbikes and constant peddling of vendors striking a delicate balance between scary silence and annoying noise. It’s like, the whole town has been born again.