Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beyond Bangkok

After two full days in Bangkok we were ready to experience more of Thailand. I had pre-booked us a 1st class sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and that was about the end of the planning I had done for Thailand! Both exciting and a bit scary. (Dale would have told you more scary than exciting before hand but now he's pretty convinced we did it right). Our train wasn't until the evening and we didn't feel up for anything too crazy so we took the day easy just walking around the city and eating. It happened to be a Monday which is the day Bangkok's food stalls are required to shut down for street cleaning. So we headed to MBK, one of the many huge and upscale malls. We walked around inside a little bit just to look at the stores, almost all the common American ones, and compare prices, much higher outside the states surprisingly! Then we made our way to the food court which was massive. If you are too squeamish to try the street food, these food courts are definitely the way to go. Lots of variety, good quality, and cheap too!
We settled on Raman noodles which were especially tasty and were made from scratch right in front of us! For dessert I got mango with sticky rice, I don't think I will live long enough to get sick of that! I would eat it for every meal if I could. After eating we walked our way to the train station and on the way we spotted many people putting these roses in front of a statue. 
The best we could figure out was that it was a Hindu statue and these were offerings, so maybe it was a holiday for them? Who knows, but we sat and watched for a while and that was lovely.
We also made our way past this lovely Buddhist temple. There are so so many in Thailand but I liked the water in front of this one.
Then it was back to the train station where we only had to wait  a short while for our train.
Here's our train! Pretty yellow and purple. Neither Dale nor I had taken an overnight train before so we were pretty excited. 
I had done some research before hand and heard the basic cabins were a bit rough. So, we paid a lot more but still only $45 for the both of us to have private air conditioned cabins which still weren't much to look at as you can see in the photo below. They let us all bored before we had to do over an hours worth of back and forth on the tracks and then we were finally full steam ahead to Chiang Mai!
When we woke up and looked out the window it looked like all those Vietnam War movies you see. Which makes sense since all things considered we weren't so far from Vietnam but it was still quite the change from the crowded hot concrete jungle that is Bangkok. We weren't even off the train yet and we were already breathing better!
Love Always,


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