The main task at hand was to transport all the luggages to a vehicle big enough to carry 12 bicycles packed in a bag. Back home, we would need two 1-ton lorry for the job and a mini van to carry the passengers. In Thailand, there will always be options.
The journey was uneventful. We have used the VIP bus and with 3 passengers to a row, we settled in very fast for the 3 hours ride. A steward was on hand to welcome the passengers. We dont know what he was saying but when later he handed everyone a pack of crackers and mineral water, we really don't need to understand what he was saying.
I was setting up my Polar watch to check the altitude as the bus meanders up and down towards Chiengrai. Alauddin, as the tour leader had a map in hand, checking the towns as we passed them and looking for accomodation, planning for our return journey 2 days later. The road was scenic, with the expected ups and downs as one would expect on the roads in the mountain. We passed by a small town with a hot-spring. There were also certain stretches of the road under repair. Don who was seated besides me was concerned. With the rain, the road under repair was muddy, hence slippery. On a mountain-bike with knobby tires, it would not be a problem. Don is using his converted road bike with slim tires for this trip. I can understand his concern. I would too if I used a similar bike.
I have to mention here the cleanliness of the toilet on the bus. For that matter, Malaysian public toilets would be soundly beaten if there was ever a competition between Thailand and Malaysia. It's something the Malaysian public can learn from our Thai counterpart.
Arriving at Chiengrai, the next task was to find accomodation. With help from the a passenger pickup van, we headed for the White House hotel. A room for 400 baht (RM40) twin-sharing was a bargain. It was also operated by a Muslim, so food was not a problem. I settled in fast.
I must mention about a Garfield who was friendly with us. He reminds me of our own pet back home, PEDRO. So Pedro look-alike, here's your photo.