Sunday, June 1, 2008


The flight to Chiengmai was under 3 hours. Being the only flight arriving at the new Chiengmai airport, immigration clearance was pretty fast, so was the bag clearance.

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 police at the airport suggested the passenger pick-up van. Though designed to carry passengers, there's always room at the top. The police even helped to call for two vans. The hospitality we get from the police was just the beginning. Little did we know the Police would be playing another major role later!

So 12 bike bags were loaded onto the van, a few securely secured on the roof. One van was for the passengers and in no time we were heading into the city and to the Arcade bus station.

At the bus station, it was another 3 hours wait for the bus to Chiengrai.

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.


oops did I just say that? said...

hahah that's a real competition to pedroooo....except of course noone beats penyooooo...wait for my homcomeinggggg

ARZ said...


ARZ said...