Day Train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok – Ben

Me and the GameboyAfter our time in Chiang Mai we decided not to travel to Laos as it just simply was not practical for our onward travel and would leave us at a dead end with a closed set of options for onward travel.
Because of this we decided we would get the train back down to Bangkok and fly to Hanoi in Vietnam from there.
We were dreading Bangkok, after our first trip there we had decided we did not like it, it felt like an angry lumbering giant in comparison to the small city standards of Chiang Mai (which we had quickly settled into!).
We arrived at Chiang Mai train station and tried to sort our night train (we loved the night train, it was so easy and by far the most practical way of making that journey), the man at the desk quickly and politely disappointed us, showing us with broken English and using the timetables to show us that there were no night train seats available for the next few days.
Nightmare, we were stuck in Chiang Mai, after a few moments thought however, we realised we could get a day train, we approached the man once again, not quite as confident this time, he checked his computer and TaDa! Two second class seat tickets were being printed for the next day (a 12 hour train journey leaving at 7.45 am). It wasn’t the journey we were looking for but nonetheless it was a journey that would get us from A to B or in this case C(haing mai) to B(angkok).
The morning of the train came and went, seamlessly we appeared to be approaching the carriages we climbed the steps stowed our bags and sat in our seats, there was plenty of legroom which seems to be unusual in Asia, they don’t seem to have people as tall as me here or at least the people that design seating usually seem to be of smaller descent and think “who actually uses that extra legroom anyway”. Caroline sat in her chair and the recline button was loose stopping her from being in any form of comfort, I stepped up to the plate and offered to take the seat, I managed to fashion a medieval style wedge (Ray Mears style [although I’m not sure how often Ray Mears has fixed a train seat {maybe a different simile would work better}])….(James Bond style [but far dirtier and less savvy]) and moderate comfort resulted.
However, after all this it turns out we were in the wrong seat, in the wrong carriage, we had sat in third class, which honestly we though was fine, there were none of the promised wild animals clambering all over my person or people swarming my belongings trying to steal everything I possessed, It was just full of people wanting to go to Bangkok, just like myself. Anyhow, we moved up the train to second class which was much the same except a little cleaner, a different colour and came with a free red bean bun (whatever that is.. in the words of Ern ‘Don’t ask just eat’).
The train was excellent, delayed by 4 hours, but we are in South East Asia, being late is the only thing you can count on.

Caroline and her trashy novel


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