Planes, Trains, Automobiles and More!

This Spring Break will go down in history as the trip of many modes of transportation!

First, we hopped a PLANE from Tokyo to Bangkok, where we landed and realized it was actually not the start of Spring, but rather, smack in the middle of the Thai Summer Season.  Yikes.

I always remember to check that we are avoiding Monsoon Season when booking our travels, but clearly need to start checking out what to expect a little more than just hot.   So scratch that and make it more like Yikes – with a double scoop of hot sticky sweat on top.  We’re talking super steamy hot, folks.

We grabbed an un-airconditioned TAXI from the airport to our hotel where all four of us got to snuggle up in the back seat because Thai taxis run on natural gas.  So the huge tank occupies most of the trunk and our luggage rode in style in the front passenger seat.  Now make that a triple scoop of hot sticky sweat!

The next day, our adorable tour guide Oi met us at our hotel to take us around Bangkok.  We first took the TAXI WATER FERRY over to the SKYTRAIN so she could teach us how to do that on our own if we wished.    After walking all around the Grand Palace {AMAZING – watch for a post on this soon!}, we took a LONGBOAT ride on the Chaophraya River and canals.

thailongboat

That night we headed to the train station to board the OVERNIGHT TRAIN from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.  Look how cheerful and genki we are at the start of our trip!

overnighttrain

Fancy Pants Peeps that we are, we sprung for the First Class Cabin, which entitled us to an actual door instead of a curtain to our berth, as well as a sink.  Fortunately, we were able to arrange connecting rooms, which gave us “roomier” accommodations with the doors open.

bunkbeds

You see “roomier,” dontcha? ;-)

There was a slight moment of comedy when I returned from the first trip to the bathroom and simply handed my husband my phone with this image on it:

trainsquattoilet

We did subsequently find the Western style toilet further down the car, but after chugging through the mountains and shifting tracks, and a lot of splashing water, the squat toilet eventually seemed a better choice.  When in Rome!

We arrived in Chiang Mai after fifteen hours looking {and smelling!} decidedly less cute, but happy to be in the mountains.

overnighttrain2

After taking a VAN TAXI {this time there were plenty of seats!} to our hotel, we were thrilled to be greeted in the lobby by cool towels, iced lemongrass tea, and the news that our rooms were ready and waiting even though it was only 9:00 in the morning.  I’m noting that shower as one of the very best ever.

teaandcooltowels

The easiest way to get around Chiang Mai is by TUK TUK, which the girls especially love.  I can’t help but think about all the agonizing and researching I once did over minivan safety ratings, and how I extended harnessed The Cuties in car seats long past anyone else in their preschool and kindergarten classes.  And now I regularly let them ride around the streets of Thailand in these {and this was a brand new one ~ Little Cutie would like you to note the extra cool flame job!}.

tuktuk

Because this wasn’t a beachy-type vacation we were able to participate in all sorts of tourist and experiential activities.  At the very last minute, we decided to head up north about an hour and half to The Flight of The Gibbon ZIPLINE tour of the rainforest.  I’ll confess to you I was totally freaked out that I might not be able to do it, but watching Little Cutie hop right on and go and love it, and Big Cutie push through her initial fear and then absolutely love it too, made me a believer and it was AWESOME.

We immediately fell in love with Chiang Mai.  So much so we changed our plans to take the train back to Bangkok to tour more at the end of the week, and extended our trip in the mountains until the very last minute possible and then flew back to Bangkok and home to Tokyo {did you catch that was two more PLANES!}.

And of course, to get home from the airport, we took the usual BUS and then yet another TAXI.  It was a full-on, complete adventure of a week.

And I haven’t even begun to tell you about the elephants….

:-) :-) :-)

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One Response to Planes, Trains, Automobiles and More!

  1. Shelli says:

    Looks like everyone had a great time!

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