I made up my mind for the rest of the trip after visiting my father in Nong Khai and a friend in Phitsanulok. I’d like to go somewhere I’d never been to. Pai was the one. The decision was based on how to get there. I chose to catch a midnight train to get to Chiang Mai in the morning and then a mini van to Pai.
I booked the train ticket at Phitsanulok Train Station—the half way between Bangkok and Chiang Mai—by lunchtime. I was going to get the last train, which was around 1 am but the staff told me that if it was late, I had to wait. So the second last at midnight it is.
Original posted on Instagram, Welcoming Ladies of Phitsanulok Train Station
I hung around with friends for the rest of the day. We started drinking in the evening until midnight. Fortunately, these days, you could check online if and how long the train would be late. Apparently, my train was expected to be an hour late. My friend drove me to the Station and we got some more beer for killing time. It was kind of mellow at the station. Then I realised that was the first time I had a real good drunk conversation with one of my best friend in years.
Original posted on Instagram, Waiting for 70-minute-late night train Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai
As the train arrived, I hopped on it. Unfortunately, I had to sit all the way to end of the line. It was not so comfortable but the luck was on my side. There was a power point on my seat. I looked around and didn’t think anyone had it. It must have been the only one in the carriage. What a luxury! Both laptop and mobile phone would be fully charged and I needed that.
Original posted on Instagram, Night train from Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai
Original posted on Instagram, Ohh I’ve got a power point on the night train!
The dawn on the train was actually spectacular, especially, for someone who had a soft spot for it like me.
Original posted on Instagram, Dawn on the train
Original posted on Instagram, Train friend
At the Chiang Mai Train Station, I had breakfast and found my way to the bus terminal by a songthaew or Red Car. The lack of sleep and shower got to me there, where I had to wait for about two hours for a mini van service directly to Pai.
Original posted on Instagram, Looking in there
However, I was so excited to find out that I got the front seat. That was perfect to get the view of 700 curves on the way to Pai, not mention less chance to get motion sickness.
Original posted on Instagram, Shotgun, woo hoo! Mini van Chiang Mai to Pai
Original posted on Instagram, Gas station service
Along the highway # 1095 to Pai. The video is sped up three time.
It took about more than three hours on the mini van but there was the half way break you could get some stretching. The Strawberry reminded me of an Aussie spirit of big thing.
Original posted on Instagram, Half-way stop with the big strawberry
When the van reached the destination, I managed to find the place I booked, have a shower, stroll the town, and be amazed by Chinese tourists. By the glance, Pai interested me already.
Original posted on Instagram, Lost in Pai