- 8 days: 26 July – 3 August
- 5 provinces: Udon Thani, Nong Kai, Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son
- 2400 km travelled
- 5 modes: plane, rent car, train, mini van
- 591 photos
- 25 videos
- 73 Instagram posts
- 2 edited videos
- 10 blog posts:
As soon as I got up on the train from Chiang Mai, my focus was almost immediately on the changing landscapes outside the window—from Ayutthaya Station right up Hua Lamphong Station. It was an enjoyable mixed bag of urban creep sceneries to see.
In Ayutthaya, there was a rhythm of rice fields and industrial estates emerging from the light of dawn. Then they started to work on the new Dark Red Line suburban commuter train in Rungsit. Don Muang was the mark that it had entered Bangkok with the old International Airport. Along the way, there was Bangkok’s Stonehenge, which became street artists’ heaven. It went through the train depot in Bang Sue, which would be the last clear horizon perspective from the train. Finally, while it was approaching the final destination in Hua Lamphong, Bangkok from the train view turned into dense communities.
By the time the train arrived Bangkok, the camera phone and the spare powerbank almost ran out of their power and I got very exhausted with the travelling and everything. But it was all really worth it.
I spent a night in Chiang Mai. And the plan was to take a night train back to Bangkok. I did that half way up from Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai. But this would be a different experience.
An hour before the departure gave me a chance to explore a bit about the train. And then there are a camera news crew getting off one of the cars. Apparently, the day was the launch of Lady’s car initiative—the car reserved only for women and children.
It was a ripple of an infamous case of raped and murdered child on the train. Not only the car, another measure was alcohol prohibition on the train. So, the last night of the trip would be the first night of the trip I got sober. Well, that could be a really good thing.
An old food runner also complained that the new no-alco rule dragged his sales down. I felt like an obligation to order dinner from him even though I’d like to move my ass to the food car. My seat was transformed in to a diner table.
Later when I finished dinner, the sun set on mountain. And the seat, once again, was turn into a bed. The phone signal was cut off in the mountain from time to time such as from Khun Tan to Mae Tan.
Outside was pitch dark but they kept the light in the train on all night long. I couldn’t sleep that early with the lights on and being sober. What could I do? I had pull the laptop and start to reflect on the trip with it until I could be able to close my eyes.
This trip, the modes of travelling were as thrilling as the destinations themselves. Never flown a propel plane before. And Pai served me that on the way back to Chiang Mai. On top of that, it could be interesting to see the Pai and Chiang Mai from above.
Original posted on Instagram, Leaving Pai
See the plane arriving.
I was the last passenger of twelve plus one child who checked in at the Pai Airport. So I was put in the worst seat possible on the plane—in the middle on the back row. I beat myself up for that. But it turned out to be a favour for me. The spot allowed me to see outside the plane evenly through three windows: left, right, and the left back (the door was on the right back). Even better, there was no announcement to turn off electronic devices. Nonetheless, I switched my phone to inflight mode, just for a peace of mind.
Original posted on Instagram, Boarding the Aircraft
When the plane took off and flew over Pai in low altitude, it revealed the town intimately. As it went further away, you could see the roads through green valleys until it lift above the cloud.
Original posted on Instagram, Pai from Above
Original posted on Instagram, The Valley
It was not too long when the plane lowered as it was approaching Chiang Mai. What was so evident was the change of landscape. To me, the most stunning view was that how house estates crept into rice fields. They sit by to each other shamelessly, like an urban irony juxtaposing.
Original posted on Instagram, Approaching Chiang Mai
Original posted on Instagram, Ping River
Original posted on Instagram, Rice Fields and Housing Estates
This made the trip worth it. See how it landed.