The Final Countdown
Thailand time is coming to a close, and I have not been very good about telling you about it! We leave for China in 4 days, and there is a lot to do. Today we went to the train station to buy tickets to Bangkok only to find out that they were all full. We moved on to Plan B, which was to take a bus instead. Honestly, I prefer the bus. They are smaller and somehow more personable. I also enjoy the scenery from the bus more because you actually see towns and people and their homes because you are using the same streets they are. AND on a bus you get to stop at the crazy Thai rest stops with tons of food!! Nik prefers the train because they are safer…which is true…but I don’t think we should be scared of crashes and horrible things because we can’t predict the future.
So what have we been up to since we left India?? A lot and not much, all at the same time. We have started to prepare for re-entry into the real world, which I am looking forward to. I’m ready to have an income and a little responsibility. We are still hoping to find work in Shanghai or Tokyo, and hopefully we’ll find out if it’s possible soon.
We have also been preparing for our trip to China. Our itinerary is set…Beijing-Shanghai-Gulin-Hong Kong…and we have places to stay in Beijing and Shanghai. We’re still working on Gulin and Hong Kong, but those will happen soon. Our month in China is much less ambitious than our India trip because we feel like each city has so much to offer. We have heard from several fellow travelers to stay out of the big cities…but you know what? We like big cities! We can’t help it. We love wandering around for days in the midst of all kinds of people and getting lost. We love finding the little respits of calm in the midst of chaos. And I love the buildings, and the food, and the shopping, and the music. So we’re sticking to our guns, and if you have any suggestions for the 4 cities mentioned…pass them our way.
Despite all of this prep work, we have also gotten out a bit. I think we’ve visited four different waterfalls at least twice each. We drove out to Hung Tung Tao Reservoir for lunch twice…once by ourselves and once with some couchsurfer friends. We participated in the Loy Krathong festivities, some of which you saw with the 10,000 Wishes post. We spent a couple afternoons reading in the park. We went on walks. I found a modern building in Chiang Mai!!! It is a designers’ studio off of the Canal Road near Huay Kaew Road. I was too shy to take many photos because people were working. We have also quenched our hunger for sweets…at Dunken Donuts and the Milk Zone…among others. And just today, we drove out to Bo Pang to see the handmade umbrellas. More than anything, we’ve been enjoying our time together in an amazing city….what more can a girl ask for?
Oh, and I almost forgot! When we were in Bangkok, we saw the current King of Thailand, Rama IX!!! We happened to be there on October 23 which is King Chulalongkorn Day (in honor of King Rama V) so we went to the Dusit Palace hoping to observe some activity when people started congregating on the sidewalks. At first we thought they were waiting for a parade, but found out that they were waiting for the King!! We decided to wait with them, and right at 5:00pm, the motor brigade drove up, the King paid his respects, and the motor brigade drove away. We waited there with the crowd for at least 4 hours. All to see the King step out of the car for 2 minutes. I was impressed by the Thai people’s devotion.
Of course, Nik has done much better keeping his blog up to date, so you can find several posts about our last month in Chiang Mai, and here are the links to those: