Getting to Thailand

Unfortunately my trip to Bangkok wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped for. After the wild thunderstorms in Melbourne on Monday morning, flights out of Melbourne airport were significantly delayed.

My first flight was scheduled to leave Melbourne for Singapore at 12pm, but in the end didn’t take off until just after 2pm. This then meant I was 2 hours late landing in Singapore leaving only 15 minutes to make my connecting flight.

Fortunately I already had the boarding pass for my second flight, and my luggage was checked all the way through to Bangkok so there was no need to pass through security in Singapore. I hurried to the gate with about 10 other people from the flight and we just made it on the plane before boarding closed. Unfortunately, due to a lack of time our luggage didn’t make the connection.

It seemed that Melbourne’s weather had followed me to Bangkok because there had also been a storm there causing delays. The plane had to circle over the airport for almost an hour before it could land. Once in Bangkok airport, I made my way to baggage collection in the hopes my suitcase had made the flight. 10 minutes later there were 6 of us still waiting for our bags, so we made our way to lost luggage and filled out the necessary forms.

Wild storms in Melbourne caused delays a the airport
Wild storms in Melbourne caused delays a the airport

Now, two hours later than planned and without my luggage I made my way to the taxi bay to get a cab. The queue looked pretty lengthy, but in the end it only took 15 minutes. Being so late at night (it was 11pm at this stage) there was very little traffic and I arrived at Victoria’s apartment about half an hour later.

The queue for taxis
The queue for taxis

It was great to see Victoria and check out where she and Marwan are living. I had toast while we had a quick catch up, then went to bed. My body clock felt like it was 4am and I was well and truly ready for bed.

The next morning we were off to Chiang Mai. The airport called to say my luggage had arrived in Bangkok at Suvarnabhumi Airport but we were flying out of Don Mueang for Chiang Mai so they arranged to send it on to Chiang Mai instead, arriving there 30 minutes before us.

Traffic wasn’t too bad and we made it to the airport in about 40 minutes. We were already checked in, and without my suitcase had no checked baggage. We enjoyed an iced latte and had a chat while we waited. Fortunately this flight was on time and by 12pm we were in Chiang Mai. Just after I switched on my phone I received a call that my luggage was there, so we collected that, found a cab and headed for Elliebum, the guest house where we’re staying.

Exploring the streets of Chiang Mai
Exploring the streets of Chiang Mai

We didn’t have anything planned that afternoon, so just took some time to explore Chiang Mai on foot and get our bearings. We had noodles for lunch, and walked east from the Old Town through the wall and into the outer city.

We wandered around a couple of temples as we made our way across the city. At Wat Bupparam there was a lady selling small cages of birds which you could release for good luck. There were heaps of statues around the gardens, including a metre tall Donald Duck eating a bowl of noodles.

A statue at Wat Bupparam
A statue at Wat Bupparam

We made it out to the river, by which time we were starting to get a bit hot so we made our way back towards Elliebum. We stopped for coconut ice cream with mango and sticky rice (yum!) and poked our heads in a couple of shops. Back at Elliebum we relaxed in the air conditioning for a while, deciding where to head next.

As the sun started to set we made our way back out into the cooler evening air. We stopped at a roof top bar called THC for a couple of drinks before dinner. It was an interesting bar with a steep metal staircase leading up to the rooftop. It was nice to feel a breeze as we enjoyed our drinks, then we went on in search of dinner. There was a restaurant Victoria had read about which did a really good khao soi (a curry noodle soup local to northern Thailand) but once we found the address we discovered the restaurant had closed down. We ended up having pad see ew at a small food stall near the night bazaar.

Wat Pan Tao at night
Local temple at night

We browsed the bazaar after dinner then, exhausted, went back to Elliebum to sleep. It had been a very busy day, with a lot of walking!

Posted from Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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