We got up, finished packing, and had some of the yummy apples Mr. Oat gave us for breakfast. Thank goodness for the larger suitcase; packing was much easier. We listened to the World Series a bit, too, which is something we’ve done pretty much every day it’s on. Sort of funny to be listening to baseball in the morning here. We checked out painlessly, and got a cab to the airport. There wasn’t any traffic, so we ended up getting there very early. Fine by me. I hate rushing on travel days.
We did web check-in the day before, so only had to go through getting the luggage tags and doing the self check-in of the actual luggage. There is always someone there helping, which makes it easy. After we were done checking the bags in, we made our way to security. That had gone remarkably easy and it was so nice having that new suitcase – everything felt light! We were almost to security when Sal asked, “Where’s your blue bag?”. Good grief! I had left it where we checked in the luggage. I ran back and found it where I’d left it. The Air Asia worker barely blinked at me; I think they are running on autopilot there. According to Fitbit, my heart rate was 125. I haven’t sprinted like that in quite some time! I was so embarrassed. I didn’t think I could get more embarrassed until this happened after we ate breakfast at the airport:
Someone has a little addiction problem.
I used the restroom before the flight and there was this sign: **pic** wat?
Eventually it was time for our flight. We were in row 27 because we hadn’t paid extra for seat assignment when we bought the tickets. Luckily the flight was only 1 hour and 20 minutes long, because our knees were touching the seat in front of us. Our flight was a bit late, again, of course. What else is new with Air Asia? I figure anything less than an hour late is on time when you have very low expectations.
Speaking of Air Asia, I forgot to mention that I got an email from them the day before saying one of our upcoming flights was cancelled. We spent some time figuring out what our options were and researching other flights and got sorted almost painlessly. Almost. But really, when you have this many flights you can’t possibly think they are all going to run smoothly. Especially on budget airlines.
We made it to Chiang Rai and some young girls were doing a dance routine near the baggage pickup, raising money for education. Very cute.
We found our hotel driver and got in a van that had a video that was basically a promo about things to do and see in Chiang Rai. I was quite shocked the vehicle had the name of the hotel (Le Patta) on it, because I thought this hotel was quite small. We got to the hotel and I realized it was more midsized. The check-in people were very kind and after some fresh juice they took us to our room, which was really three rooms – a living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom. Very nice. And we were told our minibar was free and they restock every day. Nice surprise as there was water, snacks & beer.
We chilled out on the patio for a bit, enjoying the pool view and reading. It was quite pleasant. After a bit we decided to head to the bus station and get our tickets for our next destination. The bus station ended up being more of a bus parking lot. I didn’t get a picture, but I’ll get one the next transfer day…
We walked from there to a bar called Cat Bar, for a couple of beers. I thought maybe the cat bar had real cats. Nope. Very hole-in-the-wall. And weird. But I liked it.
After some refreshments we walked the long way to the Happy Sunday Street which was their big Sunday market. On the way walking there, there was this incredibly loud noise and it took a second to figure out it was birds. Wow. Nic, skip this one. We finally got there and started browsing. Sal and I think the market was ½ mile long. It kept going and going, then at the end you turn around and look at the other side. It was much busier than expected, too. A video to show you how crowded it was.
By the time we finished my dogs were tired. I had emailed the hotel asking how much a tuk tuk was from the market to the hotel and was told 50-60 baht (it was less than a mile). When we got to the tuk tuks the man said ‘100 baht’, which was exactly what Sal said he’d say. Sal countered with 40, and the man scoffed and said 80. We eventually settled on 70, so although we got ripped off, it was for $0.30 as opposed to $1.20 and that feels like a small victory. Yes, we argued over less than $1. It’s just the way it is here and part of the fun.
Blurry, but in case you aren’t familiar with what a tuk tuk looks like:
After a long day, we called it a night.