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After receiving the message from Axelle asking me if I was already in Chiang Mai I immediately answered that I was still in Sukhothai and that I was planned to leave to Chiang Mai the following morning.  I then receive a new message from Axelle telling that they also were still in Sukhothai waiting for the 2AM bus for Chiang Mai.

We arrange to meet somewhere in town.  As  backpackers we have our references and even we are here since a few days we already know the bars where to go or not go.  So it is easy to say let’s meet at the Chopper on the roof terrace, just like we lived here for ever.

After finishing my dinner I take the bus to go back to new Sukhothai.  It stops in front of the Belgian bar where you can have Belgian beers and even French fries.  Beers are ok, but don’t try the fries they are absolutely not good.  This bar/restaurant  might be a reference on Trip Advisor, it doesn’t deserve the number one restaurant in Sukhothai, believe me.  But still it is a nice place for a drink and meet other travellers.

I walk towards the Chopper, climb the stairs to go on the roof terrace and directly spot Axelle siting alone at a table with a cocktail.  I join her and sit down at her table.  It is a pleasure to see her again after we met in Ayuthaya a few days before.  Amandine join us and of course we start what all backpackers do…. we discuss what we have seen and what we have done, our impressions and feelings,  but most then anything we drink…. 🙂

Traveling is really about meeting people and sharing our experience.  No judgment, no a priori, we are all on the same road for the same reasons.


After a few more drinks we lost Axelle who was now chatting with other french people.  We decide to join them as they also wait for the 2 AM bus.  The evening goes along until they decide to leave for the bus station.  As I have not booked my ticket and that I wanted to take the bus in the morning of the next day I go back to the guesthouse.

I am in my room thinking of my trip to Chiang Mai. ….. And if I tried to catch that bus …. it is already passed 1AM and I can finish the night in the bus arriving in the morning.  Traveling at night gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sites instead of being in a bus or a train.

I then start to pack as quick as possible and mainly not to forget anything behind me.  I run to the city centre, hoping to find a Tuk Tuk or a taxi…. but it’s 1:40AM already and the streets are empty….  I see a motorcycle with a sidecar coming, I wave my hand to stop him and so  he does.  I try to explain him in English that I need to go to the bus station and that I am ready to pay him for the transfer.  It looks like it worked and invite me to sit in his sidecar with my bags that I try to place so they don’t fell over on the road.

As we arrive to the bus station I see a white bus on the move turning around the station, my improvised taxi driver follows him and make it stop, I grab my bags and run towards the door of the bus when an employee comes out of the station.  I ask her if it is the bus to Chiang Mai and she confirms.  The employee asks me to pay for the ticket while the driver put my bag in the boot of the bus.

Pffff I am so glad I could catch it.

I come into the bus where I receive a blanket and a little box with a bottle of water and some snacks.  I try to find Axelle and Amandine, but I can’t see them.  I recognise the faces of some of the other french guys we met at the Chopper bar, but no sign of my two friends.

I then remember they explained me they left their bags with all their money and passports at the station behind the counter earlier that evening to be free of transporting them all around.  I start to panic and think they might have been stolen, or the counter was not accessible anymore at this time of the night and could not get access to their bags.  I send a message to Axelle, but no reply.

I finally arrive in Chiang Mai at about 8AM after half a night sleep in a bus.  I must say it was not bad at all as buses are really made for this.  Seats can go down and you are literally lying down with enough room for your legs..

I look around at the bus station and no sign of the two girls.  I check my mobile, and nothing either.  I can’t do anything but waiting to receive a message from them so I take a Tuk Tuk to get me to my Hotel.

This time I had a reservation booked as I was afraid not to be able to get a place to sleep in Chiang Mai due to the Yi Peng, the famous light festival.  The Tuk Tuk drops me in front of the door and I go to the reception.  It is only 8:30 in the morning, I did not expected my room to be ready, but at least I could check in and leave my luggage. And off I go to discover Chiang Mai.

It is only one hour later that I received a message from Axelle telling me she also arrived in Chiang Mai.

Just like with trains schedules are not the best in Thailand.  It looks like there was in fact 2 different buses that night going to Chiang Mai, one at 1:50AM and the other at 2AM.  I took the one of 1:50 which left at 2AM…. 🙂 I am happy this time it was for the same destination in any case.





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