Chiang Mai to Phuket by bus

I’ve left Chiang Mai and am now in Phuket, in a McDonalds near my hotel. It’s food that isn’t rice and there is free wifi (my hotel’s wifi wasn’t the best). In about 45 minutes, I’m getting picked up from my hotel to get the 1:30pm ferry to Phi Phi, where I’ll sunbathe and party for two days, before coming back to Phuket.

I feel a little sad that this is the end of Asia, for now. I only have four nights left before I get the red eye flight to Melbourne, but I’ve had such a fantastic time. I’ve made memories that’ll last a lifetime, and friends too.

I thought I’d update you with a few sights I’ve seen over the past few days, both back in Chiang Mai and here in Phuket, along with my bus ride experience.

On my last whole day in Chiang Mai, I got a red taxi (it’s basically a tuk tuk) to visit Wat Doi Suthep, a temple right at the top of the Doi Suthep, a mountain that towers over Chiang Mai. It was pretty, but it was cold, rainy, a bit windy and full of tourists. I couldn’t help but feel this was just a massive tourist trap, with the smaller temples back on flat ground being much more fascinating to wander around.

The entrance to the temple is rather decorative.

You have to climb up hundreds of steps to get to the top!

But once you get there, the view of Chiang Mai is pretty sweet. Shame at how overcast the weather was.

They also had lots of pretty trees and flowers that reminded me of Turkey.

The Thai love their fake orchid displays too. And so do I!

The temple itself isn’t so bad either.

I then met up with a friend for dinner. I met Hannah in Hanoi, and we managed to meet up again in Luang Prabang too. I’ve mentioned a few times at how much of a small world the travelling life can be. Well while I was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I shared a dorm with a guy who turns out to be Hannah’s best friend from back home. Crazy coincidence! Anyways for dinner we went to the same restaurant I went to on my first night, and had a super tasty Thai red curry, along with shrimp crackers.

Unfortunately when I woke up, it was time to pack up my belongings and leave Chiang Mai. Flying directly would’ve taken two hours (plus time to get to the airport, and get out of it again), but would’ve cost £150. Going via Bangkok would’ve cost £90 plus taken around eight hours. So I did the backpacker thing and got a bus! Due to take in between 21-22 hours, it cost me £33. I left my hostel at 3pm, to get the 4pm bus but of course it was late. I was wearing my comfy new elephant shorts so I felt cool in the heat at least.

The bus looked more like a plane! The seats were really wide, but they reclined as well as having a foot rest that come up. As you can see, I had lots of space to myself.

The seats had screens in them, with some English language movies to keep me entertained.

We got lots of food too, with pit stops at restaurants for dinner and breakfast.

This was our tiny dinner…

Compared to our massive breakfast..!

Fish for breakfast? No thanks.

Yummy, shrimp crisps.

All in all, the journey took 24 hours from door to door. I booked a cheap hotel to snooze in peace, then I went for a wander around Phuket Old Town.

I discovered a very cute market, with stalls selling fresh seafood and live music positioned every 20 metres or so apart.

It’s very pretty. Lots of French architecture combined with crazy Chinese New Year decorations. When I come back, I won’t be staying this side of the island so it was nice to see it while I had a chance.

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