We had breakfast at the guest house and checked out. We took a tuk tuk to the tour office who put us on a bus to Bangkok. The tuk-tuk drivers are very impatient and edge forward at the traffic lights. It can be rather disconcerting.
The bus departed Chiang Mai at 08:40 but 1 hour 30 minutes into the journey the brakes had seized and gave off a revolting smell leaving us sat by the side of the road until 12:00 waiting for a replacement bus. In lieu of the time loss we tore down the road in a major hurry trying to make up the time and our lunch stop was delayed until 15:00. We ate at another hawker stall and I had another bug in my food. Still pretty rough from my cold I resorted to buying some crisps to comfort my salt craving for the remainder of the journey.
As we approached Bangkok we passed through a rainstorm and watched a lightening storm in the distance.
After arriving at the bus station we took a taxi to Royal Hotel which we believed would be well within our budget and checked in at 21:30 for TBT 1,600! Almost double the quoted price in the Lonely Planet guide, which left us wondering if there might be two Royal Hotels in Bangkok and we had been taken to the wrong one. We had been travelling for 13 hours and were too tired to find somewhere else to stay. Luckily for us it was actually very nice and reminded us of the Alimara Hotel we stayed in a couple of years ago in Barcelona. We had dinner at 22:00 and whilst sipping tea and coffee Ian declared that he 'just needs some cakey...' before repairing to our room. The waitress staff also were very reminiscent of the Alimara Hotel in that they didn't appear to be pleased with their work, they were very reluctant to serve.
I made good use of our luxury accommodation and enjoyed the rare opportunity of a hot bath, steaming my cold, and reading my book.
Copyright 2003 Helen Fuller. All rights reserved.