Bus from Pai to Lampang, Northern Thailand

I say bus to Lampang. We made it as far as Chiang Mai. There hasn’t been a good transport disaster story since the Bolivia days really, so here’s one for you.

Claire, Linds and wake up to minus freezing temperatures and decided to get the hell out of Pai. We want to play bus roulette (rocking up at the station and boarding the next bus to an unknown destination,) however Pai limits our daringness due to the fact that there’s pretty much only one road in/out – to Chiang Mai or Mae Hong Son. To plan B then; Lonely Planet Roulette. We pick a place at random. That place is Lampang. Here’s all we (need to) know; it’s famous for herbal spas. Sold. We still have to change at Chiang Mai however.

The toss-up is either a Minivan (costs 150 baht) takes 3 hours, comfy seats, but major travel sickness on the windy roads v’s local bus (costs 72 baht) takes 4.5 hours, potentially sat next to a loose chicken. We leave it to whichever turns up first and draw the short straw; the local bus.

1)      It’s late, but to be honest it would be more shocking if it were on time.

2)      We are moving a whole 5 mins, we know this as none of us even get through one song on our iPods, before we pull over at a local garage to jack it up and change the tyre. Fair enough. Except….

3)      …Once above repair is done, we pile back on, start the engine, and promptly reverse smack bang into a shiny new jeep. This results in a further 1h delay, some police, lots of pointing and staring, and some money exchanging hands. All pretty amicable though.

4)      Crisis averted, we all re-board. This time we make it a whole 5 songs, up around the winding mountainside before coming to a spluttering halt on the edge of a precipice. Comedy gold; we’ve run out of petrol. We have a fun half an hour clowning around by climbing onto the roof of the bus and admiring the view, whilst someone brings us some emergency fuel.

5)      It’s all golden for the next 2 hours. Right untill the final disaster comes as we eventually breakdown 10km out of Chiang Mai. We don’t even ask what the problem is this time, we just wait 45 mins to be rescued. By this point it’s dark and we kind of gave up of the ghost of making it to Lampong. We figure The Adjustment Bureau wants to keep us from there for a day or two at least, so who are we to argue with fate.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

January 2012

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