Planning the trip up north...
Ever since I got back from England, I've been trying work out where, when and how I'm going to go up north. I've wanted to go back to Naan for months now. I helped out at my friend's mum's school for a day last March, and promised that, one day, when I had some free time, before I went back to England for good, I'd return.
I love Naan. I've already been there 3 times. First, to go rafting. Then, about a year ago, for a quick weekend escape from Bangkok. The third time was to visit my friend B, meet his mum and see her school, before heading off to see the mountains in Chiang Rai and around the Burmese border.
Normally, when I want to go somewhere, it's fairly straightforward. Go to the bus station, choose a destination and book a ticket. Easy as pie. I rarely make a strict itinary beforehand. I usually just think 'mountains', 'city' or 'beach' pick the right clothes, go to the right bus station and then see what happens.
This time though, it's not so simple. I'm moving out of my room too, so have to try and organise whats left of my stuff. What to take, what to leave with friends, what to give away and what to dump. It's proving to be a lot more difficult and time consuming than I first thought.
I also need to make some kind of plan for where I'm going to go. I want to stay at my friend's mum's for up to a month (basically until she, or the kids get bored of me...) but don't really want to be there on the long weekend (8,9,10th Dec...) too. I need to leave some of my stuff at her house, before I go onto Chiang Rai.
One thing that I need to work out is how to take my mountain bike on the bus, info. that's not easy for a foreigner to find. I gave up on Friday evening, after struggling to find my way through the - mainly Thai language - bus company websites. I called their call centres too, only to be put on hold or cut off countless times... Yesterday, I asked a Thai friend for help. They got further than me, but not much... Apparently, whether you can take more than one bag, or even a mountain bike on the bus or not is totally up to the driver. So, what do I do if the driver says no? Ask the bus company to refund my ticket and then buy another one when the driver OKs it ??? Live in Mor Chit until someone, somewhere finally agrees that it can be taken onboard ???
Once I get to Naan, I plan to head up to Chiang Rai and Phu Chi Far mountain. I've been wanting to go there for almost 2 years now, ever since I saw a friend's photo of the sunrise. It looked amazing. A big, steep cliff silhoutted against a firey red sky.
Last time I was in Chiang Rai, in March, I was advised against taking a trip there. It was the burning season. Most farmers were finding anything and everything green looking, then setting it on fire. Trekking up a smog filled mountain wouldn't have been much fun.
This time though, the weather, and the time of year should be ideal. So, whats the problem? Phu Chi Far's a place that Thai tourists like to go to. Foreigners who travel to Chiang Rai usually like to go to see the Golden Triange, to go trekking, ride elephants and visit hilltribes in the mountains, or to travel to Mae Sai (and Burma) or to Chiang Kong (and onto Loas.) It's not easy to find basic travel information (public transport, where to stay... etc...) in English. There's lots of photos on the net, of the mountain, the sunrise and of the crowds watching it on sites like this but bugger all info about how to actually get there. It's almost like the people that have already managed to make it there are taunting you... offering you the impossible. You can look, but you've got sod all chance of seeing it for real, especially if you can't read Thai.
Now, I've pretty much got all the information I need. But... its taken me me almost a day and a half to find it... and I like to think of myself as being net savvy...
I've given up on finding a nearby guesthouse. I want to camp and, am really excited about it. I've only ever camped in Thailand a few times, only once in the mountains (Tilosu National Park) and never, ever, in my own tent.
Tomorrow's Wednesday. I've a lot to do. More stuff to sort though. More errands to run. It's also my last ever English class for Godwill. I already know that I'm really going to miss the students that I teach.
Next Wednesday's the Kings birthday. It's also the last night I'll spent in my little room. Then... Next Thursday evening... It'll be time to finally hit the north... After days of bumming around Bangkok, trying to find contacts and travel info, it will be such a relief to finally get moving...
Only 8 more days to go... :) I can't wait...
|Create Date : 27 พฤศจิกายน 2550
|Last Update : 28 พฤศจิกายน 2550 1:11:36 น.
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