Leaving the village and especially leaving my wife is always a mixed bag. I look forward to the vacation, but I worry about how Thip will do when I’m not around. She plays on this a bit, too, so it always makes leaving a little harder.
Thip has helped me a lot, though, in learning how to safely solo travel through
Of course, her advice is always a little paranoid and negative, but that
compliments me very well, as I am overly friendly and naive, despite my many
years of occasional burn.
My first day on my fourth trip to
June 2013, was all Thailand.
Thip and I waited at the Nong Bua
Lamphu baw kasaw (bus station) for a private 1st class
bus that would take me overnight to Chiang Rai. It came a half hour late and
then I was on my way.
This wasn't my bus, but it looked a lot like it:
Bus travel in
Thailand is such a great value.
It’s one of the reasons I have not invested in a car or truck. For local
transport, we have bicycles, Thip’s motosai and my samlor (tuk-tuk,
aka “skylab”). For long distances, a First Class bus ticket (meaning I had
air-conditioning and the bus didn’t stop at every possible stop), I paid about
$40 USD. That’s a trip that began at 5pm and ended at 6am the following
morning. Try to get that kind of mileage in the United States!
Anyway, to be entirely truthful, I was so far in the back of the bus that I often got a whiff of the restroom and later, I nearly froze my ass off in the overnight air-conditioning. To top it off, the bus was late – a critical issue if I was going to make it to the Lao border and get on that day’s slow boat to Luang Prabang.