I feel now very qualified to describe the Thai countryside in detail, having sat at this train window for the last 11 hours.
Just outside the lush city of Bangkok, we passed through what could only be described as slums. Houses built out of solely corregated metal, overrunning with trash and various other debris. Possibly the most mentionable sight would be these same rudimentary dwellings that had new cars parked in the front. Are they company cars, or were the vehicles simply a priority over a standard home? It didn’t seem feasible to hop off the speeding train and ask, so perhaps I’ll never know.
Further on, many farmlands. A few herds of ox. A few people bathing in the river. Many people waiting for our train to pass through what was likely their only main road. A group of children waving enthusiastically. And one man wielding a rifle over his shoulder, waving with as much vigor and joy as the children.
And then after a few naps, two books, and some good conversation….we were there. Chiang Mai! After dismounting our iron steed, we easily located a red truck that would come to be a very familiar sight. The ride is a combination of a public bus and a taxi. He picked up what we assumed was a full load from the train station, all with separate destinations, but then continued to accept new passengers until several people were merely hanging off the back of the truck. Eventually our time came to load off, and we found ourselves at the door of our home for the next 6 nights.
And that, my friends, will have to be continued!