Children of Laos, Burma & Thailand

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Thailand and Laos (and Myanmar if I can manage it)

Hello, Sawatdee kaa and Sabai dee,

My next trip will be Thailand and Laos, and this is all about the before, the trip and the after - similar to my Malaysia/Cambodia blog. I am putting together from start to finish - tickets, do's and don'ts, tours, where to stay, places to see, things to do, as well as useful extras like transport, good places to eat, what to wear, climate, tourist traps, tricks and tips and whatever else I can think of that will be useful.

If you have any tips or advice, please, feel free to leave a comment and add your bit - whatever you think may be helpful or interesting.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

71. Golden Triangle Tour - Loo Laughs and The Pink Bus

The Outdoor Dunny
Walking back to the bus from the village I desperately needed the loo as did another lady. The dunny was a tin shack, no electricity, a dirt floor and you could barely see inside as night was falling. The other lady went in (while I was hopping from foot to foot), came out with look of disdain on her face, her nose in the air and said she wasn't going to go there it was disgraceful and she would wait until we made our next stop.

Me? I'm realistic/. I went right in, peered in the murky gloom, found where the "hole" was. What do people expect when they go to a village in the hills in the middle of nowhere - all the mod cons of the 20th century? As a child dad used to take us for a picnic (we went all over Victoria) on many Sundays, usually there were no loos where we stopped, it was out bush, so it was go behind a bush in the tall grass and hope you don't get anything on your shoes. The thing that stands out most is the grass tickling your nether regions!
Anyway, I had a comfortable ride on the bus. And when we did eventually make our next (and last) stop, that other lady was the first off the bus!

NOTE: "Dunny" is Australian slang for toilet - mostly used in reference to an outdoor toilet.

The Last Stop
Finally after a couple of hours we came to the last stop of the day. It must have been around 7.00pm or thereabouts. We would have been travelling for around two hours I think. And as we pulled in, I saw this most glorious pink bus pull up along side us on the right hand side. I just knew I had to get a photo of it.

Above: The Pink Bus
I've never seen a pink bus before in all my born days. Such a very "manly" bus - complete with pink curtains, pink swags and pink tassels, pink swirls along the side, in four shades of pink and even pink writing (in two shades of pink). I had expected a bus load of females to get off this bus. Instead, there were men and women of both sexes, but more men that women. It was a Japanese tourist bus.
I thought it hilarious.

Above: So much pink
Front view. There's even pink rosebuds on white dingle-dangles! And one of the identification papers is in a pink cover! Here I was in the north of Thailand somewhere in the middle of the night grinning away at the sight of this bus. It gave me quite a laugh I can tell you. I couldn't have organised it better myself. What a glorious end to a day's outing!

Above: The Stop-Shop
This is our last stop. Remember the fastidious one? With her nose stuck in the air? Well she sped off the bus just as fast as her legs could carry her. I declare, she was so fast she'd have beaten Michael Schumacher in a race!

Above: Lollies, drinks and coffee
Inside was a pleasant surprise. Considering the lateness of the hour it was good to find just about anything you could want. This place is obviously used as a stopping place by buses and tour groups so they'd do a pretty good business and stock most things. You can get a half-decent cup of coffee here too. I bought a coffee and strolled around in the darkness of the night.

Above: The Palm
Outside, I wandered around the little car park and was quite taken with this palm. I'm sure it was real and it's been decorated with Christmas decorations.

Above: A Mexican Sombrero?
Now this, this was intriguing. A Mexican sombrero in the north of Thailand? It definitely looks to me like a person wearing a sombrero. Perhaps there was an artist from South America staying here?

We were all herded back on the bus, our guide telling us it was a three hour drive to Chiang Mai and we could all go to sleep. We arrived in Chiang Mai around 10.30pm, tired but happy. It was a long day but worth it. I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed it. I understand now why some companies do this as an overnight trip - there is such a distance to cover and so many things to see that doing it as a day trip means you don't really get enough time to spend at some places. However, the overnight trips are very, very expensive and out of reach of those on a budget!

Next: Chinese Market

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