17 and 1/2. Minivan rides back to Chiang Mai.

From Nan it was  long and hard trip on a minivan all the way back to Chiang Mai. We were hoping to get on one of a big comfy bus but all were fully booked out.  A minivan ride was the only other option we could choose and there wasn’t a minivan going straight to Chiang Mai.

We made three separate minivan rides firstly to Phrae and changed to another minivan to Lamphang, again to finally Chiang Mai. I thought this Toyota Commuter 16 seater minivan runs on petrol, Na, on LPG and refuelling was quite a scene. Have a look at this picture. The LPG hose hooks up on top of the engine somewhere  a manifold?  Everyone was asked to evacuate the van when refilling gas as the explosion occurs from time to time.

DSCF0149In the van, says

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After 7 hours we wombled in a room at VIP guest house near Thaphae gate, central old city, which costed us 200 Baht a night.

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Got out to the Night bazaar for munching met the world famous Mango Rice for 55 Baht and the vendor gave a free mango when she knew we are Koreans. They love Korean dramas too.

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A live seven musicians band was on fire on the stage with mostly reggae style Thai music.

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Some are dancing, eating, or doing both.

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Stan Walker in Thailand? Look at this guy if you forget about the tattoo he IS Stan Walker.

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Next morning on the way to the railway station to book sleeper tickets for Bangkok, we walk past some gorgeous cafes.

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This plate is called ‘Pad Pak Boong Moo Sap’.

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And this one ‘Kra Prau Moo’.

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Central Airport Plaza, close to the Chiang Mai airport has it all. All the brand shops and a multiplex cinema with a huge range of food on two separate floors.

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This black pearl bubble tea is called ‘Sha no mok’ in Thai and it tastes so good that brings another cup naturally.

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My daughter is going to watch a movie ‘Step up 5’ and I will go down to have a massage. The ticket for a movie costs about 120 Baht for an ordinary seat and 150 Baht for a honeymoon seat which has got no barrier or arm-rest between the two seats for a couple so that their flesh can touch anytime without any disturbance in the dark.

I mistakenly bought my daughter a honeymoon ticket , uh, pretty sure she will find a decent man in there to be coupled.

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There I found three massage places in the Plaza, one on 4th floor, one at 1st floor and one on the basement. On the basement you got two choices, air-con inside or fan outside. Fan outside costs 180 Baht an hour while aircon charges 200 Baht. Here at fan outside, I met the best masseur in Thailand. I know the acupuncture points and she pressed exactly on all the crucial points with very good thumb or elbow pressure.

‘Nuat leng leng’ (hard pressing massage) for an hour turned my body back on healthy state and I  felt really good.  Behind the fans there are two beds and two masseurs,and choose the old lady without wearing glasses. She is the gun.

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A bit of here and there of the Central Airport Plaza.

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Changing room for babies and mums.

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Prayer room for the Muslims.

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On 4th floor, we found an Korean food corner that was run by a Thai who knows how to cook Korean food at a portion of price that other Korean restaurants would charge three time more of this guy’s price tag.

Only 50 Baht for a pork rice or 55 for a Bibimbap. Incredible.

DSCF0252 DSCF0253This is the pork and rice combo at 50 Baht, tasted almost close to the type.

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Another dish, a soft-tofu spicy soup with rice.

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When you come back to town there is a free shuttle Songtaew service run by this department store for those who stay in some hotels. If you don’t stay at a hotel like us, just hop off at the Amora Thaphae hotel and walk back to your choice of guest house, otherwise your songtaew ride will cost about 40 Baht each back to old city.

This is the timetable for the green shuttle.

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In the free shuttle Songtaew, met a mum and daughter traveler from Guangzhou China. The young lady works for the Shangrila hotel in Dubai and told us a bit of life in Dubai. They found the Thai cuisine is  not as tasty as Hongkong, wow lucky we are from New Zealand where fish n chips are the main staple there.

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For a memorable night we are on the way to a ‘all you can eat’ meat buffet at the north-eastern corner of Chiang Mai,and you have got to jump over this water moat to get to other side, but how? It is 20 m high from the ground.

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ChumPhae Nuer Kata, a simply meat buffet, for 159 Baht per person plus drink extra.

Upon sitting in, the charcoal is served for cooking your meat on your table.

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Choose your meat, no matter how many times you travel to this section as long as you don’t make any leftovers.

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We are going to take another minivan to Pai tomorrow.

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