On the Laos side as the passengers disembark, they get a thermometer stuck down their ear to get screened for H1N1. It’s a bit like the thing the doctor sticks down your ear when he wants to have a look. You know at home he puts a shiny clean bit on the end of it before using it, but here the man gives it a quick wipe on his leg before sticking it in the next person.
As we disembarked on the Thai side, which is actually getting off into slightly muddy soil while trying not to drop your backpack, you get screened for the H1N1 virus. This time it’s a gun type contraption that takes your temperature, thankfully no dirty contraption stuffed down our ears for us!
From there we had already organised a Mini-Van to take us to Chiang Mai about 250 KM away. As drives go this was one of the dullest we’ve taken, partly due to what felt like the snail pace the driver took. That just may be my perception as in both Cambodia and Laos the drives are a little more erratic, as the buses use all the road to avoid kids, potholes, chickens, dogs, ducks, cows, cyclists, snakes…….. making it much more entertaining.
We arrived in Chiang Mai eventually and were dumped not at any bus station, but at a guesthouse which the driver must get commission from, which always makes working out where you are a challenge. Our first task was to go and find a cash point as we had no Thai baht, not great planning on our part. Once that was sorted we tried to get a tuk tuk to the guesthouse we had chosen. The tuk tuk driver did not know where it was however he called the guesthouse and got the directions. A reasonable price was quoted, much, much cheaper than tuk tuks in Laos, and he took us to the guesthouse with a smile!
I’m already loving being back in Thailand!