Changed countries today. Left the Shore at 8.30 with Peter our friendly taxi driver to Sentral Bus Terminal where we mounted the trusty Transnasional Club Class coach for the 2 and a half hour drive to KLIA2. This is a new 2nd Terminal at Kuala Lumpur Airport and it is state of the art. Thousands of people were there but it all ran smoothly. Air Asia the budget carrier is really the only one using in and as Kuala Lumpur is tier base there were hundreds of flights.
It was a tad confusing sat first but once you work it out it is really easy to use, well signed and first class facilities. Our $143 Australian flight (150 minutes) was faultless in a fairly new Airbus. It was full. Immigration at Chiang Mai was slow even though we were off early as we were in row 6. No smiles and welcomes here as we got in Malaysia. I guess it is because it is so touristy.
At the Taxi desk Erica had to be restrained when we queried the price of 180Baht when we had been told only pay 140Baht. The woman behind the counter suggested if we did not like it to “Take a Tuk Tuk”. Loud mutterings from Erica about what she could do with her Tuk Tuk were overheard methinks and when the Taxi Driver arrived the recalcitrant bitch smiled and waved calling Erica Madam!
Arrived a tad tired at The Baan Orapin where we have eschewed our budget lifestyle for a five days and booked a suite. Well Erica has kicked another goal with this gem! Beautiful grounds, old Lana Style Complex of teak houses of which we have a ground floor of one. Pepsi greeted us with a bow and a smile and pointed out all the nearby food paces. He was charming and more than made up for the airport Taxi Bitch. Getting dark now and we are sipping a couple of Singha Beers in this beautiful place. www.baanorapin.com
First impression of Chiang Mai driving from the airport was a rather chaotic large city, a vastly different impression from our last visit over 20 years ago. Time will tell as we are here for a month.