Ooh lah lah. It is local bus time. Travelling with the local Thai people is what we love to do best. There is no air con, no free water, no free biscuits, and certainly no toilet to use. Just a lovely time spent on a small seated bus with small local Thai people. Nice!
Chiang Khong is a small town in Thailand just across the river from Huay Xai, the border town of Laos. Since we were heading into Laos, this is the border crossing we were taking.
Catching the bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong is quite simple. Rock up at the local bus station in the centre of town and look for the sign that says “Chiang Rai – Chiang Khong”. This is the bus that you take.
Once you have found the bus stand, take notice that the bus leaves every hour on the hour from 6am through to 5pm every day. The bus ride will take two hours to complete the journey. If you were considering heading into Laos that day, you would need to leave early on in the day. The two hour ride will cost you 65 Baht. Hardly anything really.
The bus driver took our money, gave us change, and handed us our hot pink tickets. On the bus we hopped, with a lot of giggles and smiles from the other passengers. Especially when Andrew had to sit in a seat. His legs couldn't fit in the space at all! Check out the photo at the top of this post! Although the seats and the leg space were designed for Thai people, it was still very comfortable.
While we waited for the bus to leave we were entertained with a raunchy live concert movie at the front of the bus. It was amusing seeing the young lasses trying to dance to slow beated love songs. The sound system throughout the bus also added to the package. We have never heard music sound so good!
Once the bus got moving, the lack of air conditioning wasn't that noticeable. There was enough air being circulated around via the open the windows and the ceiling fans. People got on, people got off, people smiled at us, giggled, offered us children to play with.. It was a very enjoyable ride.
We spent the time reading our books and looking out the window at the beautiful country side. In no time at all, we were in Chiang Khong. We were dropped off out front of the 7-11. Tuk tuks were waiting for us if we needed a ride. And there we were, a new town, Chiang Khong.