Sunday, January 9, 2011

To Thailand!

Vacation was finally here and we had most of the day to relax and gather our trip supplies before getting out of town. The day began smoothly though punctuated by an intense visit to the local post office to mail items to the States and France. We just could not do things right, but items were finally placed in boxes and bags, labeled and disappeared.

Our friend then taxied us to the Taichung High Speed Rail (HSR) Station and we felt like the vacation was finally beginning.

Here is Krista, calm and relaxed, waiting for the train.

When waiting for the HSR, it is important to follow the signs on the ground and wait in orderly lines. This guy has got top billing to enter into his rail car...

The HSR is sleek, comfortable and a quick ride to Taipei. The industrial countryside flashed by and we arrived in Taipei within an hour, made a quick stop for directions and transferred to the Airport Shuttle bus. All was well and we would soon be at the airport for our flight to Bangkok.

The HSR gliding into our terminal.

Forty-five bus minutes later the effects of a huge take-us-back-to-our-rookie-travel-days mistake were evident. Taipei? No, we needed to get off the HSR two stops earlier. Our bus was stuck in traffic on a return to the south journey as the clock ticked ever closer to departure time. Finally we reached the airport and the bus deposited us at a terminal. We dashed through an airport that suddenly appeared much larger than when we arrived in August. Exchanging terminals, going up steps, down others and along moving walkways, we finally made it for an uneventful flight to Bangkok and arrived at our guest house for a quick sleep. At 4:30 the next morning, the wake-up call rudely shook us awake and we were whisked back to the airport for our upcountry flight to Chiang Mai.

(sometimes it is good to get the travel whoops out of the at the beginning of a trip. the rest of the trip passed without a hitch)

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