It’s about 50km from Ayutthayato Don Meung airport from where we will take a flight to Chiang Mai. Everything we’ve read says it should only take half an hour but I am overly cautious with these things, especially after the train epic back in Kanchanaburi. So we leave the hotel early and walk around the corner to the mini van depot (the same depot we should have been dropped at a couple of days ago). There are plenty of minivan and one is headed to Bangkok so can drop us at Don Mueng. The price is 60 baht each and we have to wait until the van is full before we can leave. That doesn’t take long though; within five minutes the van is full and we are off.
The van ride is crazy. The driver seems to think he’s driving Nascar or something. He must be one of the boy racers we have seen riding motorbikes around Ayutthaya on their rear wheel at breakneck speed. The engine whines as though it’s a gear too low as we race along the roads zigzagging across three lanes of traffic at a time before crossing straight back. The driver doesn’t seem to care that the trucks are bigger than him and I see truck bumpers moving towards my window seat far too many times for comfort.
Even when we hit traffic jams caused by serious accidents (mostly involving minivans I must say) the driver continues to try driving very fast through parked traffic. It is both scary and ridiculous. I am not usually an anxious passenger and did my fair share of ducking and weaving when I rode a motorbike around Java last month. But this was another level of stupidity.
We did manage to reach Don Meung airport in one piece and did not need to be told twice that we could exit the vehicle. We were three hours early for our flight so wasted some time walking around the airport collecting steps on our VivoFit watches, looking at the planes and watching more Game of Thrones on my laptop. I managed to get a good photo of one of the cute Nok Air planes. We so wanted to fly in one but the fares were considerably more expensive that Thai Lion Air so we gave it a miss. The flight to Chiang Mai was uneventful and we found our apartment easily. It’s near the bus terminal where tired travellers were disembarking from long haul trips. It made me glad we’d taken the easy option and flown; they looked so tired. Though I would have caught the bus if we couldn’t get a cheap flight like we did.
We will spend the rest of our time in Thailand here in Chiang Mai. There seems to be plenty to do up here so why not settle in and experience what’s on offer.