rose of the north (p1) - Chiang Mai, the departure
It was supposed to be a family trip, and i chose the destination because mum used to quote about going there. but somehow, mum wasn't that excited to travel these days, because of her health etc., hence left us siblings to travel.
thailand, bangkok, in particular was in crisis. i think, January was the peak, and we had second thought about going. people said, it was only bangkok, while other regions were ok. so i booked the flight ticket for three of us, we'd be flying during the CNY break.
but when the early-election date was announced to fall on the day of our return, i got worried, hence decided to change our trip to earlier date i.e. during the thaipusam-holiday weekend. i had to pay another rm600 for the tickets.and a week before the trip, i was asked to attend the conference in Doha, and had to change my return flight to earlier time, as i'd be taking the night flight to Doha, as i mentioned here . another rm300 burnt.
we departed from my house at 3am, and arrived at LCCT one hour later. i decided to park at parking C area as it was closer. i know, it is expensive, but travelling-mode with family member is different. i can't be too stingy. hehe.
the flight departed as per scheduled. i guess it is common as morning flight normally saved from the ripple effect of flight delay etc. it was a smooth flight, with us sleeping most the time, recovering from the early ride to airport.
we had breakfast in the flight, as usual. i tried the pancake, on top of the pre-ordered food, and it was delightful. yummeh!
after took the luggage, we went to taxi counter. the plan was to go to the hotel and leave our luggage there first, and then wandering around the city, looking for the tour-agent for our next few days activity. the lady at the counter quoted 120 baht for the taxi ride from the airport to our hotel, People Place Hotel 1, which located next to the night market area of the city.
we waited for a while outside the airport. a toyota innova was our taxi this time. the driver parked the car and greeted us, and then took the luggage into the bonnet. he introduced himself as Prem, a short form for Premsak. he asked us where we are from and just before the taxi left the junction of the airport and main road, he proposed us to go for tour etc. with him, as it was still early and we won't be able to check-in to our room etc. ( we aware of that). while driving, he passed us all brochures and his files etc. and let us discussing to decide etc.
i had no reference and preference, and my siblings, despite i'd been telling them to do some research as i was quite busy with work, didn't do it too. so we had no idea whether the price was good or not. but finall we agree to hire him to drive us for the day, with the main destination for the day was Elephant Sanctuary.
price - 800 baht, and we didn't have to pay for the hotel-airport fee (120 baht). Prem was so delighted as we were his 1st customer for the day, and for the whole day...so that he'd have to go back to the airport back etc. again.
prem: i'm lucky today sir. this is my good day
so here we go!