Phuket from sky

Thailand 2009: Day 5 – Leaving Chiang Mai for Phuket

Date: Dec 17th, 2009

Woke up around 8am and the first thing I had to do was return the rented Honda Click. I then took a taxi to the Pantip Plaza in Chiang Mai to see if they had any decent reasonably priced tripods.

Chiang Mai fountain

Chiang Mai morning
Chiang Mai in the morning

I got to Pantip Plaza but it hadn’t opened yet (main doors open at 10am) so I hopped on over to the other side of the road to some temple I thought I’d spend some time clicking.

Wat Suan Plu, Chiang Mai
The temple opposite Chiang Mai’s Pantip Plaza
Wat Suan Plu, Chiang Mai
Sorry, don’t remember what it was called

Chiang Mai Wat dragon

Chiang Mai school
This was at a school adjoining the temple

I headed back to Pantip and walked into the local Big Camera outlet. The had a few Manfrottos and the cheap light weight tripods, like the one I was carrying — until it got smashed into pieces — but nothing in between.

The Pantip Plaza in Chiang Mai isn’t very big and the stores didn’t have anything I particularly felt like spending money on.  I had already spent enough on camera equipment, so I really couldn’t afford the high-end tripods everyone recommended for the 7D and the 70-200mm Sigma.

I checked out a few other stores there but ended up not buying anything. Saw a video game store thinking I’d find good deals on PS3 games but the selection was poor and it mostly stocked pirated CDs (much like the rest of Thailand).

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Diablo II
Grand Theft Auto Diablo San Andreas II — must be awesome!

A video store there did have something that caught my eye — a 23-DVD Studio Ghibli collection for 2300 baht! I would have picked it up but I figured I’d do all such shopping when I got back to Bangkok.

I left Pantip and headed back to my hotel room, checked out and took a taxi to Chiang Mai International Airport as my Thai Airways flight was scheduled for 12:45pm.

Chiang Mai city
Taken from inside the pick-up taxi

Chiang Mai city

Chiang Mai cityChiang Mai airport road

Chiang Mai airport
Reaching Chiang Mai airport

The ride took no less than 20 minutes from Loi Kroh road.

I checked in my baggage, got my window seat, boarding pass (twice! The first one got stuck in a machine near the gate) and waited upstairs.

Chiang Mai airport
Some big shot arriving…
Chiang Mai airport
… some little guy leaving. (Me!)
Chiang Mai from sky
Bye Chiang Mai. Definitely coming back!

I wasn’t too happy about having spent Rs. 8k on a last minute flight booking, but I guess I was lucky to have gotten a seat. The window seat I got was right in front — and the flight was full!

Since it was Thai Airways, we at least got a meal.

Thai Airways meal on Chiang Mai to Phuket flight

It was cold chicken patty with cold salad and cold juice. Seriously, it was like they served it right out of the refrigerator. The cake was nice, despite being cold too.

Thailand from sky
‘Clouds in between’

Phuket from sky

Phuket from sky
Hello beaches!

(Part 2 of Day 5 coming soon!)

Other posts in this series:

Getting ready for my trip

The day I left for Thailand

Day 1 – Suvarnabhumi, Pantip Plaza, Fotofile & MBK

Day 2 – Bridge over the River Kwai and Tiger Temple (Wat Pa Luangta Bua) in Kanchanaburi

Taking the bus to Chiang Mai from Bangkok

Day 3 – Maesa elephant camp, ‘long-neck’ tribe village near Chiang Mai

Day 3 (Part 2) – Chiang Mai Night Market

Day 4 – Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai… and back in town

Day 5 (Part 2) – One night in Phuket

Day 6 – Leaving Phuket for Ao Nang by bus (via Phang Nga)

Day 7 – Touring Koh Phi Phi (Maya Bay, Monkey Island & Bamboo Island)

Day 7 (Part 2) – Exploring Railay, Krabi

Day 8 – Flying from Phuket to Bangkok

Day 8 (Part 2) – Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok

Day 9 – MBK, Siam Paragon… and ‘little Arabia’?

Day 10 – Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha

Day 10 – Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and finally leaving Thailand

Figures, lessons learned, and things I couldn’t do

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