One Day: Phuket to Chiang Mai, Thailand
6am - Awoke with a wake up call from reception. Lee regrets not brushing teeth after pre-bed Oreo snack. Shower and finish packing.
6:35am - Walk to free (or included) breakfast. Yoghurt, pineapple, meusli, toast for Lee; rice and pineapple for Sachi.
6:50am - Pay final bill at checkout. An extra night plus 2 lunches and a couple of minibar indiscretions = about US$100. Karon Beach Resort was a bit of a splurge.
6:55am - Go outside assuming we would see taxis or car-like tuk-tuks. None are found, feel at-risk for missing flight. Go back to hotel reception, she calls their driver- he cannot come for 20 mins- not enough time (he says) to make our flight. Bell boy takes off on motorcycle to track down taxi (earns nice tip).
7:03am - Aging Alpha Romeo taxi appears. We climb in and find that we could have saved money by using the hotel minivan. Feel regret for not accepting the hotel's offer yesterday.
7:52am - Arrive at airport, check in, buy Rough Guide to SE Asia.
8:25am - Board bus to plane and wait for 20 minutes on stationary bus. Travel approximately 150 meters to plane. Laugh with other passengers about the ridiculously short bus trip.
8:50am - Board plane to Bangkok.
10:28am - Arrive Bagkok, recheck in for Air Asia flight to Chiang Mai. Find infinite amusement is witnessing a women scurry rapidly from her family to ensure a place in line in front of us- for a flight leaving in 2 hours.
11:22am - while waiting for flight, try to connect to airport wireless internet. Costs US$7 per hour. No way - too much. Domestic terminal lunch options are: Burger King, Smoking Pub, Black Canyon Coffee and Dairy Queen. We have Whoppers.
1:05pm - Discover that flight is delayed 1 hour. Meet Sonja, who just graduated high school and has lived in Chang Mai for 5 years.
2:10pm - Board flight to Chang Mai on low-cost Air Asia (US$38PP). Feel pressure to compete for unassigned seats. Share our row with Sonja, who is 1/2 Iranian and 1/2 white American and has lived in Atlanta, Swaziland, Cambodia and Thailand. Really cool to talk to Sonja. She recommends the Amora Hotel and even has a business card.
3:55pm Arrive at aging but nice Amora hotel, reserve 5 nights for about US$40 per night, breakfast included.. Great location. Relax and plan.
5:05pm - Walk blindly into Chiang Mai streets, quickly discover a neighborhood full of uninteresting house fixtures. Find better street, eat at Noi's Kitchen, buy book on Pol Pot. Return to hotel.
6:09pm - Lee is awed to see this text scroll across the TV screen on BBC World News: "Microsoft blogger who made the software giant more human is leaving to join a technology startup". Scoble made the BBC World ticker? Wow.
7:12pm - Sachi dissects our toiletries bag and finds 31 miniature toothpaste bottles from Japanese hotels (pictured above). We realize a great travel tip: If you have more than one of something, use it up completely before opening the next. Otherwise you carry mutiples forever (like both of Lee's half-full mini shaving cream bottles).
8:05pm - Head out to the THC Rooftop Bar, cool hippy atomsphere and uncool unhippy staff- no smiles at all. Have dinner for 3 dollars (panang curry beef, oyster sauce beef and pineapple shake).
9:55pm - Return to hotel to settle in watching US play Czechs in world cup, feeling good about Chaing Mai.
11:59pm - Feel disappointment for USA's poor showing. Sad to see so much ball possession, so little goal scoring.