Today we took a VIP bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. And it was amazing.
The bus took off from Mo Chit, which we're getting pretty good at by now. Basically, you have three choices when taking the bus from BKK to Chiang Mai. 1. VIP bus ($25 US) during the day; 2. VIP bus overnight (also $25); or 3. 2nd class a/c ($14). It's a 10-hour ride, and we had already booked a hotel in Chiang Mai for tonight, so we decided to splurge and pay for a VIP bus during the day.
The bus left Mo Chit at 9am. We were immediately given water and a snack box, which included a cupcake and a black sesame red bean bun. And coffee. The seats were wide and comfy. We had more than enough room to sit however we wanted. The bus only had three seats across, two on one side of the aisle, one on the other.
At about 1:30, we stopped for lunch. Our tickets included a voucher for a free meal. There are several stands selling all sorts of food, so we just picked one that didn't look spicy and we got that. It was yummy.
Back on the bus we kept driving on towards Chiang Mai. At about sunset, we started driving up through the mountains. It was getting dark fast, with thick cloud cover making it even darker, so I couldn't get any good mountain shots from the bus. But maybe you can on your trip.
We arrived in Chiang Mai a little after 6pm and arranged a songthaew to take us into our hotel. Songthaews are like pick up trucks with two benches in the back. The ride cost us 80 baht (40 each) which is way less than most of them quote you to begin with, so when the first one you ask says 200 baht, move on to someone else.
We checked in at the hotel and wandered around for a bit. Our hotel is just outside the old town city wall, so we walked down there and got some food and just enjoyed our night.
It got pretty exciting when we saw a few floating lanterns high in the sky! I can't believe we're here!