Journey to Mae Sot.

I flew out of Saskatchewan, Canada just ahead of winter. ( It often gets down to -30) In the days prior to my departure, the news was filled with stories of flooding in and around Bangkok. It was rumored that the airport was closed, and that flights into the country were being cancelled. Fortunately for me it was the domestic airport that was flooding, and I was able to fly in as planned. Apart from a short, violent thunderstorm on the trip into town, I have seen no rain in the month I have been in Thailand. As I wandered through downtown Bangkok, there was no evidence of disaster; however within 2 days of my arrival, an evacuation order was given for areas of the city and to the north; tent cities sprang up throughout the city, and the shelves in the stores were suddenly emptied of bottled water, and canned goods.  Sandbags, and small concrete walls were being erected in front of shops, hotels and homes. It was time to head north to Mae Sot. As I arrived at the bus station, every available piece of lawn, and floor was covered with people, families with small children, locals and foreigners, all looking to leave town.

The night bus usually takes 8 hours and arrives into town around 5 am. The direct buses were all full, as migrant workers and evacuees all left Bangkok. A ticket to TAK was purchased online; At Tak  I would be notified to change for a bus to Mae Sot. This would happen in the early morning hours. I remember from previous visits, that TAK is a large bus station, with stalls, and food vendors:  imagine my surprise then when at 5am I was woken and told that I had arrived and needed to get off the bus. We were in TUN, a very small town an hour and a half past TAK; ahh the joys of online shopping. Fortunately I was able to remain on the bus, and after taking it to LamPung (another hour north), I was able to return to TAK and then grab the bus to Mae Sot.

So it was that I arrived at noon, 14 hours after I left Bangkok, just in time to begin preparations for the 3rd annual “Forgotten Birthday” party.

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