In desperate need to catch up on sleep, I changed plans and took the 12+ hour long overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai. The train staff are able to convert the seats into beds in less than a minute. I was thrilled once my was converted and immediately fell asleep, not even bothering to check out the trains amenities. I explored the surrounding Chiang Mai rail station before switching to a thrilling minibus ride to Pai. Some riders did not know to expect daredevil speeds, including a German couple carrying their less than 1 year old infant! We made it in time to catch the sunset atop Wat Phra That Mae Yen, where large flights of stairs lead up to a huge Buddha statue.
An overnight sleeper train (and sometimes buses) over long distances is a great way to save on a night’s accommodations while also covering a long distance while sleeping. There’s also time to repack your gear.