One of my favorite train rides was going from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. I recommend taking overnight trains whenever possible. This helps save money on accommodations and you won’t waste a day in transport while you could be out exploring.
My travel buddy Molly and I decided to splurge on a first class sleeper ticket. Considering the day we had all we wanted to do at that moment was sleep in our own cabin where we didn’t have to look at another soul. *Post to come on why we were having a rough day* Here is what first class sleepers are like in Thailand.
I was thoroughly impressed with first class and for budget traveling it didn’t breaking the bank. We had a lovely gentleman come around asking if we wanted to purchase any food and set up our bunks for bed, our cabin even had a sink! Best of all, we could lock the door, meaning no creeper encounters like I had on my overnight train in India.
Getting Prepared for the Ride
For some reason before the train we bought toilet paper. Not sure why, but I remember laughing about it for most of the train ride and for several weeks after. Zilk for your ______. You can come up with your own word to fill in the blank.
Now, there is a reason I told you about Zilk. This is a potty story. And as far as bathrooms go in Southeast Asia it’s like Forrest Gump’s Momma says, “You never know what you are going to get”. Will it be a porcelain throne? Will it just be a hole to squat over? Or is it of the public urinal variety?
The good news: the toilets were at the end of our car (fairly close should we need it in a jiffy). The bad news: It was a squatty potty. There are two rails on either side of the hole. I learned it is best to hang onto the rails when the train is in motion or you may fall into the hole and that will make you puke. Squatties aren’t the worst thing ever. They do make you question drinking that giant bottle of water, especially in the morning after everyone has had a chance to use them throughout the night.
Morning comes, there is a line for the WC
At this point I’ve perfected my ability to hold on to the rails and aim while being jolted back and forth. It is a major feat. I am proud of accomplishment. So proud that I am telling you all. While waiting in line a woman rounds the corner and says “oh girls, why are you waiting in that line? There is an actual toilet right here” and points to the spot she just came from. FML. Really? I’ve been trying to hit this small hole on a moving train all night when there is a regular toilet right around the corner? Such is life.
Word of advice; if you find a “squatty potty” on a train just turn the corner there is probably a regular toilet nearby.
And that was one of those DOH! moments. Tell me about a time when you went DOH!