The next two days I spent riding around town and checking out Chiang Mai. It is a really small town compared to Bangkok or Seoul. There are a lot of travelers, but they usually only stay for a day or two and then are off on a trek through the jungle or to Laos.
Tuesday night Katy took me to a Jazz open-mic night and I couldn't believe how crowded it was. People of all ages and all races swarmed on the place and the mood was one of exuberance. People just happy to be around, and in, a place they know is special.
Wednesday afternoon I said good-bye to Chiang Mai with another foot massage and the promise that I would someday return. I took an overnight bus to Bangkok (which was nightmarish due to the horrible road conditions). Sleep was impossible because of the constant dipping, shaking, swerving, bumping, and creaking: a twelve hour bus ride, overnight, with no sleep...
Upon arriving in Bangkok at 6 a.m., I booked another "overnight" bus to Surathani and then found a room to catch up on my sleep.
Apparently it is going to take four business days to get a China Visa. Getting to Tibet may prove to be an ordeal, albeit a worthwhile one.
So, tonight it is another 12 hour bus ride for me. Following that, a two hour boat ride, I believe. At the end of this trek, I will be on the beaches of Koh Phag Nan and, hopefully, not going anywere for a while.