Time to leave Thailand. But not to worry. We'll be back... not once, but twice (anyone who visits Thailand comes back).
We took a 7 hour bus ride from Chiang Mai to the Thai border town of Chiang Khong. It wouldn't have been so bad if the seats weren't so tiny and so plastic. There was a group of 8 big athletic Australian dudes on the bus with us, and the poor guys were squeezed into the tiny seats like sardines. And there was no AC. They were entertaining to watch/listen to, but even better was the golden sunset out the window.
We had to spend one night in Chiang Khong before crossing the Mekong River into Laos the next morning. We thought it'd be a chore to stay a night in some tiny city, but after we saw the place, we realized that we wanted to stay longer than one night! The hotel on the river was pretty spectacular. Those photos next.
Except for the first shot, the rest were taken out the bus window.
Seating for monks at the bus station (not sure why they're separate).