From Chiang Mai to Chumphon

Day One

3 min read by ice. Published in Essays, Stories.
Free train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Shot with Yashica FX3 Super 2000 on Kodak Color Plus 200.

Back in 2014, I didn’t yet have a full-time job. Feeling particularly adventurous I decided to take advantage of my wide-open schedule and embark on a trip to the central province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, where my friend lived. This would be the first journey that I’d do on my own, and the first one with a film camera.

Note: this is the first of a three-part essay. Two more will be published in the coming weeks.

Prachuap is about a thousand kilometres south of the city where I live (Chiang Mai). Despite the distance, I made my way via rail, the first leg of which took me to Bangkok.

The ride to the capital ended up being a sixteen-hour journey, starting from five in the morning until nine at night. Should have I driven I’d get there in about half the time, but the train was free. It wasn’t particularly slow but the stops it took at every station have lengthened the transit.

Train cabin. Yashica FX3 Super 2000, Color Plus 200.

A slight change of plans.

A gentlemen wearing strange shades looking out from the train window as we snail towards Bangkok. Yashica FX3 Super 2000, Color Plus 200.

As I was making my way to Bangkok I had the misfortune to find that the friend whom I was going to visit was on his way to Chiang Mai. Oops!

Thankfully, my lengthy ride gave me enough time to rectify the situation. A couple of my friends from college were serendipitously on their way to Chumphon province, which is just south of Prachuap Khiri Khan. And so after a small logistical adjustment, I continued my journey due south with the plans to meet with my university buddies.

The trip continued on the same trajectory as planned. Relaxed, I spent my time taking photos and enjoying a variety of snacks being sold at every stop along the way to Bangkok.

Looking out from the tail car. Yashica FX3 Super 2000, Color Plus 200.