17/11/2008 – Boat, bus, train – the journey north
I spent most of my morning packing and checking out of PP Princess. The hotel tried to screw me out of 40 baht (just under a quid) for some water that I had already paid for. Normally I would have just given them the money to save the hassle, but after the amount of hustling and rip-offs I’d suffered this last week, I stood my ground. Yeah.
We met in the bookshop with the intention for one last, yummy, hot chocolate but it was a scorching day and all we could manage was cold drinks.
We caught the ferry back to Krabi and as we did so we saw a dark cloud moving over us towards our paradise island, looks like we left at the right time. We ended up being really lucky with the weather, the week of thunderstorms was another weather-scare from the BBC.
At Krabi we clambered into a tiny mini-van with 4 Germans and hardly any bootspace to take us to Surat Thani. I was stuck on the really uncomfortable folding seat, but luckily the journey was only a couple of hours, so I whacked on my ipod and gave Chelsea’s mixtape a go whilst taking in the beautiful scenery whizzing past. Thailand is truly stunning. The area we drove through was similar to Phi Phi, with large limestone rocks/cliffs jutting out of the earth enveloped in lush green forest.
Finally we reached Surat Thani railway station after a detour into town where they had tried to shift us all off the bus and onto another with a scheduled `break`. We came to realise that this is just a ploy they use to get you to spend money in their roadside cafe and shop. But we all refused to get off and our lovely driver, who had earlier threatened to take us to Cambodia (jokingly, I hoped), agreed to take us to the station straight away.
After buying our tickets at the station we crossed the busy street to get our dinner from a street stall and bought some Sangsom for the journey. The train was delayed so we started drinking earlier to pass the time. Eventually we got on the train and I joined Jimmy and Kelly on their top-bunks for a chinwag and a drink.
The toilets on the train were an interesting experience as well. They were all metal with a small urinal in one corner and a squat in the other which led directly onto the tracks. So when going for a wee I got quite a refreshing blow dry at the same time!