May 11, 2005
Hat Yai is a town you stay in when you're trying to get somewhere else. It is cool though and they have a giant mall with lots of colourful shops and Western fast food places. I still wasn't eating though so none of it appealed. We were close to the Malaysian border too so the locals were mainly Muslim. Our room was in a dark, hospital like guesthouse, but it was really cheap and we all had a single bed and a bathroom in the room. All we did here was look around and bargain for our bus tickets the next day. Ben and I were both felling sick and were exhausted so we went to bed very early.
Today we learnt a few things. 1)Even if you're not properly informed about how you're getting somewhere, someone will help you out and you'll always make it 2)Don't sit in the back row of a mini van. They have no suspension and roads aren't great. As Vania put it -you bump around like popcorn 3)Airconditioned mini vans aren't really airconditioned they just blow air and you feel like you might suffocate 4)Mini vans will drop you off outside a Tourist Information office. TI in our countries are informative and helpful. TI in Thailand are actually just one of a million different booking agencies trying to get you to buy a boat/bus/tour ticket from them and they don't like it if you leave and try to go elsewhere 5)Once you talk to a taxi/boat/tuk tuk driver about a fare or you go with them and they wait for you - you cannot go with another driver. Once you've talked to a driver or done business with them they will shoo away other drivers and get mad if you try to go with someone else even thoughn you didn't say you would go with them. They will follow you.