. We kept asking where the bus station was and they all said that the street was it. Even people in food shops were in on it. We didn't give up and it paid off. We turned a couple of corners and just before accepting defeat we saw some rubbish looking orange buses. Yes!! we found them. We got the right one at half the price as the tour operators were quoting and we really felt like we achieved something. We are now starting to feel like experienced travelers haha.
The night wasn't a write off. We stumbled upon a bustling food market. It was packed and when we saw the food on offer it was easy to understand why. I would go to it every night if it was in Durham. There was some weird and wonderful stuff. We were hungry though and made the mistake of settling for the first thing we saw - pork with rice. Big mistake! We were too full to try the, noodles, fish, chicken, jelly, grasshoppers, beetles and the countless other unidentifiable things. Next time we will try the deep fried cockroaches.
Not much to see or do in Surat Thani. It is mainly used as a connecting point for Ko Phanang and Ko Samui, but because we missed the bus to Ranong we had to stay. We were adamant that we wanted to get a normal state run bus and our Rough Guide (thanks Katie) assured us that one exists. The normal bus is much cheaper than the mini buses the 100s of tour operators try to get you on and they are just as good. There are two bus stops in Surat Thani. the first is for local travel which we found no problem and the second is for long distance. We got a tuk-tuk (a taxi) and told him to take us to the long distance bus stop. He took us to a street full of tour operators. This was a nightmare. They all ran up to us asking where we are going etc. We knew this wasn't it and the tuk-tuk driver would get a commission off the operator we went with. We argued with the driver and a couple of others for ten minutes. We refused to pay the tuk-tuk man and walked off. Everyone in that street was against us