In transit

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, January 5, 2006

Up, packed and checked out at 7:30 and quickly devoured some beans on toast before making a bee line to the bus station. Had to take a variation of the tuk-tuk which was basically a cage strapped to the left side of a moped and wasn't the best journey. Also cost half what I was about to pay to get to Bangkok! At the station I procured a ticket for the bargain price of 78 baht for the bus back to Bangkok. It was a local bus and stopped everywhere to pickup more passengers so I just tried to sleep the whole way.

This was the first local bus I had taken in Thailand and as a result I had no idea where I was when I arrived. I had to get from the Southern Bus Station (confusingly in the west of the city) to faithful Khao San road, again! Some taxi driver tried to scam me into paying 120 baht for the 2 km trip and I just walked off without bothering to merit it with a reply. Local bus listings in the LP came in handy again and I was soon on the way for 12 baht. Must have been double price because it was air-conditioned.

Went to the first travel agents I saw and booked the night bus to Ko Phi Phi for tonight and stormed off like a man on a mission to get on another local bus (the trusty #47, 6 baht) to the financial district to visit the now open immigration office. Power walked my way there and was a sweaty mess by the time I arrived. Took one look at the queue and another at the price (1900 baht!) to renew my visa and stormed straight out, cursing under my breathe.

Decided to take it slowly back towards the BTS Skytrain and as I was hungry, and it was air-conditioned, I went to KFC. Not the most satisfying meal and as I was eating I looked left and saw a kaiten-zushi bar that would have been far better! Hopped on the train (to National Stadium, which I did see this time) and then the local bus back to Khao San.

Khao San road is an incredibly strange place. It is full with people who basically have nothing to do, like me. It is a giant revolving door with people coming and going from the city at all hours of the day. 24 hours a day you constantly see people traipsing up and down with their backpacks looking in vain for a hovel to stay.

I had a couple of hours to kill so holed up in a net cafe for a while before wandering round and finally settling in a bar nearby to nurse a dirty Chang beer. One for the road I thought? Had a long journey ahead so thought best to make use of the toilet facilities in the bar which amazingly was opposite a tattoo parlour within the bar! They are tattoo crazy out here and I have never seen so many people with them. The Jolly Frog in Kanchanaburi even had a tattoo parlour onsite! Laundry, Internet and tattoos all in one place! Not for me thanks!

6pm came and I was thankful to stop killing time and actually get on the move. The bus was almost empty and I had 2 seats to myself! Pure luxury and room for me to curl into a ball and sleep for once! Everyone on our bus seemed to be going in different directions which I found a bit worrying. Half were going to Koh Samui/Pha Ngan, I was the only one going to Phi Phi, there was even 1 guy going to bloody Kuala Lumpur! 30 hours straight on a bus for only 800 baht! A veritable bargain but I would at least stop for a day in Penang, as I will be doing in just over a weeks time. The movie, Stealth, was your typical Hollywood over dramatized rubbish and I burst out laughing when they flew a bomber down the middle of "down town, skyscraper district" Rangoon in Myanmar which surely can't be real!

Movie over I started to drift off to the land of nod only to be woken up for the stop at 12pm, of course! Decided I should eat something so settled on what the locals were eating, noodle soup. Well I say what they were eating but I had it minus the tongue, heart and liver. The balls of mushed up meat which were apparently pork were good enough for me thanks!
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